Go to Dublin! Interning & Exploring the Friendliest and Most Beautiful Country January 25, 2016

By (Communication and Media Studies, Clark University - Worcester) - abroad from 09/14/2015 to 12/19/2015 with

CAPA The Global Education Network: Dublin Study or Intern Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained international insight, cultural awareness, independence, really everything everyone told me I would. The best part for me was the feeling of belonging..first of all, Dublin is small and easy to manage. Secondly, a lot of people say they will just travel after college, which is great of course, but when will we ever be in a city for four whole months? When else will you be traveling and yet able to give other tourists directions? When else will you get to know a local bartender who greets you every time you come in? When else will you discover a small park or running path that isn't in any guide book or tourist map? The answer for a lot of people is never, which is why I treasured my time in Dublin and would recommend studying abroad- wherever you choose!-to anyone.

Review Photos

CAPA The Global Education Network: Dublin - Study or Intern Abroad Photo CAPA The Global Education Network: Dublin - Study or Intern Abroad Photo CAPA The Global Education Network: Dublin - Study or Intern Abroad Photo CAPA The Global Education Network: Dublin - Study or Intern Abroad Photo CAPA The Global Education Network: Dublin - Study or Intern Abroad Photo

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.

I interned, so I took only 2 classes while abroad. One was structured similarly to home and was fairly challenging, while the other was an Irish history course and less rigorous. However, they each had their merits and I learned a lot from both of them.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our program coordinators, Hayley and Susanne, are absolutely amazing. Their office is right on campus, so they are easily available if needed, and they are always genuinely pleased to see anyone that just wants to drop by. Their communication is also good (weekly "Monday Memos" with potential activities, reminders about events, and even an Irish phrase to learn). Having them so accessible is wonderful, especially for students that may be nervous to go abroad and live in a new city.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was not glamorous, but it was everything you needed. There is no oven, which was my only problem with the kitchen, but otherwise the appliances are good. It is also nice to be right on campus, to have a "home base" to come back to. (Again, for students that may be nervous, this is a huge plus compared to some programs that have home-stays which might be intimidating.)

* Food:

The food in Dublin is good and there are lots of options if you are eating out! The grocery store where we did most of our shopping is about what you expect, quality wise, but living on a budget will do that. There is a store called Lidl (walkable from campus) which I would recommend to students trying to be healthier.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The student union at Griffith is a great way to meet other students and meet people outside of your own program. They have events that are always advertised around campus. Outside of college, the Irish people are extremely friendly and you can strike up a conversation at any pub you may be at. It can be easy to end up sticking with the friends you've made in your program, (I know I felt like one regret I had was that although I met a lot of other internationals or locals, I wasn't as close with them as I was with my fellow CAPA students). So I would say to definitely keep that in mind and try to step outside your comfort zone and make as many local friends as you can!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health care problems, but someone in my program did, and he said it was easily taken care of. Again, having Hayley and Susanne as resources right on campus is wonderful when it comes to this.

* Safety:

Like any city, be smart at night, be careful, walk in groups, and always know where your friends are. Dublin is a relatively safe city, and I never felt genuinely concerned for my safety, but always keep in mind that pickpockets target people who are clearly from somewhere else, drinking makes your sense of safety skewed, and walking alone is never a good idea.

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

Finances

* 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)

Of course traveling is expensive. Dublin is a cheap city (much cheaper than London for sure) and I had to sometimes pass up on going out to dinner for the sake of saving money. For me, traveling was a priority over eating or buying clothes or souvenirs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent between 50-100 euro on food and the occasional souvenir. About 200 each time I traveled outside the country and around 50 on daytrips around Ireland.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? One bank, I think Bank of America, you can withdraw money internationally for no fee. For those of us without that luxury, take out a lot of euros at a time to avoid spending that fee each time. It's hard, but sometimes you have to say no to shopping sprees or going out to dinner for the sake of saving money. Exploring other European cities or more of Ireland is (for me) more of a priority than new clothes. For those of you who drink, just keep in mind how expensive drinks can be at pubs. On the same note, avoid touristy places (like Temple Bar area) because their prices are absurdly high.

Language

* 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

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
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?
  • accessibility of program advisers for any help we ever needed
  • Dublin! good music, good food, easy to navigate, great theater culture, friendly people
  • CAPA set us up with maps, bus passes, lots of extremely useful tools like that
* What could be improved?
  • my personal internship experience was a little lacking-don't let this scare you away from CAPA because most people had great experiences! But I felt underworked at mine.
  • more ways for us to interact with other locals or internationals might be nice!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? 1. Plan trips during the beginning of fall semesters or end of spring semesters for the best possible weather! 2. Your internship is what you make of it, and don't hesitate to speak up if you are unhappy or want to improve yours! 3. The people in your program won't necessarily be people you'd be friends with back home but that is OKAY and even a good thing! Don't write anyone or anything off too quickly. It's all about learning new things and meeting new people.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Sociology of the Media

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Barry Finnegan
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The professor was incredibly smart, if a little eccentric, but always on topic and interesting. The content was right up my alley, academically, and I really enjoyed the course. Besides the content of the course I also learned about some politics in Ireland and Europe in general that I probably would never have known about from home. I would absolutely recommend it for future students, especially those in the humanities.
Credit Transfer Issues: