The City I first Loved January 16, 2017

By (International Studies, University of Florida) - abroad from 01/25/2016 to 05/28/2016 with

CAPA The Global Education Network: Dublin Study or Intern Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about myself. Studying abroad taught me how to be more vulnerable, how to be more confident, to not avoid conflict, and reminded me of the freedom that I have as a young person.

Review Photos

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? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes that CAPA facilitated were particularly my favorite. I took no courses through Griffith College instead opting for a course through my home university and two courses through CAPA. The Irish History & Culture course opened my eyes to Irish history as I had not known much before. We went on weekly trips around the city, watched movies about Irish culture, and even got to hear about the political atmosphere of Ireland. Our internship seminar was even more beneficial. Overall, these courses broadened my perspectives without taking away my time from traveling. It is important to note that attendance to these courses is essentially mandatory.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I could not say enough about how wonderful Susanne and Hayley were to have on campus. They were always up for a chat and well-traveled enough to give advice about different places we wanted to go. When I was sick, they directed me right to a doctor, and I was able to get better quickly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Overall, I was satisfied. I had not shared a room since childhood, but CAPA's matching system gave me the best roommate I could have asked for. The only complaint I ever made over the semester was that our fridge was the size of a mini-fridge and was meant for four people. We managed, but it would have been nice to have been able to prepare ahead of time.

* Food:

Dublin is an international city, and you can find anything that you want there. I missed some of the comforts that I had not realized were only from home (corn nuggets being the most devastating); however, there was always a new place to try in Dublin that could get your mind off of it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The Irish are incredibly welcoming, so I think we all felt right at home very quickly. I loved the slow speed of life in Dublin and the overall mood of the city. My one regret is that I did not take time to volunteer outside of my internship and classwork. Ireland is accepting refugees, has many homeless, etc. and lots of opportunities to volunteer. It is something very important to me at home, and I think it would be great for CAPA to find a way to facilitate this for future CAPA Dublin students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was easily accessible as the doctor was right down the road. Visits were 50 euro flat, and the pharmacy was right next door to fill your prescription. At the end of the program, as long as you save your receipts, the insurance you buy through CAPA fully pays for the medical costs you accrue while abroad.

* Safety:

From my Irish friends, I learned just how paranoid about safety I am. I am overly cautious, but I never felt unsafe in Dublin.

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

CAPA was incredibly supportive.

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)

Dublin was very affordable.

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? I would suggest that you get a credit card that does not have foreign transaction fees months before you leave.

Language

* 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

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Dublin
  • Experience
  • Internship
* What could be improved?
  • Volunteering --CAPA could have a monthly or weekly volunteer opportunity for students
  • More than one fridge
  • A study room just for students to mingle
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known more about post study abroad depression. It was really hard to come home and be pushed into the grind of my normal life. One of my friends compared it to extreme highs and lows: we went from the extreme of the fun of study abroad to the low of coming to a familiar place just to work.

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.'