The best experience of my life Past Review

By (Fairfield University) - abroad from 09/03/2014 to 12/20/2014 with

Fairfield University: Galway - Semester or Year in Ireland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how I truly The independent how to buy my own groceries and cook for myself how to travel and fend for myself when I needed to, and his to trust my own instincts and abilities to take care of myself. I really learned how to relax during this trip: how to not sweat the small stuff and take everything in stride. This was by far the least stressed I've ever been in my entire life, and I hope to take some of the lessons I have learned home with me. While abroad I realized how truly lucky I have been in my life and I became so grateful for all of the love and support I have from family and friends back home. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.

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?

The apartment itself was great, but I wish more had been done in terms of roommate selection. One of my roommates was extremely difficult to deal with and made living in my apartment a far less than enjoyable experience. Next time, offering a basic roommate compatibility quiz would be very hopeful for incoming students, especially as they acclimate to life in a new country.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Although I personally found it difficult to meet Irish students at NUIG, it was very easy once you got out into the city. The Irish are the kindest, most welcoming people you'll ever meet, and the sheer number of local pubs offering traditional music or dance performances makes it easy to get a feel for Irish culture. Galway is a small city, and it's really easy to get to know it and feel at home in a very short amount of time.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Galway was probably the safest city that I visited (I also traveled to Barcelona, Paris, and Amsterdam). Never once did I feel unsafe or nervous walking around. In my experience, crime was nonexistent. Just be smart when traveling, and you'll be fine!

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)

Although I set a budget initially, I found it was extremely difficult to stick to it and definitely spent more than I had planned. I don't regret this, but students should know that study abroad will probably be more expensive than they anticipate; traveling to other countries, going out to eat, and souvenir expenses are all things that can add up quickly.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $120
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Write down everything you buy! This sounds a little tedious, but doing this and keeping track of your spending week by week can help you get an idea of where your money is going. This way, you know if you have room in your budget to spend a little more, or, if you went over-budget the week before, you can scrimp a little bit the following week to balance it out.


* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The activities and trips offered by Fairfield
  • The location of my apartment
  • All of the friends I made
* What could be improved?
  • The roommate situation – offering a compatibility quiz or someway to make sure that roommates will get along well
  • Giving information about study abroad in Galway specifically before departure
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How expensive it would be! I have no regrets about the money I spent while abroad but I wish I had known beforehand how much it would really cost.

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 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.