Arcadia Ireland: the best experience of my life! Past Review

By (Social Work., Wartburg College) for

Arcadia: Cork - University College Cork

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
So worthwhile, so lifechanging. I feel that I have changed so much from it, for the better. My study abroad experience has impacted my entire life, my outlook of the world, and my desire to travel and live abroad in the future.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The educational system in Ireland took quite a bit of getting used to. Ireland's schooling system focused much more on independent learning and less on day to day homework and busywork, so having a lot more free time was a new concept for me. The grading system is also a bit different, I understand that teachers in Ireland grade as to not take off points but to help improve your efforts, and different percentages mean different things in Ireland than at home. Overall just a new experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Program was wonderful! I honestly have no complaints, this program met and surpassed my expectations! I am very happy about every aspect of my experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Loved our housing itself, it's location was so close to nightlife and to school so that was wonderful. I bought a duvet cover and pillowcase and hamper and they worked well!

* Food:

Food was fine, very similar to what I would eat at home. Future students- on campus eating is cheap too, at least more cheap than the rest of the city, which isn't bad.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Weekend trip to Belfast/Giant's Causeway Day trip to Bantry Castle and Cliffs of Moher Christmas Market in my hometown every weekend in December Arthur Guinness Day Traditional Music in various pubs throughout the experience

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

City- very safe, especially the part that we were located in, I never felt unsafe in the least bit in Cork. No health issues for me, but others had a few and were resolved with issue. I didn't find any prevalent issues in my host country and I needed no vaccines specifically for this program.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Maybe 100 euro each week? Depending on the week it may be less or more than that. It really depending how many experiences we had that week, if I ate out at all, bought unnecessary items, went out at all, etc...
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No unanticipated expenses- spending advice, it feels like a vacation, but you still need to be smart and realize that you will be there for an extended period of time and need to be aware of the amount that you are spending and the amount of things that you are buying!


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Educational system
  • Close contact with employees of university/program
  • Trips provided
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would tell the student to go for it, don't worry if you don't know anyone! It's ok to be scared, it's a big experience..but i promise you will never regret it!