No regrets! Amazing semester exploring Dublin Past Review

By (Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester) - abroad from 01/12/2013 to 05/31/2013 with

IES Abroad: Dublin Direct Enrollment - Trinity College Dublin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Naturally, I learned so much about Ireland and, surprisingly, found a new appreciation for American culture. I made life-long American friends in the IES program as well as locals and international students at Trinity. Being thrown into a new city where I knew no one was a character-building experience. I have become much more comfortable meeting new people and networking. It was certainly worthwhile--everyone should go abroad if they can!

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Dublin - Study Abroad at Trinity College Dublin Photo IES Abroad: Dublin - Study Abroad at Trinity College Dublin Photo

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.

I took 6 courses at Trinity to fulfill a full course load at my home university. I took 3 advanced chemistry courses, 1 microbiology course (basic science course), and 2 art history courses. The art history and basic science departments were very welcoming to international students, and helped us get oriented. The advanced chemistry courses, however, were very difficult to get adjusted to. Professors were not familiar with how to integrate international students into courses (probably because very few international students take advanced chemistry at Trinity). Overall, I really enjoyed Trinity--it was a great experience to adjust to a very different educational style. It is just important to make sure you understand which classes to take before jumping into the program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IES center staff are so friendly and welcoming. They all make an effort to get to know students on a personal level by having monthly coffee mornings, IES-sponsored trips throughout Ireland, and in daily interactions at the center and by email. The administration was so helpful, and they were more than willing to give students advice about anything. I especially liked to ask the staff about activities to do in the Dublin area.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in an apartment in Ballsbridge (very safe neighborhood with lots to do, 10 minutes from Trinity and heart of the city) with 4 other American girls. Our apartment was comfortable and in a convenient location. I made lifelong friends in that apartment!

* Food:

Irish restaurant culture has changed a lot in the past 20 years, and there is a very diverse spread of dining options. You can find traditional Irish fare, pub food, and international restaurants throughout the city!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By joining clubs at Trinity, such as the hiking club, co-ed choir, and soccer team, I felt integrated with the local culture. I made great Irish and international students through these clubs. The casual pub culture also helped!

* 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


* 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)

Living in Dublin was fairly expensive--food and alcohol are definitely more pricey than in the U.S. However, there are plenty of free activities to do in Dublin. There are many lovely parks and all of the museums are free.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? A lot of my friends (and me!) found themselves in a bit of a tough spot because we spent the majority of our allotted budget in the first month. My advice would be to save up before your semester abroad and to pace yourself throughout the semester!


* 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
* 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?
  • Meeting locals
  • Exploring Dublin and Irish countryside
* What could be improved?
  • Guide to Trinity's courses and academic system
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I participated in one of the volunteering or internship opportunities offered by all of the IES abroad centers. Many of my friends in Ireland participated by helping young locals improve their writing skills.