Experience that will last a Lifetime! Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., University of Texas - San Antonio) - abroad from 01/01/2012 to 05/25/2012 with

Arcadia: Galway - National University of Ireland, Galway

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more open. I learned a bit of Irish. Gained gratitude towards other countries, opened my eyes to the different experiences. I learned to play rugby and really connected with a team. This helped me make bonds with local students and maintain close friendships while I came back to the states. It was such a great experience, I can't stress enough on telling students to study abroad if they have the opportunity.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The curriculum was different then what we have here at UTSA. Instead of continuous assessments throughout the course, our final grades were based off of our final exam. Our final exams where different as well, they were strictly essay based.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had a representative that was on campus. She was really welcoming and I feel made us feel at home. She was really adamant on us coming to her for any questions or concerns we may endure during our study abroad. She was like our mother away from home.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really liked the way our housing was set up. We had to room with another American involved in the program. We were also put in a house with other housemates that were from Ireland. I believe being housed with other native people helped in the experience.

* Food:

The food was quite similar to the food in America. My personal opinion was that it actually tasted much better. They have stricter food laws in Ireland which makes sure everything is fresh and as natural as can be.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our program was adamant about us joining clubs and societies while going to school. I joined the Rugby team and was able to make a lot of new friends. We hung out all the time. It was really fun.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

During Rugby training, I was injured. They offered a physiotherapist at the campus. The Rugby Team paid for me to get checked out. They therapist was very knowledgeable and helped me recuperate to return to the team.

* Safety:

They were very set on making us aware of our surroundings and to always travel in groups. During my stay in Galway, I was never really scared. It seemed like such a safe town with friendly people. I wasn't really worried to walk alone to the store or anything.

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)

One thing about living in Ireland was the food was very fresh. With that, you had to shop multiple times because the food would expire quickly. It was much harder to buy in bulk, so you just had to buy according to what you would make that week.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 120
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't be afraid to purchase non-name brand items. The good thing about not being from the country is that you really don't know the difference between the "Good or Bad" Brands. Also, there are many discount stores that are available throughout the area. Don't be afraid to ask your program coordinator about good cheap places to shop.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people were super friendly!
  • The craic could be find anywhere in Galway.
  • I learned to play Rugby!
* What could be improved?
  • Having a bit more trips with the Americans around Ireland.
  • Include food and forms of communication in the program price.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Plan trips to other countries far in advance. It's much cheaper and it motivates you to travel more while you're studying abroad.