An effective and enjoyable language learning program in a beautiful location October 07, 2019

By (NotApplicable) - abroad from 07/12/2019 to 08/09/2019 with

National University of Ireland, Galway/ NUI Galway: International Summer School

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have learned to listen more and speak less, to focus on learning from a host culture instead of seeking to teach to it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrator, Gearóidín Uí Loideáin, is phenomenal. She made my and many other people's stays much easier by helping us navigate unexpected family emergencies and other difficulties that came up. She is an exceptional administrator - caring, thoughtful, clear, direct, and effective. She is a blessing to the program and is the primary reason I returned for a second year and will return again next summer for a third year.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Little to no Irish spoken in the home, but the room was fine and the hosts kind and respectful.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No experiences

* Safety:

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

Finances

* 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? $50

Language

* 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

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? A2
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Don't use English at the school or at home. Seek out people to talk to in public.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Program Director
  • Lasting connections to host families
  • Irish language immersion
* What could be improved?
  • Irish language in the host family setting
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That most host families host many students, which means that little if any Irish is spoken at home since the homes are filled with language learners who tend to use English. It's not the experience I initially imagined before coming the first year and picturing myself staying with a host family as the only student. This was fine once I knew what to expect, and I was excited to come back for a second year once I knew I could afford it.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!