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IES Abroad Dublin - Irish General Studies Semester/Year Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

Best Semester of my Life

IES Abroad in Dublin was the perfect experience for my first study abroad. The staff were not only warm, but also went out of their way to make everyone feel at home. The center was located in a really nice and safe area and the apartment could not have been nicer. IES also offered lots of fun field trips and additional activities. My courses were really interesting and I felt like I learned a lot about the Irish culture in my time in Dublin. Overall, I would highly recommend this program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Living, studying, and playing in Dublin, Ireland

IES Abroad has been detrimental to my experience thus far as a soon-to-be graduated senior. It helped me grow in so many different ways - emotionally (battling homesickness while finding new friends), physically (all the hikes I went on, calves of steel!), and intellectually (Irish language, history, and literature are all fascinating to learn about). All of the IES Abroad staff were amazing and extremely helpful in acclimating us to Dublin and keeping us aware of the current issues. The professors were equally wonderful, and always went out of their way to help students out.

I will always keep this experience as a cherished one for myself, and I cannot wait to return to Dublin soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Finding my self on the Emerald Isle

I always knew I would study abroad somewhere in Europe—the big question then became where? As I browsed through the IES options (IES being a program that worked well with my homeschool and made transferring my financial aid and grades easy!) the two countries that stood out to me were France and Ireland; France with its romantic language and world renown sites, and Ireland with its charming green hills and classic folklore. I finally decided on Ireland because I heard that the people were friendly and I knew I would appreciate living in an English-speaking nation.
Looking back now, as I sift through thousands of photos during my 14-week adventure, my heart is filled with overwhelming joy and love for the Emerald Isle. I am so thankful I chose Ireland as my study abroad location because it was the perfect environment for me to grow and challenge myself on my own terms. I loved meeting the people in my program, going out for lunch between classes, walking down the canal, which was only a block away from my apartment, and enjoying a pint at the closest pub.
The friendships I made while in Ireland made all the difference—we were a tight knit group who all hung out and shared with each other in a way that I had never experienced before. With the support and advice of the IES Centre staff, who I miss terribly, I was able to journey all over Ireland as well as France, Scotland, and Italy. My housing was perfectly located and had much more space than I ever expected to have in a European apartment.
I feel like a different person than I was before I left for Ireland. I now can confidently manage my way through airports, trains, or any public transport. I can go into a restaurant and order something outside of the box, with excitement and anticipation instead of hesitation. I came to experience and understand the power of true kindness and honesty, and I made some life long friends. Ireland did this to me; it made me let go of much of my social anxiety, allowing me the freedom to be myself without fear. It made me learn to trust my instincts, granting me the power to speak up in any situation. Finally, Ireland gave me the opportunity to recognize what I value most in life—my family and the freedom to explore my curiosities without judgment.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A Semester at Trinity

Studying abroad is a big decision. I remember when I was accepted into the program, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go. Could I leave everything in my comfort zone for an entire 5 months? The answer, is yes. Obviously, I ended up going and I do not regret a single thing. Not even a single letter (hopefully there are no typos in this, cause if there are, then I might have one regret).

Firstly, studying abroad is amazing. No matter where you go, you're seeing a new culture. A new way of learning and living. I pushed my comfort zone farther than I ever thought I could and now I can happily say that I have confidence in my ability to read a map. You could plop me down in any city with a map and I would be completely satisfied without a worry. I gained far more from studying abroad than I ever imagined. I didn't expect to grow in all the ways I did. Coming back (very regretfully, I would go back in a heartbeat) I realized how often people make judgments of other people and cultures. Being abroad helped me understand more about people.

Secondly, if IES has a program where you want to study abroad, study abroad through them. They're amazing. At the IES Dublin center, everyone was very accommodating and always had advice. Whenever I traveled somewhere and went to the IES center to print out my ticket someone always gave me advice on what to see and do in the place I was visiting. IES sends you updates on events happening where you're traveling, so I always felt safe. They have IES centers all over the world, so if something did happen they'd be able to put you in contact with a center close by that could help. I always felt safe when I was in Dublin and when I was travelling because I knew IES was taking good care of me.

