Some of the best friends i've ever made in my new favorite city on earth Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/11/2018 to 05/25/2018 with

Trinity College - Dublin: Dublin - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I made some of the best friends I've ever had while living abroad. I fell in love with a wonderful girl and I had some of my best days in my life so far. I got to explore a truly incredible and jaw-droppingly beautiful country, and the experience of living in Dublin is one that is so amazing that I will never be able to wholly describe it.

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.

It is a well-renowned institution, however, it often felt like I wasn't really being taught much. I know I did learn new things, however the lecture style is very inaccessible and the learning process is directed at the students, without working with the students at all. There was a lot of 'optional' (but seemingly required) reading that were only available in the libraries on campus. Most required resources were not accessible online, which was frustrating for times such as the snowstorm this spring, and other times when living 25 minutes from campus made accessing physical materials difficult. Professors were very distant and unresponsive. There was little to no continuous feedback on midsemester assignments.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration of Trinity is very old-fashioned. While they seemed to get things done, applying for classes partially on paper and partially online made it very difficult to coordinate and actually register properly. I and others I knew had several issues with the administration in registering for classes, obtaining student ids, and getting proper documentation in order to register with immigration.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My apartment at Aparto Binary Hub provided a lot of great things, like a dorm-like community for study abroad students, and nice amenities. It was very expensive, perhaps too expensive for the small spaces. It was nice to have a full kitchen, living space, and personal bed and ensuite bath.

* Food:

I cooked for myself. I enjoyed my own cooking a lot.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Dublin is a friendly place. If you are wiling to go out and explore and visit local pubs, seek out trad music, and act like a local rather than a tourist, people accept you and want to bring you into their culture. You could spend a day in Dublin alone and not feel lonely. Irish people are generally kind and welcoming. Pub Culture is all about making connections with strangers.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The severest health issue I faced was a cold, and I was able to obtain medicated cough drops from pharmacy without issue. Many people I know had colds due to the heavy wet air and cold wet winter, but were all able to make it through with little more than cold medicine and hot tea. A friend did go to the emergency room once for a bad illness, and she said it was relatively easy, aside from some cost to her.

* Safety:

Many local people told me that my apartment building was in 'unsafe' neighborhood, but I was never afraid to walk alone in the city. I was definitely wary at night, but most of Dublin is well-lit and busy into late hours of the night. I never encountered more crime in my entire time there than petty pickpocketing during the St. Patrick's Day parade, and that was a friend of a friend. As long as you're aware of the city you're in and make smart choices, you will be just fine in Dublin.

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

I wouldn't trade Dublin over anything, and as frustrating as Trinity was, I felt like I was a part of history to be at such an old and iconic school with some really wonderful Irish friends.


* 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 was not largely expensive to get groceries and spend money on drinks at pubs and such. It did depend, however, on which grocery store you were shopping at. Lidl was extremely cheap, I never spent more than 30 euro at a time there, where some grocery stores like Fallon and Byrne were unreasonably costly.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Unsure
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I am not the right person to ask, because I took out a great amount of loans to study abroad at all. Because of this, I did not budget in a traditional way.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Living in and exploring Dublin
  • The friends I made
* What could be improved?
  • Accessibility at Trinity
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I would have some bad days, and I wouldn't make friends right away, and that it would be really hard at first. But once it stopped being hard, once I made friends, it would be amazing. That I didn't need to constantly be doing something new or exploring Dublin, Ireland, or Europe to be getting the most out of my study abroad experience. That Trinity was worth it despite frustrations. That by the end, I wished it would never ever end.

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 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.