I went home. October 12, 2016

By (Drama, Theater, Theatre Arts, Rollins College) - abroad from 06/04/2016 to 07/15/2016 with

CAPA The Global Education Network: Dublin Study or Intern Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was reminded of just how strong and capable I am as a person. My independence thrived and I was reminded that I am all I need to get anything done. In a way, I found myself.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Most of my time was spent interning back and forth between two theatres in Dublin, so I only had one class each week. We met Tuesday evenings for about an hour and a half. The class material was enlightening and engaging, but not difficult in nature. The first few weeks we focused on learning about the Irish culture/workplace, and then the class became a general internship course. "Homework" assignments would usually consist of self-reflection papers, watching a video and writing a response, creating a powerpoint, etc. We had one big group presentation, and one out of class mock interview. The workload was absolutely doable, but some of the assignments seemed unnecessary a couple of times.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CAPA administrators in Dublin were incredible! From our day of arrival to our departure, they were always readily available to answer our questions and give dining/shopping/touring suggestions. They were very responsive to their emails and easily approachable in person. There were attacks in Europe during my time abroad this summer, and the CAPA team handled it like pros and made sure that everyone checked in and was safe. I know that we were in good hands.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Ah, Lad Lane Apartments... CAPA utilized many different housing areas for their students in Dublin, and this was mine. The staff were always so kind and ready to assist, so I will give them credit for that. However, it took almost two weeks to get my own key for the flat (I relied on my flatmates to always be around to let me in) and the wifi was not always reliable. The shower head didn't have a place to hook into the wall, so you had to hold it the entire time you were bathing. The flats were in a fairly good area, though. I never really felt unsafe if I was walking around alone, and it was within walking distance of a grocery store, pharmacy, several great pubs, and a couple American fast food chain restaurants. I was happy to come home to my charming little flat at the end of the day.

* Food:

I like to call my time abroad, "The Fish and Chips Tour of Ireland". The food was absolutely incredible, and yes, I indulged in so many fish and chips. Whenever I missed home, there was a Burger King right by my flat, so I went there a few times. The Irish are big fans of Thai food, so I tried some Thai a few times and it was great. But the traditional pubs were my favorite, by far. The food was amazing, the atmosphere was cozy and musical, and there was never an unfriendly face.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It did not take me very long to integrate myself with the Irish culture. My ancestry is heavily Irish and I was so incredibly excited about this study abroad experience, that I wasted no time thrusting myself into the Dublin scene. I frequented pubs to eat and listen to music, I toured the city and the rest of the country during every spare moment I had, and made friends with my coworkers. I made sure to spend just as much time alone and traveling as I did traveling with other people, because I learn best if I am on my own. I also made it a point to hang out with more Irish people than Americans, and it shows. I quickly picked up on the behaviors, the way that they talk and express themselves, etc. I still catch myself saying that, "I'm grand". I admire their culture for many things, but above all else, the Irish are friendly and accepting. I miss it so much.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health emergencies during my time abroad. I know that during my second weekend in town I got what I call the "traveler's sickness": sore throat, tired, congestion, etc. It passed within 24 hours. I had a slightly sore throat at one point a few weeks later, but it was easily remedied with cough drops and tea. I am unaware of any big health emergencies that occurred with other students in the program, but CAPA did a great job of making sure we knew where to get medical help if we needed it, where the pharmacies were and what resources they provided, and how to contact them if something happened.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe once in Dublin. The people there were all so kind, hospitable, and carefree. Everybody jay-walked, and everybody helped strangers if they needed directions. Even when I got lost on my third day in town, I did not feel unsafe (just very turned around). I still wouldn't advise women to walk around alone at night, and always use good discretion since Ireland has a definite alcohol culture. But I never felt terribly unsafe in our city.

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

I woudn't change a single thing about my time abroad. The weekly class got annoying at times, but my internships were eye-opening and the out of class travel was life-changing.

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)

It depends on how smart you are about it. If you buy your breakfast and lunch food from a grocery store, then you'll have more money to eat out at night. It's a nice balance.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100$
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget. Groceries aren't super expensive, so try to eat in a bit or at least pack your lunches, especially since you're going to want to go out to pubs and restaurants at night.

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

  • 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?
  • Getting to work in Irish theatres
  • Meeting new people
  • Getting to travel around Dublin/Ireland
* What could be improved?
  • Less buys work assignments
  • Get someone nicer for the mock interview
  • Better housing?
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't put anything off or take too many naps. Go out and do EVERYTHING you can. Think of everything under the sun that could possibly be worth trying while in Dublin, and just do it.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'