Go For It Past Review

By (College of Mount Saint Vincent) - abroad from 09/12/2016 to 12/10/2016 with

IPSL: Ireland - Identity, Emigration, Religion and Film Making for Social Justice

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
One thing I really learned was how to handle stressful situations. I'm overall a pretty daring person, but there were times where i was well out of my comfort zone. I learned not to panic, to keep my head on, and handle what needs to be handled.

Review Photos

IPSL: Dublin - Study Abroad + Service Learning in Ireland Photo IPSL: Dublin - Study Abroad + Service Learning in Ireland Photo IPSL: Dublin - Study Abroad + Service Learning in Ireland Photo IPSL: Dublin - Study Abroad + Service Learning in Ireland Photo

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.

I enjoyed my classes a lot. At CMSV I felt I had more constant assignments than at DCU, I had one large assignment that accounted for all of my grade in each module, which was a bit daunting. I was also unfortunately unable to attend my tutorials, which counted for participation credit because I was doing my service.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Those who were on-site to help me were nice, and emailed often to check in. However, when it came to choosing courses, the International office gave me a hard time, because they were not prepared to accommodate my major, they tried to encourage me to take elective courses and "have fun," while abroad instead ofusing the opportunity to take courses that aren't available in America that would still advance my degree. There were those who were not happy that I took harder courses than he wanted me to take, and more classes than they would have liked (it was suggested I take 2 classes instead of the 4 that I would have needed to be a full time student).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was very kind. I would have liked to have them around more often, but all three members of the family were working all the time, and I was also at my service site 4 hours a day, on top of classes. They did not eat with me most nights, despite Sylvia scheduling dinner at 6:00, I would get home, and they would have eaten already, my meal would be served up and waiting for me on the table.

* Food:

My host mom was a very good cook, but there was not a huge amount of variety of things to eat. It wasn't the quality of the food that was unsatisfactory though, it was that we didn't share our meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Through service, and friendships made at DCU I felt wholly immersed. I studied on a different campus than the other students, so it encouraged me to make a bunch of Irish friends, studying in the same major as myself.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?


* Safety:

One thing that really amused my friends was that Dublin was so small a city for me. Once you've been in NYC every city seems smaller and safer. The people in Dublin were warm, and friendly, I never had a safty related incident.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

There are so many good memories of my time in Ireland, and I made so many friends, there's no way I could fit everything in so there's still things i know I have to do, I can't wait to go back. I chose "Go For It" as my title, because it encapsulates the nature of the freedom I had to try every new thing that came my way. Want to visit Belfast, and the Cliffs of Moher? Go for it, Want to spend midtem break climbing mountains in Norway? Go for it. Want to perform karaoke at a Drag Bar in city center? Go for it.


* 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)

In order to attend classes I had to commute an hour and a half, and take two different busses. The cost of commuting was very high, I was spending $30-$45 on getting to and from my classes/service site a week. On top of that, because I was leaving early in the morning, I would miss out on time with my host family, and eating breakfast with them, causing me to need to add that expense as well. The commute time, mixed with the price of commute was a budgeting problem I had not accounted for, I would have liked to be in a closer location to my university and the city center.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Purchasing lunch items from a grocery store like Lidl or Spar. Investing in a prepaid Leap Card for travelling.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • The people I met
  • The atmosphere/culture
  • The service
* What could be improved?
  • The organization of classes
  • Distance of home to class/service site
  • Interaction with host family
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? So much to do, so little time.