Studying abroad is an irreplaceable experience, filled with new people and places that can and will forever change your life. As I said before, I wouldn't trade my experience for anything and highly recommend studying abroad in Dublin.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Slainte! IES Dublin Spring 2015

I am currently suffering from severe wanderlust and am fighting the urge to hop on a plane to Dublin as I write this review. As I settle back into my old life in the U.S, I took the time to decipher what my study abroad experience meant to me. Simply put, my semester in Dublin was one of the greatest (if not the greatest) decisions I have ever made. Let me explain that before I left for Dublin I was a painfully shy personality who came from a tight-knit family and had lived in a small town all of my life. Of course I was excited to go abroad, however, I had never done something so out of my comfort zone. I have never been more scared to do anything in my life and I boarded the plane (Departing from Chicago) while trying to control my ugly sobbing. All of the fears and nerves I had were completely assuaged as soon as I stepped foot on Irish soil. At that moment I knew this would be an experience of a lifetime, and it was. Let me tell you why.
1) The Staff- The IES Dublin staff is in my opinion the best out there. I was immediately greeted in the airport by some of the nicest, most enthusiastic people I have ever met. The teachers, coordinators, counselors, RAs, ect. were so welcoming and inspiring. These individuals quickly became a part of my abroad family. From tea and cookies in the middle of class to last minute flight and travel advice, the staff was what really made my experience so unique. The classes were so interesting and pertinent to my every day life in Dublin that class became fun to go to. The staff did everything they could to make sure that we got out to see the rest of Ireland and Europe and were cognizant that although we were there for school we were also there to grow as people and experience travel as well. They will be the first people that I contact as soon as i get back in Dublin (which I hope is soon)!
2) The City- Dublin is such an amazing city in so many aspects. It is a large, modern, growing city with tall modern buildings and businesses, however, the city still maintains its small town feel. The streets are peppered with small locally owned restaurants and cafes and the pubs are all so different and cozy. The city is so full of history that I found myself simply walking for hours each day just to see and learn more. From historic O'Connell street to the Georgian buildings and squares, the city is such a beautiful juxtaposition of the new and the old Dublin.
3) The Culture- The culture and people of Ireland are so warm and welcoming. From "pub culture" to storytelling, there is simply nothing to dislike about the people and way of life in Dublin. I enjoyed a more laid back lifestyle in Dublin and was able to be stress free and take a walk down the canal every day. The locals really love to showcase their history and are so willing to include you in their culture and customs that the transition from US to Ireland went seamlessly.
4) The Land- Everything in Ireland is breathtaking. If I had a euro for every time I found myself saying "is this place even real?" I would have enough money to buy my flight back to Dublin already. The sights I saw and people I met along the way are something that will forever be engrained in my memory.
5) My Fellow Students- As a shy person, I was so nervous about not making friends abroad. I learned very quickly that when thrown into a foreign country, people are so open to meeting new friends and having new adventures. My classmates became my travel buddies, my pub crew, my homework help and my best friends. From Spring break in Spain to a farewell weekend in Galway, my crew was up for anything. I made friends that will last me a lifetime!
As my review is getting extremely long and I am getting increasingly more nostalgic, I best wrap it up. Simply put, my semester in Ireland changed my life. I became a more confident, adventurous and curious person and Dublin secured a permanent place in my heart. I can only say that I sincerely hope that every student can be as fortunate as I was to undergo the amazing adventure I did!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I would go back in a heartbeat!

IES Abroad made experience Dublin unbelievable. The staff at the IES center were welcoming and helpful, and made my whole experience great - from the moment I got in from the plane.

My favorite parts about IES Dublin?
-- Planned field trips. Between going to Causey Farms to go bog jumping, attending a rugby match, and taking a trip to Northern Ireland, each trip greatly enhanced my experience - they were so much fun!

--Classes. My classes sparked a passion in me to understand the Northern Ireland conflict, and the professors were great. Another class that was focused on the Republic of Ireland (called Irish Communal Identities) even took us on walking tours of the city to see places I never would have on my own.

--Internship. I participated in the internship seminar IES offered and got the chance to intern in the city center at International House - Dublin. This gave me work experience, but more importantly helped me actually engage in Irish culture.

--Housing. The apartment I shared with three other American students was unbelievable and the location was fantastic - I'm never going to live in that nice of a place in a city center again.

These were just some of the things I loved about my time abroad with IES, and I would highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to travel to Dublin!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Irish Studies

My time spent in Dublin holds a very special place in my heart and I owe this incredible experience to the wonderful IES administration and students. Living and learning in a different country is one of the best experiences you can give yourself and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to expand their horizons and grow. I learned so much about myself and the world around me from this experience. The academics and field trips within the Irish Studies program helped me to gain a great understanding of Irish culture, traditions, and history. I also met many amazing individuals and made life long friends while abroad. IES really made Dublin feel like home for a semester.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Why Did I Leave?

