A Semester of Adventures Past Review

By (The College of New Jersey) - abroad from 09/03/2019 to 12/21/2019 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more confident in myself and I learned to be more independent.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

I did the CISabroad Semester in Limerick program during the Fall 2019 semester. It was an incredible experience and I loved it so much that I am hoping to go back for graduate school. Some of the positive aspects of going to the University of Limerick through CISabroad was the assistance with pre-departure stuff, advising throughout the semester and after, and having a separate orientation with just CISabroad students. CISabroad made preparing to leave for Ireland so easy. They emailed you many times with detailed instructions and made sure you understood everything that was required before leaving to study abroad. They gave you specific times to book flights, took care of health insurance, paid your deposit, and got on campus housing for you. This was all so helpful and I felt like it made departure a lot less stressful and allowed me to worry less about leaving my home country. They even arranged for a bus to pick us up from Shannon airport and drop us off at our accommodation. I am thankful that we had CISabroad staff available for help throughout the semester as well to help with any questions. It was nice to know I always had a point of contact. The separate orientation was helpful as well, because although it felt like we had learned most of the information at University of Limerick's orientation, it was nice to hear it again in a smaller group setting. Meeting with other CISabroad students also allowed me to quickly find friends and to have more people to contact if I had questions. Where I felt CISabroad fell flat was with the planned excursions. Although the program did provide us with a few free meals and CISabroad dinners, the students in my program were under the impression that CISabroad would plan trips for us. We were told that there were 2 students in Dublin who would come on these trips with us, but that never happened. Granted, our on site advisor got another job, and we can't blame her for accepting a great opportunity, we felt that CISabroad didn't offer a good solution to this. We were provided a new advisor, however, they did not work for CISabroad and were instead a member of the University of Limerick staff. There solution for providing trips for us, was to cover the cost of any trips we went on through the University of Limerick's Student Life. While it was nice that these costs were being covered, it didn't add up to much. Trips typically were around 30 euros and we usually had to pay for our own meals while on these trips. The cost of food wasn't covered so, overall, we didn't feel we got our money's worth. Plus, these trips were open to the entire school, so we didn't feel like CISabroad followed through with planning trips just for us. Aside from the planned excursions, I feel CISabroad did their best in trying to come up with a solution to a problem that arose so quickly. It was an unfortunate situation, and we felt a little cheated out of excursions. That being said, I still was able to travel a lot and saw plenty of places on my own. The planned excursions would've been nice, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and adapt. Me and a few CISabroad students ended up planning trips amongst ourselves. It wasn't ideal but it turned out to be very fun. I will always be grateful for my time abroad and I have found a new love for travel. There are so many more countries I want to go to and I don't think I'll want to ever want to stop seeing new places. I didn't get everything I wanted out of CISabroad, but I do think it is a great program. They help a lot with advising, planning, and answering questions. I felt much more comfortable using a third party program than planning on my own. I'm sure excursions have been better in the past and will be better in the future. CISabroad did what they could given the challenges of trying to find a new advisor last minute. Things happen and they tried to offer a solution. I would recommend CISabroad for someone looking to study abroad because of how helpful they were and how easy they made transitioning into life in Ireland. Overall, whatever way you end up studying abroad, you'll have an amazing experience regardless.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Grocery shop at Lidl and Penney's!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • help with pre-departure stuff
  • home advisors were helpful and answered punctually
  • separate orientation
* What could be improved?
  • planned excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish we knew who was in our program before departure and maybe being able to be in a group chat or something before going to Ireland.

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.'