Ireland: More Than You Expect Past Review

By (International Studies, Fordham University) - abroad from 01/03/2014 to 05/24/2014 with

IES Abroad: Dublin Direct Enrollment - Trinity College Dublin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the relationship between Ireland and America. It was extremely worthwhile. Like many others on the program, I have Irish heritage but it is extremely important to remember that your experience and imagination of what Irish people are like is probably not right if you're basing it off of your own family and old stories. As all places have, Ireland has changed over time and people should visit Ireland with an open mind and eagerness to discover what modern Ireland is like. The most valuable things I learned were how Irish students see their own society, their history, and their connections with America. Ask them about their opinions!

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.

I was not disappointed by any of my classes. I found them to be about the same difficulty as my home school but requiring a lot more independence from the students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The folks at IES are outstanding. They are helpful, fun, and all-around great people to get to know.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing in Dublin was great. IES placed us in very spacious apartments and since the city is so small none of the placements in the program were out of the way.

* Food:

Buying food in Ireland is a lot different than the US. In general, don't expect to be able to find many frozen products or pre-made options. Eating out was also pricey but at least it didn't require a tip. I didn't eat much food from Trinity but what I did have was never bad. And Dublin does have adequate options for vegetarians.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I made special effort to make Irish friends at Trinity. Most of my smaller classes were full of seniors so they obviously has their friend groups, but I reached out to them anyway and left having made some solid connections. It is definitely possible to refrain from immersing yourself in Irish culture so you have to go out (not with a huge group of Americans), participate in extracurricular activities, and be open and ready to listen to and learn from the local people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

IES will send you to the right doctors and you already will have travel insurance so it isn't a hassle. One does not need vaccinations for Ireland-- perhaps bring cold medicine, though. Theirs is not as strong and is expensive and it is not uncommon for people who aren't accustomed to wind and rain to get sick.

* Safety:

I was never afraid of my surroundings in Dublin. It is a very safe city according to most people I met and I never experienced problems.

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)

The cost of living in Dublin is high. Couple that with all of the fun things you will want to experience and the extra traveling you will do and you are looking at a large sum of money. NYC is expensive, but I don't do as many activities all the time here and food can be found for much cheaper.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Decide early on how you will divide your spending money. Do you want to buy things to bring home or do you want to travel or do activities?


* 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?
  • Trinity Professors
  • IES Housing
  • Trip to Causey Farm
* What could be improved?
  • More time in Belfast during the NI trip
  • The mail situation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The classes you plan on taking might not be available when you register at Trinity.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!