PROGRAM TYPES

CONNECT WITH US

IES Abroad Dublin - Writer's Program
IES Abroad participants in Sydney Opera IES Abroad participants in Sydney Opera

IES Abroad Dublin - Writer's Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

One of the best experiences of my life

Studying abroad was one of the greatest experiences I have had so far in my life. Although going to college away from home gave me good insight into living on my own and away from family, studying abroad and travelling by myself to a new country really taught me about responsibility and independence. I learned a lot about myself, became more comfortable with myself, and gained a lot more confidence, especially as I solo traveled to other countries during my study abroad experience. The classes I took as a part of the IES Dublin Writer's Program were also incredible. I loved getting more insight into Irish history and culture through classes, whether it be through literature or discussions about the Irish professional culture. Many of my classmates and friends, as well, during my stay in Ireland are still some of my closest friends to this day and we continue to stay in touch despite attending different colleges around the US.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Deuces to Dublin, for now

Howdy!

Where to begin? We’ll begin at the end.

Looking back, I greatly enjoyed my time abroad in the Writer’s Program (W.P.) Fall 2016.

My student living situation was the easiest I’ve had in my two years of college. Shout out to Binary Hub! Myriam is a gem. I’m still processing how grand she is, so all I can really say to describe what I mean is: she’s a gem! She was so patient with our apartment’s conflicting schedules since we were a W.P. and Gaiety mix. I randomly mentioned to her that I enjoy swimming and come the next morning, there was an email in my inbox from Jackie with a list of nearby pools. That level of dedication, genuine care, toward students’ needs is deeply rooted. Everyone in the Centre always took time to ask how my weekend was and check in on how I was doing as I made my way up the stairs to class. Even professors whose classes I wasn’t taking gave off that feeling of a warm welcome.

There was a lot of intersecting subject matter in my classes, which were of both the Writer’s Program and Irish Studies variety. I enjoyed interacting with other American students from varying parts of the States. Everyone brought their own expertise and interests to discussions inside and outside the Centre. I’m grateful for having been in the care of my professors. The three classes that most shaped my growth are Shadows We Cast, Northern Irish Troubles, and Service Learning. My passion for short story writing is being fanned each day thanks to The Mighty McMahon (Stephen). MC Murray-murk’s (Michael’s) enthusiasm for politics affirmed my decision to major in International Relations. Megan, The Magnificent offered lots of opportunities for my perspective to be explored with our in-class discussions. I have a more focused vision of my career path and what I see myself doing in upcoming years. I can say, without a doubt, this is a direct result of my time spent with IES last semester.

Would I do it all over again? Ah, no! I’d change some things. I’d do more exploration outside of Dublin. I’d document my time daily with a journal, or even a “picture that sums up my day” kind of thing. I’d bring warmer clothes, much, much, warmer clothes. I’d make an effort to learn Irish.

But, the world is still here. It’s been here quite a while, and all talk of “well y’know the sun’s gonna explode eventually” aside, I think it’ll be here for a good time longer. So, go forth and live your dreams; go back and do what you’d wanted to. There is time. You just gotta take time to make time for your future, whatever that looks like. Your future, your journey, is unique to you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Dublin, Ireland, with IES Abroad: I miss it every day

Hello,

In fall 2016, I ventured to Dublin with great excitement and a little concern. I had never traveled alone before outside of my home country and was a little nervous, to say the least. But I soon came to realize that Dublin would become like a second home and that the experiences would be the best of my 22 years of life.

While in Ireland, I took five classes and did an internship with the Irish Daily Mail and was still able to find time to explore bits of Galway, Howth, Dún Laoghaire and Cork in the Republic of Ireland, and Belfast in Northern Ireland. During these adventures, I tried amazing foods like smoked salmon, beef stew, fish and chips, and I saw sceneries that proved to me that nature and art could be indisputably synonymous.

