The experience of a lifetime.

Academics: 8
Support: 10
Fun: 9
Housing: 9
Safety: 10

I studied elementary education in Northern Ireland in the fall semester of 2013. The program was through Stranmillis University College, part of Queen's University Belfast. Prior to this, I had studied abroad MANY times (Literature in Context course in Ireland, language school in Japan, monastic Buddhism program in Taiwan) and this was by far the best-run program.

The accommodations were wonderful, each person had a single room complete with a bathroom. It was quiet, which is important to me. It included breakfast and dinner at the dining hall, which was only steps away from the dorm where we all stayed.

The excursions we went on as a group as part of the program were top-notch. We went to the Northern Irish coast to see the Giant's Causeway and the rope bridge. We went to government buildings and historical sites. They took us out for great meals. Beyond things planned by the program, there were also all kinds of opportunities to get involved socially with the community at the school. I personally became extremely involved with the fencing club (a sport I had done before for many years) at Queen's, and I made many lifelong friends there.

As an academic program, I found it to be very worthwhile. We were given training and background on the Northern Irish curriculum before being assigned to our schools. We worked with a master teacher, just as we would have in the states. We had tutors assigned to us to guide us as we worked on our projects. I felt like I learned so much and it really broadened my international perceptions of education in general.

I really can't say enough good things about this program. If you're wondering if you should go to Northern Ireland through IFSA-Butler, the answer is definitely yes!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
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Thank you for a wonderful experience!