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API in Galway at the National University of Ireland, Galway
A man on top of a mountain A man on top of a mountain

API in Galway at the National University of Ireland, Galway

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Galway has my heart

Studying abroad in Galway with API is hands down the best decision I've ever made in my life. First of all, Galway is my favorite place in the world. I had been there twice before studying abroad but only for a week at a time. I grew up obsessed and constantly curious about Irish culture because both of my grandparents were from there. When I visited for the first time, I knew that I had to go back for longer and actually live there for a little to see if I'd actually like to live there permanently when I graduate. API helped make this happen for me. I would totally suggest this program to anyone looking to study abroad in Galway, Ireland or even anywhere else in the world! They made everything so easy. The second we stepped off the plane, our resident directors were there to pick us up and take us to where we'd be living throughout the semester. They instantly made us feel right at home. The location of Gort na Coiribe was perfectly placed so closed to not only campus but the city centre and also grocery stores and the shopping center. It couldn't have been more convenient.

API roomed us with one other American student from our program in an apartment with local students. It was the perfect mix for really getting involved with the new culture and also having the comfort of home if you felt like you needed it. The resident directors, Finn and Kevin, were willing to help with anything ranging from school to sickness to travel plans. They really made a genuine effort to make it feel like home for all of us and they absolutely did so. API took us to Irish cultural events within Galway that kept us busy, helped us learn more about the amazing culture we were in, and allowed us to have fun in new ways with the friends that we all made. They also set up a trip for us to go to Edinburgh, Scotland which allowed us to learn about a different culture and really helped a lot of us feel more comfortable in making plans to travel on our own.

Traveling was so easy with the help of the resident directors and I ended up going to Scotland, Iceland, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands over the course of the semester. Every trip was amazing and it gave me more confidence to travel more and also gave me an insight to so many new cultures. It was incredible. No matter where I went, I was so happy to get back to Galway. Throughout the course of the semester, it truly felt like home. I did not want to leave one bit. The city itself is so lively and fun but the amazing people truly make it such a special experience. There was always something to do or somewhere to go. I loved being able to walk the Salthill Prom and enjoy everything that Galway had to offer. Traveling within Ireland was so easy too because of it's great bus systems. I got to go everywhere that I wanted to.

The National University of Ireland, Galway was really an incredible school. The buildings were beautiful and I can actually say that I enjoyed the classes. We were mixed with American, local, and even international students. I've never experienced anything like it! I was so excited to talk Irish language classes because its my grandparents first language and I've wanted to learn since I was little. It was so great to be a part of an international education system while simultaneously getting credits for my degree at my home university. It was perfect. The campus had everything students could need and more and provided endless opportunities for people to get involved in any activity that you could think of. It was just all set up perfect to cater to everyone.

All in all, Galway stole my heart. I think about it every single day and I want to go back so badly. I am so grateful that API gave me the opportunity to have this experience in my life and for it have so many positive effects on me. I feel so much more confident in myself and all my goals. It helped me realize that I can make traveling a part of my life and career. It helped me get one step closer to starting a life and career in Galway. I can't thank API enough. I can't recommend this program enough and for people thinking of study abroad to go out there and do it. It's unlike anything I've ever done. Galway and API changed my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Six months in Ireland

Awesome. I can't imagine a better experience. The program directors were always available and very helpful. The Irish people by far were such a Genuine and friendly culture. The physical scenery was unreal. The rain didn't even bother me and made me appreciate every momen of sunshine. I did not get homesick at all.

  • Academic Programs International responded to this review July 24, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    We're so happy that you had such a fantastic experience!- thanks for sharing!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

A Year in Galway

Going abroad to Galway was a dream of mine for over 8 years. When I found API I was immediately sold and honestly didn't really look at other programs. I knew what I wanted and API provided that. What I found was the amazing support API offered in the States as well as abroad. Our Program Director Finn was the most amazing woman I've ever met! You could go to her for everything and having 14 years of experience working for API in Galway there wasn't anything she couldn't help you with! While I may not have looked at other programs as much as other students did I was extremely glad I chose API. Talking with people from other programs it sounded as though they didn't even have a fraction of the help and support us APIers had. Finn was always there to help but never in a controlling, micro-managing or biased way. She let us do our thing and gave us every once of freedom but always let us know that she was there to talk about anything! Galway is hands down the best city in Ireland (maybe even the world) too! It has such an authentic Irish culture and vibe and the people are the nicest people you'll ever meet! I found, talking to other students in hostels, that people who chose Dublin, Limerick or Cork were sorely disappointed once they came to Galway and realized all they were missing out on. Most people went to Dublin because of the airports proximity and I can guarantee you that they did not experience the same Ireland we did! Galway and API are undoubtedly the best decisions a student could make!

