ISA Galway was the best decision I ever made Past Review

By (Emmanuel College (Massachusetts)) - abroad from 06/21/2015 to 07/22/2015 with

ISA Study Abroad in Galway, Ireland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I made lifelong friends who I have traveled all over to keep in touch with. I learned about my own heritage, the history of an interesting place, and got to see some of the most beautiful sites on earth.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Kayte was the absolute most wonderful advisor anyone could ask for. We went back to visit two years later and got lunch with her again because we missed her so much. She still remembers our birthdays, leaves us messages in our group, and genuinely cares about us and our current lives. I cannot day enough wonderful things about her.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

WiFi was spotty but apartments were huge

* Food:

Get Gino’s ice cream every day. It worth it. Market is worth it every day. Buy the crepe.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everyone was really friendly and happy to talk to us. Many, many old men in pubs wanted to sit and tell us stories about ireland because they actually just love it that much. It’s a very social place and all of the locals were extremely friendly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got shin splints and Kayte got me ice packs. That was the extent of my healthcare experience.

* Safety:

We regularly walked around after dark. At no point did I ever feel unsafe in Galway.

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

This was the best thing I have ever done and I would recommend it to anyone.


* 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 depends what you want. You absolutely can live in a low budget here, but going to pubs and market are cultural experience I don’t feel are worth saving a few dollars. It is definitely cheaper than Boston though, no matter what.

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? Bargain shop. Bring granola bars and snacks when traveling so you can eat light meals.


* 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 all given free classes in Irish with a wonderful teacher, but it was understood that no one really came in with a background. We were only expected to use Irish when we visited Conemarra, and only for greetings and basic manners.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
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? None in Irish
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I didn’t realize anyone used Irish at all, but apparently all Irish students hav to learn it at school. You never have to, but it’s good to know that all the road signs and such will be in Irish and English, and there are regions of the country where only Irish is spoken

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Kayte!!!
  • The friends I made through ISA
  • Traveling to Kerry
* What could be improved?
  • The WiFi
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I would genuinely consider staying in Ireland and never leaving.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.