I couldn't have picked a better program to be apart of for three months. I can say with confidence it was the best three months of my life. The staff was amazing. They provided us with best housing and advice for anything we wanted to do. They had knowledge and guidance on every issue and most days we could just spend the day at the center chatting with them. Classes were interesting and relevant to everything that was happening around you. I know the same amount of culture and history about Ireland and more specifically Dublin as I do my own country and hometown. I felt at home in the city, like a real local. IES provided me with every opportunity to grow as a person and make friends from all over the world who I already miss.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Branching Out

My time abroad was everything I expected it to be. By that I mean that it was completely unlike anything I'd done in my life thus far. The city itself was amazing, as were the people (and the weather). Virtually every aspect of my time abroad exceeded me expectations in terms of how I would grow personally and what would come about because of it. Specific to the program I was enrolled in, I have no complaints. On the contrary, IES treated me and my fellow students with the utmost respect and were nothing if not extremely helpful and adaptive. Every member of the staff was extraordinary in their own way -knowledgable of the city and capable of fulfilling our needs while still pushing us to do more. Each field trip (Howth, County Mayo and Northern Ireland) brought us closer to the island in different ways, illuminating some other aspect of Ireland that we hadn't yet seen or filling us in on some secret of the land (either historically or aesthetically) that we never would have expected. IES really took care of us in every way I can imagine. The housing was excellent; the RAs accommodating and helpful; the professors brilliant and challenging; the staff eager to give us the best experience possible. I will recommend the program to anyone who will listen, and will always look fondly on my time in Ireland as told through the IES Dublin experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life Changing

My time abroad with IES was nothing less than incredible. The staff at the IES center went above and beyond to ensure that the students were well versed on the city, and comfortable in our new home. Dublin is the perfect place for students to explore, as it is historically rich combined with an innovative modern society.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Irish Studies Fall 2014

I spent the last semester in Dublin through the IES Abroad General Irish Studies Program. I found Dublin to be a wonderful city with a young, friendly population, and rich cultural history. Dublin alone is a great city, but the staff at the IES center fostered the transition from tourist to student. They were extremely supportive and generous with their time. Whether they were discussing in greater detail a topic brought up in class, or giving advice on the events and festivals happening that weekend, they were excited to help me gain a better understanding of my host country through my experiences. They created an incredible support system that encouraged us to visit and take advantage of the many places and experiences Dublin, Ireland, and Europe had to offer.

The classes I took focused on Irish literature, history, culture, language, and politics. They gave me the background to have meaningful conversations with people living in Dublin and around Ireland about topics that were important to them. What further helped me gain a better sense of Irish life was my Service Learning placement. I volunteered once a week at the amazing Solas Project, working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds. I worked with permanent volunteers and other students to help the children with homework, and engage in activities with them such as Gaelic football! In addition to my time at Solas there was a seminar where I was able to talk about the experience I was having with the other students in the Service Learning course, and we reviewed topics and issues that affected the children I was working with.

My apartment, shared with other IES students, was centrally located and close to the IES center. I was able to walk to Temple Bar, Grafton St., O'Connell St., and really anywhere I wanted to be in the Dublin City Center.

At the end of the semester I did not want to leave. I am thrilled to have the new friends in Dublin and the States to share this with, and we are all so excited to continue to travel and (of course) go back to visit Dublin and the center.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Full Year at TCD

I loved my time spent at Trinity. As a full year student, I was mostly removed from the rest of the IES program since I did not take part in orientation for the half year programs. As a result, I also didn't spend much time at the IES centre, although the staff there were helpful when I needed them.

I lived in TCD housing with other international students, and all of the friends I made were met through Trinity societies (like club) and my flatmates. I lived about forty minutes walking distance away from Trinity and close to Rathmines, a suburb of Dublin which had just about everything I could need.

Courses at TCD were challenging but very enjoyable. Because I was there for the full year, I had an exam in May which made up the whole of the grade for a class that I took in the fall, and while that was scary, it made me feel just like all the other students at Trinity.

Going for the full year allowed me to make solid friendships with Irish and international students through school and let me live like an Irish student for a year, as opposed to just being a visiting American. I very much enjoyed my time at TCD and I would gladly do it all over again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Trinity College Dublin

My most memorable experience was definitely a weekend trip I took with the Trinity hiking club. We spent the weekend hiking through the Comeragh Mountains in County Waterford. We were lucky to get sunny weather (which is a blessing in Ireland!), so we had incredible views of the mountains all weekend. The hiking club is very diverse, with Irish students from Trinity and many international students from all over Europe. I made such great friends on this trip, and I still keep in contact with them to this day!

