Past Review

By (Mechanical Engineering., Tufts University) for

IFSA: Limerick - University of Limerick

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely worth every penny. I gained experience dealing with cultures and places I wasn't used to, I gained a good deal of independence learning to take care of my own food supply (though I generally hated doing so!), I learned that time alone just spent wandering can be very rewarding, I learned that I can plan trips on my own (easter break was my idea), I gained an increased vocabulary and english comprehension by talking to people from Cork, and I learned that American culture is really more at odds with that in Europe in some respects, but is shockingly similar in others. It was absolutely brilliant. Anyone who's anything like me should jump at the chance.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Spring 2008

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There was no daily/weekly homework, but there were papers and lab reports that could be very time consuming. Exams were fairly easy.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They had LOTS of info sessions and talks to prepare students for their time abroad. They definitely put a lot of effort into making sure students were as comfortable as possible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Suite dormitory, each room had its own bathroom! <br /><br /> Having one's own bathroom in a suite is amazing. The only thing I could have asked for would have been a bathtub instead of a shower stall, but that's just getting greedy.

* Food:

They didn't REALLY have a meal plan, I don't think. Wound up going for groceries, which is a lot of work.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had a lot of fun just hanging out with people I'd met there. They generally seemed to be nice people, for the most part.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

We were told where we should and shouldn't go, and alcohol/alcoholism were addressed fairly thoroughly.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I would say probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-60 euro a week, depending on how cheap I was and how many group dinners we were doing.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It would have been easier if I'd had a few hours a week of work, just to get some spendable cash, but you're not allowed to get a job, sadly.


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

I learned some Irish slang, but they DO in fact speak english, despite what you may have heard!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get out and explore! UL borders on County Clare, so if you enjoy bike riding at all I HIGHLY advise getting a bike from UL's bike fair and riding around the countryside on it. I also advise making friends from different areas around Ireland, because if you say you're interested in seeing where they're from they'll probably be delighted to show you. Also, don't do what the other americans did when I went abroad... they spent a LOT of money getting drunk every night as soon as we arrived. They wound up broke fairly quickly, but I didn't partake (I'm not a big partier or drinker, I think I was the only one), and had money left for easter break. I spent that money on four days in Edinburgh with my best Irish friends, two days in Birmingham with old family friends from the states, and two days in Oxford taking in the sights by myself at my own pace. Breaks are a great opportunity to get out of the area and experience more.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Heat Transfer

Course Department: Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering
Instructor: Mark Davies
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Fairly standard engineering fare, didn't have any trouble learning it. There was a lab report, however, that devoured a week of my life.
Credit Transfer Issues: This one transferred easily.
Course Name/Rating:

Properties of Materials B

Course Department: Material Science and Technology
Instructor: Colin Birkinshaw
Instruction Language: English
Comments: TONS of handouts, but fairly straightforward. Lots and lots of material to learn, but the exam was more than fair.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Fibre Optics

Course Department: Material Science and Technology
Instructor: Conleth Hussey
Instruction Language: English
Comments: There were only four people in the class, so talking face to face with the professor was incredibly easy (though it wasn't hugely difficult for other classes). I learned a lot, despite the fact that I got no credit.
Credit Transfer Issues: This one did not transfer over. I misunderstood the criteria of what I was trying to transfer it for. I don't think it was time wasted though, was very educational.
Course Name/Rating:

Traditional Irish Music

Course Department: Irish World Academy of Music & Dance
Instructor: Orfhlaith Ni Bhriain
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Worth it just based on the fact that you get free music lessons with an irish instrument of your choice. I actually bought an irish drum as a souvenir, AND now I can play it. A little. Lectures are by no means bad, but sometimes it felt like there was a bit of rote memorization going on. Mostly fine, though.
Credit Transfer Issues: None, though it only counted as a humanity.