Wonderful Study Abroad Experience in Ireland Past Review

By (Political Science, Tulane University) for

IFSA: Cork - University College Cork

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
After studying in Ireland, I will be writing my Honors Thesis on the Northern Ireland Conflict. I learned how to live, travel, and adapt in a totally new environment. I loved everyone I met and every place I visited.

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.

Since it was the fall semester and Irish students take their exams in May, most of the classes were based on one grade--a Paper due at the end of the fall semester. There aren't really syllabuses, required reading, class attendance, or a participation grade. Therefore, the workload itself is smaller, as you only concentrate on one assignment, but the grading of those assignments was more harsh than at my home university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IFSA met us at the beginning with an orientation, they planned two trips-- an "adventure weekend" and a trip to northern ireland, both very fun experiences of things I probably wouldn't have done otherwise. They met with us throughout the semester, always including a free meal! Overall they were very helpful, and made my experience much less daunting.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

About a 15 minute walk to school, but a 45 minute walk to the city center and other students housing, caused many people not to do things at night since they didn't want to walk in the cold/rain. Needed to buy all things for the room, but none for the kitchen. The area was safe and on a busy road.

* Food:

nearest grocery store is a 10-15 minute walk, however, there were two close convenience stores that had a pretty big selection. The market in the city-center is great, but a 45 minute walk from lodging. Irish food in general is a little plainer than we are used to in the US, but definitely edible.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

loved every trip in ireland i took! fun to explore the small southern cities around Cork such as Blarney, Kinsale, Waterford. MIddleton food and drink festival was a great find as well.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Never felt unsafe anywhere in Ireland. However, one american student was mugged at night in a more quiet area of town (by the River, close to the movie theatre)

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)


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The Programs Helpfulness
  • The People
  • Ireland itself
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program would be most beneficial to students who would like to study in English, but still want to be engrossed in a rich, interesting culture. I loved everything about Ireland and would recommend it to anyone.