  • Academic Programs International responded to this review July 24, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    We love your enthusiasm and are so completely thrilled that you had such an amazing experience- thanks for your thoughts and sharing your experience!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The best city in Ireland

My semester in Galway, Ireland was a dream. Irish culture is so prevalent in the city from the weekend market to the students on campus. If you're looking for an authentic Irish experience, Galway it the perfect place. Most of my classes were with other Irish students and it really gave me the insight into the people I was surrounded by that I was hoping to gain from my semester abroad.

The location of my apartment was ideal, being right between downtown Galway and campus. I was placed in an apartment with other people from API and Irish students. I loved living with the Irish students, it made it easy to form great relationships with them.

Local program managers were always on-call and there to help me and the other students with whatever we needed. They were great at providing us with local cultural events throughout Ireland as well as international advice for every county I visited outside of Ireland.

I also could not of asked for better people to meet through API, our whole group was great. On excursions with our program managers and other trips we always had a wonderful time and I will forever cherish all the memories we made.

Study abroad in Galway, Ireland with API was absolutely perfect and I highly recommend it to anyone.

  • Academic Programs International responded to this review July 24, 2015 at 3:53 PM

    We're so happy that you enjoyed your trip abroad with API- thanks so much for sharing!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Best Decision that I have ever Made

My experience studying abroad in Galway through API was amazing and I wish I could do it over again. We were housed with both members of our program as well as other Irish students which gave us the chance to really immerse ourselves in the university social life and Irish culture. I remained close with the other students in our program and the Irish students. Many of the Irish students that we got to know did J1 visas to America and we got to show them around our cities and hometowns.

The API Program itself took us on an excursion to Paris and a few other outings around Ireland. The Paris trip was in January and it was absolutely freezing outside during our stay but it was still a fun experience. Our group leader, Finn, was very outgoing and was a big help during our first few weeks there. The NUI Galway visiting student program gave us flexibility and allowed us to travel to other parts of Europe one the weekends. If you are taking classes in the liberal arts, your grades will be largely based on your end of the term papers, as many of the classes have so many students that participation and attendance are not factored.

I recommend using a third party program, such as API, rather than going through your university because you are forced to get to know people that you didn't know before. My friend, who also was on the same program as I was, and I enjoyed it so much that we went back to NUI Galway for our master's degrees this year and we lived in a house with a group of Irish girls that we met while studying abroad.

If you're going to study abroad in Ireland, do it in Galway. Galway's arts and culture scene is famous internationally; the layout of the city allows you to see and feel Ireland's old architecture mixed with modern shops; it is an extremely walking-friendly city; and everything is nearby the student housing. While Dublin was a fun city for us to visit on occasion, I feel that Galway is a much more student-friendly environment and it is only a bus-ride away from all other parts of the country.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    8

Life-changing, eye-opening, super

Being independent and thriving daily

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    3

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

I love API and Galway!

Overall, API was amazing. The program is small enough, 25 participants, that you get to know everyone in the program quickly. Because of this, you go into a foreign country with basically 25 friends already. You also get a Program director who is amazing! She knew everything that was going on in the city and sent out a bunch of emails telling us things we could do. Galway as a city was beautiful, amazing, and friendly. Because it's small, it seems cozy but at the same time you still get all the benefits of a big city. Whether you want to dance salsa, dance all night at a hip club, listen to traditional irish music, watch a rugby match, eat Chinese food, or just sit along the river - you could do it in Galway!
Though my housing was only alright, most participants are housed in large apartments with Irish students. This allows you to really make an Irish friend.
Also after talking to people from different programs, I am so glad I choose API. The overseas excursion, the program director, the cultural events, the size of the program, the mobile phone they give you, etc., all of it was awesome! Go with API!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

Study Abroad in Galway, Ireland

API Galway is an incredible program. The city of Galway is the perfect city to study abroad in. There is always something to do, the social life is vibrant, and the university is one of the top in the nation. The cultural experiences that the program has to offer help you to become emerged in the Irish culture.

  • Academic Programs International responded to this review July 24, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    We're so happy you had a fantastic time- thanks for sharing!