Standing on the Cliffs of Moher, peering down into playful waters, and skipping across stones of the Giant's Causeway with my back to a cool sea breeze, are two moments in time that will stay in my heart and my memories forever. These were moments that made me feel like a child again, curious and fascinated by the world around me. And if I had never mustered up the courage to study in Dublin with IES, I would have never known these impactful places of natural beauty in my global community.

And it wasn't just scenery and food that made me never want leave, but also the IES staff, my classmates and the wonderful individuals I befriended around the land of a thousand welcomes.

The IES staff members were so supportive and caring, always offering to help students plan a trip around Ireland on the weekends or give advice on internship woes. And the professors taught with a fervor that could not be matched by nearly any of my past instructors. And one of my creative writing instructors, specifically, would use the classroom to teach, not just about tone and literary devices, but about his country. He would weave history, politics and contemporary art into every lesson and would take us on fieldtrips, turning Dublin itself into the classroom.

So, if you are searching for a cultural, educational and even whimsical adventure, try a trip to Dublin with IES Abroad.

I know you have a beautiful experience in store for you — and I wish you all the best.

A fellow traveler and supporter of your goals abroad,
Christena Carollo

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Dublin spring 2016

Studying in Dublin for a semester was by far one of the best decisions I've ever made, and a close second would be choosing to study with IES and become part of the Writer's Program! Dublin is home to many amazing authors as well as intricate history, and being immersed in these things, as well as the culture broadened my horizons in many incredible ways. I learned about myself, and have taken back values, interests, and questions that I wouldn't have discovered in any other way than studying abroad. I would highly recommend this place and program to anyone - I wish I could go back!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

I made it, I finished it, and I'm proud of it

Being the first black student in my family to study abroad and also live/work in Dublin Ireland for 3 1/2 months was an eye opening and worthwhile experience. At first I didn't have the vision to study abroad because I didn't believe there was anything for me by doing so. When I was encourage by several staff members and family, I finished the application in two weeks, received plenty of help financially, and the staff when I got to Dublin were incredibly welcoming. I took 5 classes, did a 15 hour a week internship, and still had time to plan day trips to places like Galway, Northern Ireland, Howth, Causeway, Belfast, and Portrush. I took field trips to parks, theaters, local museums, and galleries, absorbing and really interacting with the culture. It was incredible to be able to travel so easily to Europe (Where I spent 4 days in Rome) and meet people from around the world even on a tight budget. The IES program is really dedicated to seeing students succeed and feel safe, empowered, and open-minded. I'm proud to have made the choice to go abroad for a short time and I want to reach out to other ethnically underrepresented students to do the same. It's worth it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The Dublin Experience

I chose to study through IES Abroad because it was the only program I found that offered a creative writing program and an internship dealing with what field I want to go into. After arriving in Dublin, I realized that it would not have mattered if I was in a program unrelated to my major because everything about my program was perfect. The apartment we lived in was beautiful and only a five-minute walk from our classes. The staff was wonderful and friendly and always willing to share a cup of tea and a chat with us (sometimes these teas included Hobnobs). The classes were designed so that by the end of the semester, it would have been hard not to come away without a well-informed understanding of Ireland's history and culture. Despite being a tiny island off the main continent of Europe, it was easy to travel both in Ireland and to different countries for relatively low prices. Dublin is the perfect place to be if you want a city experience that you can still become familiar with in only a few months. It's impossible not to fall in love with the country and the people.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Indescribable, but I'll try anyway

I knew that I would love my experience in Dublin even months before I left. This gave me plenty of time to build sky-high expectations. Perhaps that's a personal flaw, but suffice it to say that the IES Dublin Writer's Program surpassed even my biggest expectations.

The idea of living in a new country was terrifying- yes, even one that spoke the same language. But my fears were almost immediately culled- the staff was so welcoming and informative that it made the experience exciting, rather than scary. They were each individually so willing to help everyone with their experience, from showing us around the city in the beginning, to planning doctors appointments, to helping us plan our weekend getaways. They also helped us interact with each other so that we didn't miss out on each other.

