I came from an American research university on the east coast to complete a 1-year MSc math modelling at UL. I had a decent background in math, but was certainly taking courses that were going to be out of my comfort zone. The professors and the students in my program--many of whom were also new to upper-level math--worked with me through the entire year. Outside of the classroom I traveled the island with the guys in my program, going to Sunday dinners at their houses, visiting their hometowns, and taking long weekends in Dublin and along the Irish cost with them. It was the perfect blend of study and traveling, thanks to the group of fellow students. After UL I ended up at another American research university to continue graduate studies.