Irish Life Lessons Past Review

By (PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES., Trinity University) - abroad from 01/01/2013 to 05/31/2013 with

IFSA: Cork - University College Cork

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself. The first few weeks were very difficult for me because I had never been that far away from everything I know. I learned that I am more self-sufficient than I thought I could be. I am now much more confident in myself and my abilities. I also learned to adopt the important philosophy of life that the Irish people have. They care so much about other people and are the kindest people I have ever met. Everyone is so willing to lend a helping hand to complete strangers. They always have time to talk and they genuinely care about how you are doing. The Irish people profoundly touched my heart. I will constantly strive to be more like them.

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.

The program was not as rigorous as I was expecting. This was not the fault of the program though. Irish students just have a different mentality. The American students were "the annoying ones" who worked harder than the Irish students. I did enjoy most of my classes though.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very well organized and they were always there to help with whatever we needed. I was very happy with IFSA; its a wonderful program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing was in a good location, close to campus but not too far from the center of town.

* Food:

I cooked my own food. So it was good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My friends and I integrated very well. Irish people are so kind and they welcome strangers with open arms. Also our program provided us with some very useful information to avoid severe culture shock in the orientation.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I rate it at 50 because I had no experience with the healthcare. I have no idea how it was.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe in Cork. My friends and I frequently had to walk back to our dorms at night and we never felt unsafe. Also the Guarda officer we talked to during our orientation said that crime is very low and assured us that if we ever felt unsafe for any reason to call a Guarda officer immediately and they would come to our aid, even if we just wanted someone to walk back to our dorms with us. More evidence of the kindness of the Irish.

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)

I used about 400 a month on food on expenses.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100 a week, about.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook your own food, dont go out all the time. Don't buy souvenirs for your friends until the end so you can figure out how much money you have left.


* 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

  • Local Students
* 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?
  • Ger and Suzi- always willing to help!
  • Step Dancing class at UCC
  • The lasting friends I made, both Irish and American
* What could be improved?
  • A little more guidance when we got to Cork
  • housing- cleaner
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wished I had brought proper clothing. As a native Arizonan, I have lived in the desert my whole life. I looked up the temperature but it didn't mean much to me since I had never been in weather that cold before. There's not much I could have done about that though!

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Step Dancing

Course Department: Music
Instructor: Margaret McCarthy
Instruction Language: english
Comments: This was an amazing class. I enjoyed every second of it! It was a practical class where we learned Irish step-dancing. Margaret was a magnificent teacher who taught us difficult steps but was very patient with us. She was very well informed and a very talented dancer herself. She taught us about Irish culture as well. All in all my favorite class by far. I recommend it to everyone I talk to.
Credit Transfer Issues: