Best Semester Ever!

Academics: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Housing: 10
Safety: 10

My time abroad (as cliche as it sounds) was one of the greatest experiences of my life. To be completely honest, I was pretty wishy-washy about the whole idea of going abroad for a semester. I figured I would apply for a program, and if I got in and received financial aid then I would go, and if I didn't then I would stay at my University for the semester. I did not feel strongly either way, and looking back now it's a little bit funny to think how ambivalent I was given that my time in Dublin was absolutely life-changing in the best way. I got to study under some of the coolest and most intelligent professors I've ever had. They all care so much about what they teach, and they all have real-life experience with the course content. One of my favorite classes I took was the Service Learning course that IES offers. Once a week I got to volunteer at an after school program for elementary school students and help them do their homework. The program we did it through does so much for the community in that area of the city, and it was amazing to see the impact they have on the kids. It was fun to hang out with the students, and I was able to learn so much from them about the city of Dublin and about the lives of its inhabitants. This class is also where I got to meet some really amazing peers who I consider lifelong friends. The friendships you can develop abroad are so powerful, and they enrich your abroad experience greatly. You can make incredibly deep connections with people in a short span of time abroad due to the nature of your situation. People go abroad to experience new things, so everyone is very open to making friends and everyone wants to support each other during this time. One of the coolest things about being abroad is that you have the opportunity to travel to so many other places than your host country. I loved Ireland so much, and it will always have a special place I my heart, but some of my best memories are of spontaneous weekend trips that I took with my friends. There is such a big world out there, and being abroad made me realize I want to see as much of it as I possibly can.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would