Galway Forever Past Review

By (Exercise Sports Science, University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) for

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Galway, Ireland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was the experience of a lifetime. I gained a broad understanding of different cultures and learned how a deep history shapes a future generation's thoughts and actions. The Irish people are some of the most friendly and generous people I have ever met, and that taught me major life lessons. After my trip, I have considered studying abroad again before I graduate, or someday moving out to Europe.

Review Photos

CEA Global Education: Galway, Ireland 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.

I took a summer course, so it was a little more rushed than I expected, but it was never overwhelming. It is more of a lecture style with little student-teacher interaction. I thought that its harder to follow along (compared to the small class sizes in the US), but the professors are also more lenient with the grading. I do wish they offered more summer classes that could've applied for my major.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program did a great job of taking care of the exchange students. They emphasized the interdisciplinary aspect quite a bit, trying to tie in all the subjects together with optional seminars. Side excursions to the Aran Islands and Dingle were some of my favorite parts of the trip.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Everything was basically provided in our apartments. A cleaning service also came in once a week and provided clean sheets and towels. Downsides were that the shower was almost always freezing and the walking time to campus (from Gort na Coiribe) is about 20 minutes (not 5 minutes like I was told many times).

* Food:

Food is relatively in cheap. I did the majority of my grocery shopping at Dunnes and Tesco which were about a 10 minute walk from my apartment. There is not as much variety as most American grocery stores, but it's all fresh and preservative-free! Just make sure you take the expiration date seriously, because your bread will mold on that day! You must try the Shepard's pie and at least one bowl of soup with their delicious soda bread!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had at least two weekends that were completely free and I made it to Blarney Castle one weekend and the Cliffs of Moher on a bus tour for another weekend. I strongly recommend both. Also, there's a farmer's market Saturday mornings at St.Nickolas church that I went to as often as I could. I do wish that we could have interacted with more of the locals, but that was hard to do with a summer program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The apartment doors had a very safe lock system with electronic key cards. I never had any health problems, but I remember someone pointing out where the student health center was.

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


* 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)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you are worrying about money, safety, or have any other doubt whether to go...don't. It was worth every penny, every ounce of uncertainty, and I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. If it satisfies a few general education credits or anything classes for your major, I would grab at this opportunity. Also, I think this program would be beneficial if you are dealing directly with people in your future career, or if your major is archeology, history, or business/marketing. You get a different perspective of other cultures, and Ireland has a deep history to it.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Irish History

Course Department: SU403
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was a little difficult to follow the instructor considering that I didn't have a background in history or the geography of Ireland. There is quite a bit of reading involved that I did not find helpful. However, I took away a much different perspective of Irish history and how their past ties into Ireland's conflicts today.
Credit Transfer Issues: unknown yet.
Course Name/Rating:

Negotiating Identity: Irish Traditional Music and Dance

Course Department: SU406
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was a little difficult to understand what was going on (terminology-wise), considering I've had very little background with instruments; however, the professor was very always upbeat and interesting! I learned quite a bit about traditional Irish culture, as opposed to the American stereotypes of Irishness. The professor made class interesting with videos and incorporating music and dance workshops in which you learn how to sing traditional Irish singing style and dance.
Credit Transfer Issues: unsure, as I have not received any information on my credits transferring yet.