I cannot say enough positive things about my experience with Foundation for International Education (FIE) in Dublin. (I was abroad in Spring 2018.) The city was fun and easy to navigate anywhere on foot. Additionally, I completed an internship as part of the program which was a great way to immerse myself into the local culture while also building professional skills.
Three points that come to mind about my experience are the accommodations, the excursions, and the FIE staff.
We lived in the Binary Hub student housing, and the quality of the apartments we were in far exceeded my expectation when I applied to study abroad. You get your own individual bedroom and bathroom/shower and share a kitchen and living area with others (mine was a 5-person). Almost everywhere we wanted to go in Dublin was less than a 30-minute walk, and groceries were only 5 minutes away.
The included excursions in the Dublin program helped me get to see so much more of Ireland. We went on two weekend-long trips to Northern Ireland and to the west. We had a great instructor on the bus with us to tell us all about what we were seeing. FIE also organized several small day trips as well as events around Dublin at a discounted rate.
Finally, the FIE staff is incredible. They were as nice as could be, helpful, fun, and caring. Their office is at the ground floor of Binary Hub, and we found ourselves stopping in on our way in or out of our building just to say hi and chat. They are always there to answer questions/concerns, but they never were overbearing. There also were two student life assistants who lived in apartments near us who were on call in the evenings and weekends to help us, and they couldn’t have been nicer.
I attended Dublin Business School (DBS) and took classes that count toward my business major in the U.S. I was expecting to be with Irish students but was surprised that wasn’t the case—DBS is a highly international school with many students studying abroad from other European countries. So while I didn’t get to study with people from Ireland, it was fun to meet people from all around Europe.
All in all, I would highly recommend the Dublin program and FIE to anyone looking to go abroad. I felt independent yet never alone or lost without help. Being in a city with a large international airport also helped me see more of Europe as I flew to other countries several times on weekends or reading week. I wish I could do it all over again!