Ireland: fed my desire for future travels! Past Review

By (Physician Assistant, Springfield College) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was able to travel while in Ireland and each time I learned of the culture. I believe the best thing I gained from studying abroad was the ability to reach beyond my own comfort zone and try new things. I was able to play soccer for the team over here after never playing in my life before. I was also able to meet the most amazing people while abroad that I intend on remaining friends with. My traveling outside of Ireland was also amazing and I would have never had that opportunity if I hadn't studied abroad. Traveling within Europe is so cheap and so easy! I cannot wait to plan my next visit abroad. I was able to learn some of the Gaelic language while here and that is not an easy feat. I intend to volunteer abroad now and become intertwined with cultures other than my own. I have opened my eyes to their beliefs and ways of life which has been an amazing experience.

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 workload was definitely different at UL. For starters, some of the courses I took only required 1-2essays for the entire semester and then had a final exam at the end. If you're decent at writing essays this is definitely a plus! I never had any homework except for some reading in a womens writing course, which was to be expected. Overall, the courses were not too difficult and I'd recommend taking courses that are interesting.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program was definitely helpful when I needed questions or needed to fax information to my home college. There were so many students in this program from all over the world which enabled me to meet many different people. I was able to meet Irish students as well but became closer with my friends in the international student program. The only thing I wish I had done differently was to be more outgoing in classes to meet more Irish friends.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my apartment/dorm. My room was very comfortable and spacious and had a great view of the Shannon River. I didn't need to buy anything except hand soap, towels, toilet paper, and extra sheets if I wanted them. The kitchen came prepared with cookware and utensils for each person in the apartment.

* Food:

There were vegetarian cafe's if one needed them and grocery stores a plenty. There are no food halls though so I needed to buy groceries and cook my own meals, which I didn't mind at all. Or I could meet my friends for a tasty meal at any one of the cafe's around campus. The scones here are delicious! I would recommend eating at the Sports Bar, Stables, or Paddocks, all of which are situated on campus.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There are specific nights out each week( Mondays & Wednesdays) in pubs around town that have traditional Irish music being played by local bands. The music is great if you find the right pub and ask around. I loved hearing the Trad music and the pubs are full of friendly people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never had any safety problems but I would never walk alone at night, either downtown or around campus. There is a health room on campus that allows you to sign up for a visit and get free care if you need it. The emergency rooms are busy and definitely somewhere you should go your whole time abroad without visiting if you can help it. You'll be waiting for ages in there if its required.

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
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I definitely would only recommend studying abroad if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone, push yourself to go out and meet people and be prepared for any kind of experience. I witnessed international students over here who were hermits and hated their life because they were unwilling to push their own boundaries. You really have to want to gain from this experience.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Traditional Irish Music and Dance

Course Department: MD4021/MU4135
Instructor: Multiple instructors
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class definitely gave you an essence of the culture of music in Ireland. The teachers all are quite knowledgeable in the subject as they are all musicians, dancers or singers. The class offers tutorials in a specific Irish instrument or Irish step dance which is the enjoyable part of the class. There is an end of the year performance that is not graded but just fun. I got to see what everyone else learned to play/do and likewise was able to show off my tin whistle skills :)
Credit Transfer Issues: This transferred Visual/Performing Arts credits to my home college. I would recommend this course to anyone who wishes to fulfill this requirement abroad and their home college accepts this course.