Great Pubs and Great People of Galway Past Review

By (Biology, General., Providence College) for

IFSA: Galway - National University Ireland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad in Ireland was 100% worth it. Although it was difficult at times it was one of the best experiences of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I saw and did things I never even dreamed I would and I'm so thankful I was given this opportunity. I feel I am much more cultured and have memories to last a lifetime.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes I took were all 100 student lectures so attendance was not observed seriously by the Irish students. There were additional tutorials to attend that were smaller and more discussion based. I did not have any written quizes or exams, only midterm and final essays. I was generally not updated throughout the semester on my grade for each class. The workload is much less comparative to my home university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program administration in Ireland had some positive and negative aspects. Our orientation was in Dublin and I felt like when we were finally brought to Galway we were not adequately prepared there. We were not shown around Galway at all and arrived there at night so we were very lost. Our contact person in Galway was not accessible and did not check in with us especially during our first few weeks when we were getting settled. They did provide us with 2 very fun weekend trips as a program, Belfast and Killary Harbor. We were given a good background during orientation regarding academics, safety, culture, etc. I personally was having issues regarding my apartment utilities and when I reached out to my program leaders I did not feel like I was being appropriately aided and there was no follow-up regarding my issues.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Unfortunately I was incredibly disappointed with my housing in Ireland. I was in an apartment complex with American, international, and local students. The apartment was about a 30 minute walk to campus and a 30 minute walk to the center of town. We had to buy our own sheets and we were left to do this by ourselves at night on the day we got there. The apartments are located on a very main road in the city but overall it was a safe environment just without much aesthetic value. There were several issues with utilities in my apartment that I didn't feel was appropriately addressed by my landlord or my study abroad program. I did not have hot water the entire time I was in Ireland and in the beginning when it was cold out our heat was very minimal. When I would ask for these things to be looked at I was told several times that they were fixed or not even broken, however, the problem was never actually fixed. Unfortunately these little inconveniences made adjusting to life abroad very difficult. The nightlife in Galway city is amazing though! The pubs are so much fun and the local people are great to talk to. The music in the pubs is great and during the day walking through the city center and going into to the shops and cafes was one of my favorite parts of the entire experience.

* Food:

We mostly cooked dinner each night and saved a lot of money doing that so I would highly recommend that. Look for student discounts in the cafes in the city centre.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The trips to Belfast and Killary Harbor arranged by the program were exceptional. I had a lot of fun on both of these trips. Overall the cultural and social experience I received was amazing.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I always felt safe in Galway even walking at night from the city centre to my apartment.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook for yourself as much as possible and utilize grocery stores rather than eating out.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Galway
  • 2 weekends provided by program
  • the friends I made in the program
* What could be improved?
  • apartment
  • contact personnel in Galway
  • orientation to Galway
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I really enjoyed Galway despite the set backs. I met amazing friends and had a lot of fun experiencing the culture of Ireland. I would definitely recommend Galway.