Fabulous experience in a beautiful country with welcoming people! Past Review

By (University of New Mexico) - abroad from 07/01/2016 to 07/16/2016 with

Ireland Study Abroad Reflections: Comprehensive Reviews of Past Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was inspiring to feel the sense of community in Limerick and participate in the network of dedicated service groups.

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.

It was an incredible trip full of amazing experiences working with the various service groups in Limerick. I found the preparatory reading and writing assignments to be very interesting and valuable and loved the all classes. I particularly enjoyed the lectures by the local professors and would love to have more incorporated into the program for future students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

While there were a few organizational or communication glitches, the dedication of the host college staff was palpable and truly enriched the experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Basic but nice accommodations. It was sometimes necessary to get up early and hit the 'boost' button on the hot water heater in order to have a hot shower later, but overall, it was very comfortable.

* Food:

As a vegetarian, I was unsure what to expect but it was very easy to find good (to great) food. The accommodations only provide cereal, toast and tea, but there are individual food storage lockers and many refrigerators for storing supplemental food. The nearby pub has great fare.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt integrated with the culture, especially when I took advantage of the local community events of which we were informed by the host college.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

For the most part, I felt safer than I do in Albuquerque.

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

I would love to do the program again and


* 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? While eating out was very affordable and fun with the live music at a few of the nearby pubs, I could have saved a good deal of money by making a few more trips to the store and eating 'in' more during our stay. The accommodations have a fully equipped kitchen.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We were encouraged a great deal at the beginning of the trip but didn't get many reminders as the trip progressed. I had attempted to use apps to learn some vocabulary before the trip and felt more comfortable with the pronunciation by the end of the trip although I was too shy and didn't try often. I was greatly rewarded with an enthusiastic response when I thanked one of the local professors for her presentation!

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had only used apps to practice pronunciation of very basic words.
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Download the Duolingo and Nemo apps before you go and practice!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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 two weeks were filled with incredible experiences with local service groups.
  • The host college staff were fabulous and delightful.
* What could be improved?
  • a little more time to explore on our own would be great
  • more lectures with local professors
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had had more details about our schedule.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'