Not For Me August 15, 2023

By (Theatre Studies, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/16/2022 to 12/01/2024 with

Trinity College - Dublin: Dublin - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I realised how much I valued and missed my friends and experiences at Wellesley.

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.

I personally did not thrive in this environment, partially due to personal difficulties in adjusting (for example, I got COVID, and I also wasn't able to take classes that were actually in my major). But I also felt that there was a lack of real support at Trinity. I found it difficult to find resources or information for my classes. I also wasn't used to classes where there was much less of a personal one-on-one relationship between professors and students. My initial tour of the college was very brief and given by someone who hadn't known they'd be giving a tour that day. I enjoyed the lectures and field trips at the beginning of the trip, but in general I think it would have been better if they made the initial introduction summer program less academically rigorous, and more focused on culture and socialising, as people adjust to being at a new university, in a new country. I also found my classes

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

As I said, I was generally frustrated by the lack of accessibility for resources at Trinity. Everything felt very disorganised (like the fact that the entire university registers for classes through a google form, and so it takes up to three days before you know if you've been approved for a class.) The two administrators for the two-week intro study abroad student program were very nice and friendly, however!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My living arrangements were fine, but a little more isolated and independent than I was used to in dorm living -- definitely an adjustment. Mostly, I found/heard from others that the cost of living in third party student housing was exorbitant, and I knew many people from other study abroad programs who had to stay in hostels until they were able to find their own housing. The housing is definitely not affordable or accessible -- for example, the Kavanagh Court doors are very heavy and have no automatic open. The laundry was also extremely expensive, although I understand that these are not necessarily issues that the study abroad program can specifically address.

* Food:

In general, food was good! It was mostly nice being able to cook for myself!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I received very little helpful information from the program or from my university on healthcare, receiving medications, scheduling doctor's appointments, etc. In general I was displeased with the disorganisation of Trinity, and Trinity's website -- I found it hard to find helpful student resources. However the local healthcare in Dublin -- which is much more universal and therefore much less expensive -- is far superior to the United States healthcare system, even just as a study abroad student. COVID tests and medicine, for example, were much cheaper.

* Safety:

Dublin itself was a fairly small city (I also come from NYC) and so felt mostly safe -- however I think the area I was staying in was a bit dodgier, and as a woman walking alone at night there were several moments I definitely felt unsafe around the area of Kavanagh Court, when I was either catcalled or followed home.

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

It was definitely not for me -- I should have taken classes I was really passionate about, and gone somewhere with more support and structure, in a smaller community. I also would rather have gone somewhere where I could really work on my language skills. I didn't love the city of Dublin, although I did think Ireland was beautiful.


* 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? I think I spent at least 200+ a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The laundry in third party student housing was extremely expensive, so in addition to cooking at home, I would also recommend buying a drying rack and even washing some of your clothing in the sink. Groceries are fairly cheap -- what you need to budget for is spending too much money on social events/going out for food.


* 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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Travelling Ireland
  • Independence
  • Cooking
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Support
  • Resouces
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That you should take a program not just because you want to travel, but because you are genuinely excited about the academic opportunities! And to be prepared for huge culture shock

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

War and Peace in Modern Europe

Course Department: History
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was definitely challenging -- but I was frustrated by the lack of feedback on coursework, especially given the speed at which the lectures moved. Mostly my TA would often conduct seminars on topics that we hadn't actually had a lecture for yet -- lack of background knowledge (which we would then often receive that same day at our lecture just a few hours later) on the resources that we were supposed to have prepared for our seminar sessions seriously hindered our ability to actually have an in-depth discussion. I was also annoyed at the way that the TA often treated this as though we were too lazy to do the work -- when really, we were lacking the extensive background knowledge we needed to actually understand the primary sources we were looking at.
Credit Transfer Issues: No