Galway, Ireland: Grand, Green and Greatly Meant to Be Past Review

By (SUNY - College at New Paltz) - abroad from 01/08/2019 to 05/11/2019 with

CEA CAPA Education Abroad: Galway, Ireland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a better sense of independence and I learned to take care of myself and say yes to more opportunities. This experience was absolutely worthwhile, and I am still in shock that I was able to go to Ireland and live there for four months. Like, what? It was the best time of my life.

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.

There was one thing that I wasn't crazy about during my time in Galway, and that was the classes. Coming from an intimate setting at a small liberal arts college to a larger, lecture-styled university made this transition a little rough, but I also didn't expect my classes in Europe to be entirely comparable to my ones back home. I appreciated not having to spend as much time on schoolwork as I do back home, but I also wish that the classes were a little more sociable and hands-on.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Thomas was great! He was always very helpful towards all of us who studied through CEA in Galway this past semester, and we always had an amazing time on our trips as a group! :)

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I met some amazing people through my housing placement, but the environment was messy at times; however, it wasn't terrible or anything, so I don't have much to complain about. My walk to both college and into town was only 15-20 minutes, and I also lived only a few minutes from other stores. Perfect location and amazing people and memories! :)

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The Irish are very friendly, so I didn't ever really feel left out of anything. They really know how to show you a good time and welcome you to their homeland! Most of the real friends I made while there are Irish. :)

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I caught the common cold a couple times while in Ireland, so I just went to the on-campus clinic, which operated like any ordinary college one, I'd assume. They were helpful.

* Safety:

I always felt safe while in Ireland, but I usually was with people while walking home at nighttime. I would advise future students to always keep in mind their safety, even when Galway will start to feel like home! However, Ireland is a safe country overall, so I wasn't ever really scared while living there. I felt safer there than I do now in the states.

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

Of course I would choose Galway again if I was ever given the opportunity to go back. I love the area so much that I wouldn't let the academics bit get to me too much if I ever were to study there again. This is seriously an ideal location for all college students, and I loved my time there so much.


* 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)

In total, while in Galway, I would say I only spent roughly $20 - 30 on food every week, if that. Stores like Dunnes, Aldi and Tesco are inexpensive and great for a student budget, but I also am a coffee addict and of course wanted to enjoy the local cuisine every now and then. I used my housemate's coffee machine to save money, and I loved it! :)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20 - 30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would say to start saving your money now and also consider investing in a credit card for expenses like food and travel, but only use this when necessary. Also, start thinking about which other countries you would like to travel to while abroad, and remember that while away from home you will most likely be eating out on trips, so cook for yourself while home to save money.


* 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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Small City, Big Hearts
  • The Community and Irish Culture
  • My Forever Friends and Memories
* What could be improved?
  • Possibly adding one or two more trips to go on as a group (like one to Northern Ireland)?
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how fast this time would pass me by. I took ahold of most opportunities, but sometimes I let my fear or other factors get in the way. I'm proud of myself for putting myself out there more, but I wish that I spent more time just walking around Galway without any destination in mind, just to take it all in.

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.