The IES Dublin center is charming and useful, comfortable and comforting. They have facilities that more than accommodate the needs of the students, even when everyone is there at once. I particularly loved the basement- one section for doing work, one section for relaxing and reading.

But it's not a study abroad experience until you get out and experience the land. Since this isn't a review for the city of Dublin, I will refrain from just vomiting out all the romanticized memories I have of that truly magical place. The staff is all-too-willing to give recommendations for restaurants, activities, landmarks, and shops around the city, country, and continent. The staff understands that to stay in Dublin the whole time is to only experience a tiny part of what Europe has to offer. They constantly encouraged us to get out and helped us plan trips to do so. Sorry, I mentioned that last bit twice, but I think it bears repeating. They're good people, is what I'm trying to say.

The professors were extremely knowledgeable in their fields and were all too willing to share everything they could with us. Not only this, they catered their lessons around writing and reading from Ireland specifically. This was helpful in getting us to learn more about the culture of the country, which is endlessly fascinating. The work was challenging, but never overwhelming. They understand that we are also there to have as much fun as possible, in addition to being there to study.

The accommodation, Binary Hub, was incredible. It had everything we needed and made it easy for us to get to the best places in the city. Sure, it's a little far from the IES Dublin Center in Rathmines, but that's a small price to pay for such beautiful accommodations. It was clean, had all the amenities of a hotel, and was staffed by extremely friendly people.

If you've been reading along, you probably guess that I would recommend the program wholeheartedly. And you're correct- I would. If you are even REMOTELY considering trying this program, then just sign up. I promise you it's worth it.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

The People Made It

When I arrived in Dublin, Ireland, I did not know a soul in the entire country. As a first time international traveler this was daunting to say the least. It took me at least an hour just to figure out what bus I needed to take from the airport to city center (growing up in the suburbs, I was not well-equipped to deal with foreign public transportation). After much stress and frustration however, I found myself on the correct bus heading into the heart of Dublin. After a few deep breaths, a quick phone call with my mom, and helpful assistance from countless strangers, I had regained enough of my sanity to make it through the rest of the day.
I got through many tough times in this same fashion, and I think one of the most important things I learned was that it's okay to ask for help. Nine out of ten times, if I asked a stranger in Ireland to help me with something they would either personally see to it or they would point me in the right direction. The staff at the IES center only reinforced this hospitality further.
I can say, with no exaggeration, that the staff at IES Abroad Dublin are some of the most kind people I have had the pleasure of encountering and interacting with. All of them-- whether it's the RA's such as Conor and Myriam or the teachers/faculty such as Stephen, Regina, Claire, and Megan-- are on the same page when it comes to kindness, selflessness, and inclusivity. Not only did this create a safe and enjoyable learning environment for the students but it also proved to be contagious. Oftentimes the positivity throughout the center was palpable, as if it floated through the air and was circulated through the vents.
This was vital to me personally as I passed through a very rough phase in my study abroad semester. To keep it short, I fell into a bad depression at a point and was not sure if I could even complete the program. A mixture of a lot of things, homesickness being one of them, led me to feeling very sad, scared, and confused. Eventually I couldn't take it anymore and I went into the center to talk with someone. As soon as I talked to Claire, who was in charge of student welfare, she brought me to her office and sat me down to talk about what was going on. Without a blink she helped me to get the help I needed and, in a matter of a few weeks, I was able to continue living fully in Dublin.
What is important to note is that there was no hesitation by any of the center staff when it came to my health and well-being. Claire put in so much extra time and care to help me and I could never thank her enough for that. On top of that, the center staff and teachers were all so very understanding to my needs. They did not force me to come to class if I did not feel able and I was given all the necessary time it took to get my assignments completed. The bottom line is that the IES Abroad Dublin staff are absolutely superb and one-of-a-kind. I feel very grateful to have met them and been taught very valuable life skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Their kindness and sincerity go unmatched.

Best wishes,
Danny