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FIE: Dublin Summer Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Why you should study abroad in Dublin

Class:
I was pleasantly surprised with how interesting the courses were. The professors were really fascinating and knowledgeable, they absolutely knew their stuff. The work load wasn't too bad, definitely manageable. It was nice- I truly didn't mind waking up and going to class in the morning. And the trips you take as part of the courses are really awesome, I didn't expect to be able to see and experience as much as I did.

Apartment dorms:
The apartments at Blackhall Place were spacious, and having a private bedroom with only two-three people per bathroom was nice. The location is an easy walk to class, and the shopping/bar areas. It's also close to Phoenix Park, which is really beautiful, and my window had a rad view of the Guinness Factory. Nice kitchen accommodations, with all the essentials. On some particularly warm days, the rooms would get a bit hot when the sun was up, because there was no air conditioning, but it was easy to adjust to!

I did a lot of my own cooking, and prepared lunch to bring to class. One of the great things about Ireland is they have really fresh produce and groceries, and you grocery shop in much smaller quantities than in the U.S. I really enjoyed this, because I love cooking and eating fresh food. There's also a cost for plastic grocery bags, so you would use a reusable shopping bag or backpack, which I found to be really progressive and of course eco-friendly. I probably grocery shopped and cooked more than most of the people on my trip, but I found it more cost effective. But there were also great restaurants and café's all over. We ate out at some really delicious restaurants.

The locals:
I took advantage of my time in Ireland by trying to expose myself to the culture as much as possible. The Irish people are incredibly friendly and are wonderful at making you feel welcome, so we would always make friends and ask around for advice on good places to go, or things to do. We spent a lot of time walking around and exploring, and we went to a lot of open mic nights and band performances. And the wonderful people from FIE and DBS can give you great recommendations on things to do to make you feel more like a Dubliner.

Safety tips:
I felt extremely safe in Dublin and in the cities we traveled to, but of course when you're in any place that's foreign to you, you have to be smart in your decisions. We would never go off on our own without letting others in the group know where we were going-- I'm a runner, and I would always just give my housemates a shout when I was leaving the apartment to go for a jog alone. And it's great to make new friends, especially with Dubliners, but we would always be safe and smart when we talked to people outside the group. And having a travel phone is very inexpensive, and extremely helpful for security and being able to find your friends.

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I've traveled to a few places in the world, and I always try to take a bit of each country home with me. Literally, I always take a few pebbles. But more deeply than that, from Dublin and Ireland in general I gained a great respect for friendliness and openness. As a straight-up New Yorker, I'm used to facing a very fast-paced and standoffish state of living. The Irish way is friendly, it's kinder, it's welcoming. You could get into a friendly conversation with a stranger at the grocery store, or out at night, just for the sake of a friendly conversation.

Something else I found great was that the Irish also care a great deal about their politics and their country, which I found refreshing. Instead of the Kardashians, you could get into a lengthy debate about a political decision at the pub over a pint (and then maybe hash out about the Kardashians just a wee bit). I found the overall experience extremely enriching, and very worthwhile.
I greatly value the experiences I had, encompassing everything from Causey Farms to that one club in Belfast.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best Study Abroad Program

My experience with FIE in Dublin was without a doubt the best decision I’ve made in my college career. I know that may sound completely cheesy and insincere but I am being completely honest. I have always had a love of travel and wanted to spend more than just a week or two in a city, I wanted to really see what the whole country had to offer. I could not have dreamed of a more fulfilling trip! The professors were so passionate about their country and in five short weeks gave us a much deeper insight into the rich and complex history of Ireland. The FIE team in Dublin was so involved with our group and really showed us Ireland. We saw so many parts of Ireland like the Cark-a-reed rope bridge, Sileve League, the Cliffs of Moher and Galway which I will always cherish. There is definitely work that you’ll have to do and you’ll spend time in class but if you are considering studying abroad or have an interest in Ireland this is the program you want to choose.