Remembering Ireland: The Best Craic I Ever Had Past Review

By (Butler University) - abroad from 01/21/2013 to 05/23/2013 with

IFSA: Limerick - University of Limerick

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Honestly, I didn't gain a whole lot of book smarts during my semester abroad. What I lacked there, I definitely made up for in learning about myself. Studying abroad was an amazing growing experience for me. I had been struggling with some relationships at home before I left, but being away from them made it clear to me that the relationships I have to work for at home are ultimately the most important. I was able to come to Europe, see great things, meet new people and blow off steam, and now I am ready to go back, complete my senior year and get started in the big girl world.

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.

Classes in Ireland are extremely different than they are in the States. I not only found the classes to be easier, but also found that Irish students didn't really work at hard in school as most students do in the States. The final exams are mostly in essay form, and they can be over pretty random topics from the semester. Lectures don't take attendance, but I recommend going to tutorials when they are held for more individual attention and the tutors are great for answering questions.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IFSA Ireland staff was amazing. They stayed pretty connected to us all through Facebook, and organized welcome and farewell dinners for us in our host city. They also took us on two weekend trips and did a great job with orientation.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living situation at University of Limerick is amazing. I really enjoyed the fact that we all got individual rooms that had our own shower and bathroom included. I didn't even have to buy bedding or a duvet, because those were provided by the Accomodations staff. Dromroe Village was also a great central location on campus.

* Food:

Buying food in Ireland seems to be more expensive than back in the States. Also, getting to the grocery stores around town was a bit of a hike. The food in Ireland is overall pretty bland and not too flavorful.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was fairly easy to integrate with local culture. The Stables bar on campus is a great place for mingling, and all of the Irish students I met were eager to invite us to house parties and to go out in town with them. For the most part, everyone was extremely friendly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The IFSA program fees include health insurance covereage while abroad. I never had to use the service luckily. When I got sick, I was able to buy Ibuprofin and related drugs over the counter and that's all that I needed.

* Safety:

I had heard somewhat bad reviews about the town of Limerick being "the ghetto" of Ireland but I found it to be a nice town. I was never concerned about walking at night, either alone or in a group and found public transportation to be safe.

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)

It was heard adjusting to the mindset of living on a budget because I never have had to do that before, mostly because I've always had a job while I've been in school, so in the past I have never had to worry about running out of money. I definitely over spent at the beginning, but once I got used to how much I could live off of a week, and saw how far I could stretch that, I found myself using less and less money.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It may be tempting to blow a bunch of money on alcohol, but I strongly recommend doing that in moderation. Have some crazy nights, obviously, but personally, I'd much rather spend money on a trip somewhere in Europe rather than at a local pub.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International 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?
  • Travel opportunities
  • Meeting people from all different backgrounds
* What could be improved?
  • The location of Limerick wasn't my favorite
  • More integration with other students outside of the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have known more about Limerick's location. Travelling anywhere else in Europe was honestly a bit of a hassle. Getting to Dublin airport for flights takes about 3 or 3.5 hours by bus. Partly through being here, I discovered that I am more of a big city person than a small town one, so personally I would pick a proram in a larger city.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.