Unforgettable. Past Review

By (ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS., West Chester University of Pennsylvania) - abroad from 09/14/2014 to 12/14/2014 with

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Dublin - Semester in Dublin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I went to see if I could live in Ireland for good and to see if I could handle their academics. I was successful at both. I was able to travel throughout Europe at such a low rate (Ryanair) and saw so many cultures within 8 months. I went to France, Spain, Scotland, and different parts of Ireland. I wouldn't give that up for the world, and I mean it. If you can go abroad do it, you will experience something new every day and something as simple as walking down the street becomes magical when you are in another country.

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.

Dublin City University treated their students as adults, which sometimes doesn't happen in the states. No professor is taking attendance, grading small homework assignments daily, or having your write name cards and do ice breakers the first week. They lay out the assignments of the semester (usually 2-3) and expect you to do your own outside learning as well as attend classes. If you choose not to, it is on you. That does not mean that they do not help you, most of my professor encouraged students to meet with them outside of class and were some of the most delightful and helpful people I've ever met. If you are American, you are going to have to step up in your academic rigor and understand your responsibilities. But all of the resources are there for you, and you never, ever have to buy a text book!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

CIS Abroad were so helpful in housing! I was personally considering moving to my own housing due to my circumstances and they were so willing to help make that happen for me. When I decided to stick with the student accommodation, they did not deny it to me and understood. I ended up not being a huge fan of the housing, but that was no fault of CIS Abroad. If you choose the student housing, it is almost perfect for everyone. You have your own bathroom within your room and plenty of space. You share a kitchen with three other people.

* Food:

I miss Irish food every day!!! I am so sad that I do not have Irish cheese and meat in my life at the moment. They take farming seriously, and there is no mass production or awful standards for the animals that result in diseases or sickness passed to humans. Irish food is the most tasty on earth I personally believe, and there is something for everyone. Being such a small island, you are guaranteed fresh seafood daily and can visit a fishing village within such a close distance. The farm food (such as eggs, meat, cheese, and butter) are to die for. And you can't forget Irish chocolate: Cadburys, Galaxy, Flakes, etc.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It is no problem for English speakers! You can understand everyone perfectly fine. You're going to hear some words you aren't used to such as "craic" "mental" and "deadly" (at least in Dublin) but you will learn their meanings soon enough. The Irish speak faster than Americans, so beware of that if you interview anyone...a recording device might be helpful! But everything is so easy to figure out (such as where to buy groceries, phone plans, bus passes), and who doesn't love an Irish accent?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no personal needs for healthcare, but the healthcare you are provided with won't include things such as dental and general doctor check ups so be sure to visit those before you take off!

* Safety:

I felt so safe at DCU. Dublin, as any city, can have those spots you may want to avoid after a certain time and always beware of pickpockets in busy areas. But I had no issues and never felt unsafe once. And the Irish don't get their reputation for generosity for nothing, ask a pedestrian for directions when your lost and theres a 70% chance they may walk you there themselves.

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)

Be very careful, Ireland is expensive! Well, Dublin is at least. Groceries are pretty pricy and that Aran sweater everyone wants is too. You CAN work on a student visa, so keep that in mind. But defiantly have a good savings account you're willing to break down during your stay. If you are American, currently the euro is worth more and you also have that pesky exchange rate. Make sure you find out the cheapest way for yourself to exchange currency!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I'd say at least 100 euro.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Yes! Find a job if you're willing. That way you are making euros and don't even have to worry about the exchange rate. But if you are going to explore the country for possibly the only time, save up before you go abroad. Make friends with Tesco (their cheapest supermarket) and keep a budget! CIS Abroad gives you over 3 long trips that cover the basic staples of Ireland's tourism points, so you won't need much money for traveling within Ireland.


* 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
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The trips CIS provided us with.
  • The ability to travel cheaply
  • The college of DCU
* What could be improved?
  • The semester should go until Jan. 14, for CIS, because it is so limiting to not be able to take exams and only be offered those courses with papers at the end.
  • Allow other students of the university to partake on CIS Abroad trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack as light as you can! Four months is a long time to buy something for your friends, parents, grandparents, yourself, etc. You can buy anything you need once you are there. Packing light is a money saver in its own right!

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.'