I truly cannot say enough positive things about this program. As cliche as it sounds, my semester in Dublin was easily the most life changing four months of my life. Nothing quite prepares you for how challenging it is to abandon everything familiar and immerse yourself in a new social and academic culture. But with this great challenge comes and immense payoff. I think I grew more as a person from this single semester than all of my semesters of college combined.
While the entire program was excellent, there were two things that, for me, really made it stand out. The first was the study tours and extracurricular activities. While classroom learning is great, the opportunity to immerse oneself in the culture and the country itself is invaluable and unforgettable. The study tours were a fantastic opportunity to see more of the country we called home for a short time and also brought to life many of the things we'd learned in the classroom. Ireland is also such a beautiful country that, aside from being academically valuable, the study tours were awe inspiring for their beauty as well.
The second thing that brought this program to the next level was the personal contact with the FIE staff. Dublin stole my heart from the very beginning, but it was this individual and hands on contact that really made it feel like home. FIE staff were always available via a variety of platforms if we had any questions, concerns, or just wanted someone to chat with. They were genuinely invested in our experience and that made all the difference.
This semester abroad was eye opening and life changing in more ways than one. I walked away with a better understanding of myself, a new career path (international education), useful and marketable skills, and a greater understanding of the world around me, and for this I am extremely grateful.