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ISA Study Abroad in Galway, Ireland

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My Second Home

Studying abroad in Galway with ISA was the best decision I ever made! Everyone has heard that studying abroad is a life changing experience, but what a lot of people don't focus on is the people who make that possible. My study abroad experience would not have been anywhere close to as great as it was without ISA there to assist me every step of the way.

When I was trying to decide what provider to use, ISA responded quickly to my e-mails, answering every question I had; in addition, when an ISA representative was on my campus, they took the time to meet with me to discuss my study abroad options. One of the greatest features of ISA is that they have on-site support in every country they send students to! My Resident Director was there for me 24/7, taking my group on excursions and around the city for cultural events, and taking the time to talk to me when I was having a bout of homesickness. With ISA, I had the chance to be independent in a new country while also knowing I wasn't alone.

Having ISA plan our excursions, which was included in the program fee, was also fantastic. I got the chance to explore Ireland without having to plan the trips myself or figure out extra funds. With ISA, I got to see everything from the hillsides of Connemara and the bustling streets of Dublin. When I went to explore more of Europe with a friend, my Resident Director helped me with the planning, making sure I didn't end up with nowhere to sleep or stranded in another country!

Galway itself was a beautiful city, with its main pedestrian shopping street leading down to the Galway Bay which features the Old Long Walk (a row of colorful houses on the water). The National University of Ireland, Galway was just a fifteen minute walk away from my apartment and the walk itself was gorgeous, overlooking an expanse of green only interrupted by the River Corrib.

Although you may think that Ireland wouldn't have that different of a culture from the U.S., I can assure you that that is not the case! I had so much fun learning about the Irish culture and immersing myself in it, talking to locals and making friends along the way. Most people think of Dublin when they think of Ireland, but Galway is most definitely the cultural capital. I had the experience of a lifetime there, finding myself with a second home, and I could not recommend Galway, or ISA, any more highly to you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Home Sweet Home

The second I arrived in Galway, I felt like I was home. The city itself was absolutely incredible, and the ISA staff was so accommodating and wonderful. The RD's were so helpful and did their best to make our experience great. ISA had so many planned excursions and outings, which really made the experience that much more incredible. The assistance I received from ISA pre-departure was so helpful and encouraging, and I would encourage everyone to consider International Studies Abroad for their study abroad experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Galway Girl

I have Irish heritage, so I always knew a trip to Ireland was on my bucket list. During the summer before my senior year I had that opportunity with ISA. I didn't realize the importance of choosing the right provider for me until after I got to Ireland. ISA picked us up at the airport and led us on our first excursion in Dublin, which was a blast. After two days we made it to our housing, Gort Ne Coiribe. Our program directors Mark and Dermott guided us through everything and made sure we knew where to shop, how to get to campus and into town, and that we were comfortable in our housing. Our oven didn't work and after we told Mark and Dermott we had a new one put in less than six hours later. My roommates traveled with another provider and their director was at times unreachable and didn't spend as much time with their group. That's when I knew I was happy I went with ISA.

NUIG was an easy walk from our housing and the university was beautiful. The cafeteria wasn't on usual hours so I ate the majority of my meals in town or in my own kitchen. It was very easy to walk across the street to Dunnes to get groceries or even a mattress pad for my bed.

The city centre of Galway was by far my favorite place to be. The streets were winding and colorful, always buzzing with people or street performers. I had fun shopping, trying different food, and sampling different pubs. Irish people were very friendly and welcoming (of course you had a few jokers who didn't love Americans, but that didn't bother us) and there was always something to do. We went on great excursions to scenic parts of Ireland with breathtaking views.

Our housing was great; we had a three floor townhouse style place that had a kitchen, living room, four bathrooms, and washing facilities in walking distance.

I would absolutely love to go back and do it all again.