Beautiful country and experience March 28, 2022

By (Pennsylvania State University - University Park / Penn State) - abroad from 08/31/2021 to 12/18/2021 with

IES Abroad: Dublin Direct Enrollment - Trinity College Dublin

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It sounds obvious, but I definitely learned how to adapt to new situations. The smallest things that you don't expect to be different are, from the way public transport works to how Irish dairy products taste, but you learn to love them in their own way (sometimes more than what you'd been used to). I'm also even more independent and self-sufficient now from planning multiple weekend trips entirely by myself, in non-English speaking countries.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

IES and most everything was great. Trinity's administration is rather abysmal in many regards, though.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IES staff were available whenever we needed anything, and they sent us relevant information throughout the semester.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Really nice aesthetically, lots of space and privacy.

* Food:

Traditional Irish food isn't really my thing personally, but the shrimp & chips with garlic sauce were amazing :)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The way classes were structured didn't really allow me to meet any locals. I did join some clubs, but a lot of events were still virtual due to COVID. I don't have any Irish friends now (but I do have other American friends from my program). I did spend a lot of time in city centre with locals and stuff though. I don't think IES could have really done much more on their part to improve this, it was mostly the school situation and the fact that I only went out with my roommates and didn't really meet anyone else.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Like any big city, it isn't going to be 100% safe, especially at night, but I personally never had any big issues.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The actual way that classes were set up (one class a week only, 100% of grade from final exam so no incentive to actually pay attention and do the classwork, etc.) did not facilitate engagement with the course material very well, and the overall administration at Trinity was difficult to contact and work with. Other than that, the campus was pretty and in a good location so close to city centre that I would still choose it out of any other school in Dublin/Ireland. I would also still choose Ireland, since I needed an English-speaking country for my degree requirements and have always wanted to go.


* 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? Probably around $100 on groceries and takeout, then a bit more on transport, occasional things, from shops, etc.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely make sure you cook at least sometimes. Drinks also add up very quickly, especially depending on the place you go, so keep that in mind. Don't forget to ask for concessions (student discount) at places that might offer them.


* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Lots of time to travel around
  • IES staff was always ready to help
  • Housing with all the other American students allowed us to have a good extended friend group to do things with
* What could be improved?
  • Trinity's administration, but that's not really applicable
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it would be difficult to integrate with locals if I didn't make a concerted effort. I enjoyed spending time with my roommates enough that I didn't really try enough to meet new people, which I wish I would have done, although doing that outside of school was difficult especially due to COVID.

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!