Living on Purpose Past Review

By (Chemical Engineering, University of Rochester) - abroad from 01/02/2015 to 05/23/2015 with

IES Abroad: Dublin Direct Enrollment - Trinity College Dublin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Now that I am back, I have no regrets about studying in Dublin. I am much more willing to try new things now and to find out what is going on in my community. Studying abroad forced me to seek out and try new experiences and I am not going to let that habit die. I am also more confident advocating for myself now. I have moved to a foreign country where I didn’t know anybody and know now that I am strong enough to make new friends and a new life, wherever I end up.

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.

The quality of the classes I took was excellent. The professors were at the top of their fields and very willing to help me. Homework assignments were minimal which meant that in depth learning had to be completely self motivated.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IES staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. However, the IES center was a significant walk from campus, meaning that most communication with them had to be intentional.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment IES provided was spacious, well kept, and centrally located. I couldn't ask for better.

* Food:

Ireland isn't home to the most exotic cooking, but meals are hearty. Cooking for yourself is the cheapest way to get by there are multiple grocery stores in and near city centre.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Since housing was off campus with other American students, it was hard to make Irish friends. IES did warn us that we would have to put in a lot of effort to connect with fellow Irish students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The IES staff was great at looking after students. I mentioned that my roommate wasn't feeling well to one of the staff and by the end of the day she had gotten multiple inquiries to her health and been offered many a cup of tea. The staff cares a lot about the students.

* Safety:

I felt safer walking through Dublin at 12 am than I do walking around my home university at 10 pm.

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)

Food in Dublin can be cheap if you find discount grocery stores and plan your meals accordingly. Since the apartment was in city centre, I did not have to worry about paying for commuter costs. Laundry was free since it was in our apartment.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 35 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Always keep in mind that everything you buy has to fit in your suitcase coming back. Spend your money on food and experiences and measure your expenses in terms of alcohol consumption. One glass of Guinness costs that same as a day trip to the sea side.


* 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
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?
  • apartment location
  • organized trips
  • friendly staff
* What could be improved?
  • regularity of IES contact
  • formal housing contract
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that real people send the IES emails. I thought that the preparatory emails were impersonal mass emails sent by a machine. They are actually sent by the staff who want to help you get ready for your trip.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.