Why did you choose this program?
I chose this program first for the location. I knew that I wanted to study outside the U.S. and had fallen in love with Ireland on a previous trip.
UL was recommended to me and upon further research I found the entrepreneurship program which was perfect for me since I had wanted to develop a business model and this gave me the practical experience to do so.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
UL has a very responsive International Division and was in contact with me from the time I first considered applying throughout the rest of the process. This is probably one of the main reasons I decided to come to UL; I felt supported and that I would have somewhere to go should I encounter any problems prior to my studies and continuously through my program.
On my own I had to organize my flight, transport and housing. This wasn't terribly difficult, the hardest being housing due to limited availability.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Going as an international degree-seeking student I would say not to expect to receive the same grades as you would back home. The grading system or scale can be different and percentages can sometimes seem worse than they actually are.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
An average week consisted of 2-3 full days of classes. The off-days were used for team meetings, projects and individual work.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?
This was my third time as an international student. The first two were different though as I was on study abroad programs.
My biggest fear was knowing that this time is was actually real in that my grades would count and I would be getting a degree at the end. I didn't know what the work would be like or how classes would run and that was nerve-racking. But after starting and meeting my classmates, I learned it really was just like any other school and you just do what you need to do.
Get things done, ask for help, and try not to over stress. At the end of the day as long as you tried your best that's all you can hope for.
What has been the most important aspect of your time spent abroad?
For me the most important aspect of any exchange is to get involved! Join buddy programs, clubs societies, go to on-campus events and trips.
You never know who you're going to meet but for me this has been my way to integrate into the university, not feel so much homesickness, and find some of my best friends who've become my family.
Also take advantage of being in a new place! Explore around you and get on a plane to travel to places you couldn't normally if you were back home. It leads to more stamps in your passport and unforgettable memories!