An absolutely amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience October 09, 2018

By (Clark University - Worcester) - abroad from 01/29/2018 to 05/31/2018 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 greater cultural competence and greater confidence in myself as an independent individual. I traveled Europe and lived abroad in another country for months, and this gave me an incredible sense of my identity and made me a better person. It was completely worthwhile.

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.

The courses were not as academically rigorous as my home university, but that was acceptable for me because I was more interested in exploring and becoming immersed in the culture than focusing on my academics. However, Griffith College had great student resources and there was a lot of support from professors if you needed assistance.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

On-site CAPA staff were absolutely amazing! They were incredibly helpful and cared so much about us having a great time abroad. I cannot thank them enough for all of the support they provided and how comfortable they made me feel.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was more than adequate. I lived in a 2-bedroom suite with a separate kitchen and living room. Each bedroom had 2 people and its own separate bathroom, and it was all very comfortable.

* Food:

I cooked my own meals, so this doesn't really apply to Griffith College. You could buy food at the university, but it was more expensive than cooking for yourself, so I preferred to do that.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Dublin is a very open and welcoming place. My internship also allowed me to gain greater cultural competence and interact with local Irish people. I would highly recommend taking advantage of the internship CAPA provides if you wish to become integrated with local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any health issues while abroad, so I cannot speak to this personally. CAPA provides you with health insurance, however, so I never felt stressed about the possibility of a health issue.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Dublin. I walked most of the city at night at varying points, and was never afraid for my personal safety. Common sense should be kept in mind at all times, however, and as a male I have a natural privilege in terms of safety.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Although I love Ireland and the CAPA Dublin program, I would want to go somewhere else abroad in order to get a new experience. It has nothing to do with the CAPA Dublin program, as I would simply like to go somewhere else.

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)

I chose to spend less on groceries (i.e. ate a lot of rice and beans) so I could spend more money on going out and eating at restaurants. Dublin can be expensive if you choose to constantly go out every night, but if you are thrifty and figure out where to cut costs, it is manageable. I spent around $4,000 in total during my time abroad, which includes various trips around Europe.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn how to grocery shop on a budget. Rice and beans are incredibly cheap, and it allows you to spend money on fresh veggies and healthy options. Also, don't go out every night. Find free things to do such as going to parks, going to museums, etc.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

The program has a class that taught you Irish (Gaelic), but I didn't participate. That being said, some of my friends took the course and they were taken on field trips to practice their language skills.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Take the Irish course. You are taken on field trips to practice the language, and sometimes you meet locals that speak Irish just walking around the city.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • CAPA staff
  • Dublin
  • Irish culture
* What could be improved?
  • Local student involvement
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be yourself. It took me a while to gain the confidence necessary to act like myself, but it vastly improves your time abroad.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.