Full Year at TCD Past Review

By (ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE/LETTERS., University of Rochester) - abroad from 09/13/2013 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 gained the ability to live independently and make friends, making a home essentially starting from scratch in a new country. It was very, very worthwhile.

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.

All of my courses (history and literature) were graded depending on one essay or one exam score. All the exams took place in May, regardless of when the class was taken. I sat my history class exam five months after the class ended, which was challenging, but doable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in TCD housing in Trinity Hall, which at the time was used to house Freshers (first years) and some international students. I lived with other study abroad and Erasmus students in an flat in Trinity Hall which was well kept and safe, although laundry was very expensive.

* Food:

My flat was self-catered, so I made all my food. There are a lot of vegetarian options in Dublin, in grocery stores and restaurants, and while food was expensive, I never had trouble finding things I could eat.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was very integrated into the culture in a literal sense: I lived among Irish people, in Ireland, went to an Irish university, took classes with Irish students. I think that living there for the entire year helped a lot to make me feel more integrated and secure. Most of my friends were not Irish, however; the majority of them were other international students - not Americans - who I lived with, met through societies, and through friends of friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My IES insurance covered visits at Grafton Street Medical which is very conveniently located in Dublin and allowed me to get both primary care and have prescriptions made out. I did have to pay for medication out of pocket and then was reimbursed later, but it was much cheaper than it would have been in the US, and I paid nothing out of pocket to see the GP. I didn't need any vaccines for Ireland, and there were no major health issues while I was there.

* Safety:

For a capital city, Dublin is very safe. Most of the crime there is in muggings, but there's very little crime that involves weapons or injury. That being said, alcohol plays a factor into a lot of Dublin's safety issues (so be smart about when, where and with whom you drink) and it also has areas which are not safe, especially Smithfield and the Docklands, which shouldn't be wandered around at night, and especially not alone. I had no problems myself, but I know one person who did experience a problem with someone drunk on a train.

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)

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? Dublin is a VERY expensive city, but there are ways to live there on a budget. Taking advantage of student discounts (joining societies at TCD is a great way of doing this: you pay 5 euro to join the soc and they give you a membership card which gives you discounts -- all the socs have different discount partners), public transportation (or walking) instead of taxis, eating at home instead of eating out are all ways to save money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Location
  • University Offerings
  • Hands-off approach of the center
* What could be improved?
  • Easiness of credit transfer
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much I would have to buy to get set up: bed clothes, pots and pans, etc. There wasn't any estimate given for how much someone in university housing would have to spend for all that, so I didn't budget it.

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.'