Expensive, isolating and not stimulating Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/20/2019 to 05/05/2019 with

Trinity College - Dublin: Dublin - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I don't feel I learned much about myself. I think most people who say that are lying. After you adjust, you feel like you're just living normal life. It's hard to feel comfortable when the locals remind you how much of a Yankee you are.

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.

I thought the lectures (history and sociology) were not engaging and didn't like the feeling of being thrown insane amounts of information at one time with no real chance to comment on the material. All of the "learning" took place during memorization after class. My sociology professor seemed unsure how to lecture to students and didn't know what to do when no one would respond to his questions. I felt we learned the same thing every week and didn't fully dive into the nuances of the subject. My small English class was better, probably because of the size and nature of English courses. They didn't even have my major, which Wellesley's database said they did, so I couldn't take any classes for my major.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Things are *extremely* hands off. They tell you this, but they don't tell you the extent (they make it seem like it's just that no one will tell you to do your homework). Instead, I wasn't even aware there were syllabi for my classes until the third week, so I had no idea we'd been assigned homework for reading. Very little instruction overall on very important matters that are quite different from the American system (like almost all information being in the course-specific student handbooks that we were never told about).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with family off-campus. It was free which was nice but an hour's bus ride away from campus and the student quarters. Would've liked to live in the student housing if it hadn't been so ungodly expensive.

* Food:

Food wasn't provided.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I made Irish friends in clubs and befriended some Americans in the student housing. Mostly I felt isolated because of my housing situation, though.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No comment

* Safety:

The area where the student housing was (Binary Hub) is widely known by locals to be sketchy, mostly at night. I didn't feel comfortable walking around there at night and wish someone had told me that (also, why is student housing located there?) It's right next to a huge tourist spot (Guinness brewery) but that doesn't make it less sketchy. Other than that, I felt safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I wouldn't go abroad at all. I would've taken the semester off so I could get a real break from school and make money instead of spending everything


* 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)

Dublin is very expensive. There aren't any student transportation discounts, which was very hard for me because I lived in Dublin 12. Food wasn't cheap, either.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't go abroad. But if you do, live with family/friends who will give you free housing and maybe even share meals with you (I didn't share meals with mine because I'm a vegetarian).


* 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

  • 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?
  • student organizations
  • local culture
  • landscape
* What could be improved?
  • communication prior to trip
  • literally any program specific information from STUDENTS who went to the same place
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How to set myself up logistically for life abroad (banking, phone plan, etc.). I read all the pamphlets and handbooks that Wellesley and Trinity gave me and followed their directions and ended up spending hundreds more than I needed to. I wish I would've known how difficult it would be to not be able to work (or that I couldn't work), both financially and socially. Wish I had known that I wouldn't have enjoyed it.

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.