As an engineering major, I wanted to study in an English speaking country so I could take science courses in my native language. I have always been fascinating by Irish culture, so I knew I wanted to live in Dublin. Trinity College Dublin stood out to me because it is in the center of the city, it houses world-renowned professors, and I could take classes that would fulfill my course requirements.

Although I initially wanted to live with Irish students on campus to become immersed in the culture, I found that I could still fully experience Irish culture in my apartment with American students. In addition to learning more about the Irish way of life, I was surprised to develop an appreciation for American culture. I formed life-long friendships with my roommates. Additionally, since IES organized our housing, we had an 'RA,' Conor, that checked in with us once a week. If we had any problems with our accommodations (like how to get the immersion shower to work!), we could ask Conor. It was also nice to get to know a native Dubliner!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    10

My semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland

I have hardly any complaints about my semester spent abroad in Dublin, Ireland. Dublin is a perfect sized city filled with culture, parks, museums, pubs, and amazing restaurants and shops. Ireland is a relatively small country so it was simple to travel anywhere desired in Ireland. Bus and train tickets were cheap and easily accessible for any destination in Ireland. I loved the people, the food, the night life, and my program. IES abroad was everything I asked for in a school. The staff and professors were amazing and dedicated people. They truly cared about our academics as well as our cultural immersion.

Academics:
The professors I had while abroad were some of the best professors of my life. They made the topics interesting, personal, and truly cared about their students.

Living Situation:
I was in a small house apartment that was very nice, but very far from my abroad center and the city center. The actual house was a great one, but the distance was frustrating at times.

Cultural Immersion:
Everyone in Ireland was very friendly and laid back. It was also a huge plus to not have a language barrier.

Social Life:
Dublin is filled with pubs, clubs, restaurants, theaters, museums, parks, castles, and pretty much anything else imaginable.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Why I call Ireland home

I went into studying abroad with very few expectations- I truly did not know what to expect! That being said, IES Abroad Dublin blew even my faint preconceived notions out of the water. The growth I was able to experience during the time I lived abroad is unmatched and I would not trade it for anything.
My living experience was a great combination of familiar and foreign. I lived in a beautiful flat in Dublin just outside of City Centre. The two girls I lived with were both from the States and we got along very well! Coming from the suburbs, it was fun to experience urban life in such a vibrant way. I had the opportunity to cook for myself often, as well, which was a nice way to save money. Anything the apartment needs, such as pots and pans, a bathroom mat, or a coat rack, IES pays for! In this living situation, I felt independent, but still cared for and looked after.
Every living arrangement has an RA who has weekly meetings with his or her residents. The meetings are pretty laid back-mostly chatting, and a few logistics of the apartment. The rest of IES staff is extremely helpful, as well. Each instructor truly invests into the students’ personal growth while in Ireland. From relevant readings in class, travel recommendations, various field trips, and hands-on learning experiences, the professors care deeply about making you feel comfortable.
Overall, my IES Dublin experience was one for the books and I truly could not have asked for a smoother study abroad opportunity. After living in Ireland for four months, I would not say I like it. No, with the help of IES I am able to call Ireland home.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Irish Immersion

I absolutely loved my study abroad experience in Dublin, Ireland! With a gracious culture reflected in cozy pubs and gentle parks, Dublin became my ideal city; the people are warm and inviting, the cityscape is walk-able and historic, and the coast is remarkably serene. With my student apartment so close the city center, I managed to start most mornings walking through the verdant paths of St. Steven’s Green.
Because of how accessible Dublin and the surrounding countryside is, I felt very connected to the cultural and recreational opportunities that Ireland has to offer; I woke up each morning with a great sense of excitement and delight in pursuing all of the coffee shops, museums, plays, hikes, and historical sights that were within easy reach.
My favorite part about the experience, however, was being directly enrolled into Trinity College and enjoying all of the academic (like the Book of Kells!) and social resources provided by the campus. The program allowed me to immerse myself in the student life at Trinity and befriend not only Irish students, but also international students from various continents studying at the historic college center. Societies, for me, such as Rock Climbing, and Hiking, were the most rewarding ways to get involved and experience Dublin as a local student. My IES Abroad Direct Enrollment experience, overall, was infused with positive memories of feeling integrated into the city and social life of Dublin!