A wonderful and memorable semester Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/06/2016 to 12/17/2016 with

Boston University: Dublin - Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience was definitely worthwhile. I learned how to be more flexible and independent

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was very manageable, and the assignments included a couple of research papers, presentations, and final exams. Due to the nature of the program (for the first half, everyone attended classes and then for the second half students worked at internships), a good bit of material had to be taught in a relatively short period of time. While it was nice to be finished with classes after 7 weeks, the classes were taught in 2.5-3 hour long sessions. Our professors gave breaks, but it still was a long time to sit in a lecture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program directors were very kind and attentive to our needs.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

This past semester, the housing situation was a little unusual. Boston University has a relationship with a school in Dublin called Dublin City University, which allowed us to use their facilities. Normally, students reside on the main campus, called Glasnevin, in apartments with kitchens. However, because there weren't many people participating in the program this semester, we were relocated to All Hallows College, a smaller campus about 30 minutes away from the main campus, that DCU had purchased over the summer. I was in a very nice single room in a traditional dormitory with one bathroom at the end of the corridor and a shared kitchen. However, DCU had not completed renovations at All Hallows and there were many issues with the plumbing and other utilities. Furthermore, because we were not on the main campus, it could be isolating and it was very difficult to interact with other Irish students. The dorms are now renovated so the utility issues are no longer a problem, however, the incomplete renovations did impact the experience.

* Food:

There were no meal plans available so we had to cook for ourselves. There was a grocery store a block away which was convenient. For times when we did not want to cook, there were many nice restaurants and cafes in the surrounding area and the City Centre (about a 20-30 minute bus ride away) which weren't too expensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had an internship, but I still did not feel very integrated into the local culture. We only took classes with other people on the BU Dublin program, and sometimes they were taught on the All Hallows campus (this was not the main campus, and it was the smallest of the three Dublin City University campuses. Most students did not have classes here). Additionally, because we were either in class for 5 hours a day or working full-time, it was very difficult to have opportunities to interact with other Irish people our age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did have to go to a clinic and the health center at Dublin City University, and it was very easy to find care. My program gave me a list of recommended doctors and dentists, and then I was able to get all of my prescriptions filled at a local pharmacy.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in the city and in the suburbs (where my dorm was located).

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

Even though it's a small city, Dublin had many museums and restaurants (that weren't too expensive!) and other attractions - I never ran out of ideas of things to do. There were a lot of day-long bus tours (about $50 each) that would leave from Dublin City Centre and take you to other areas of Ireland, which was really fun and made it easy to travel around Ireland. The people were friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand.


* 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)

Food wasn't very expensive at the local supermarkets, and restaurants weren't too expensive either.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $70-100


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Ireland was beautiful and Dublin was a great city - I loved being able to explore
* What could be improved?
  • I wish I had an opportunity to meet more local people, especially Irish students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known the names of the other people participating on my program prior to arriving in Dublin. BU never sent us an email list or a link to a Facebook group/page. I would have liked to have been able to try and connect with some of my classmates before the semester began (especially because I later discovered that some of them only live 20 minutes away).

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!