This was a great overall program.
AIFS was useful for their payment and the weekend trips. While I paid AIFS they handled everything from my application to UL to my housing and airfare. They also offered a weekend stop in London before orientation at UL started, providing a tour guide and itinerary along with free time. Other trips included an overnight to the Aran Islands, a day trip to Cork, a day trip to Killarney, and a two night overnight to Dublin. The AIFS group of about 30 students bonded quickly and we made friends and had a lot of fun, while some students were into partying come weren't and everyone was friendly and we made great traveling companions for one another. The Facebook page was also super useful for communicating. AIFS staff support was great, although their knowledge seemed a bit touchy.
However, a downside was that I sent a lot of emails to check on available classes, however when I arrived there was no space in the equine science classes, special education classes weren't offered and the booklet I had been linked to was the wrong one and there were much fewer classes available than I had originally thought. Additionally, once classes had started every professor seemed to read directly off of a powerpoint. I didn't feel challenged academically, but the lack of homework was great and allowed me to travel.
I loved UL, however no credit cards are accepted in restaurants on campus, but there were many available ATMS. The International Student division was incredible at UL and they provided a great orientation and integration program. There was also an international society that provided day and weekend trips as well as parties for international students. There were many clubs and societies, including equestrian, swim, rowing, archery, tea and many others, which was a great way to integrate into student life and meet new friends.
AIFS provided 10 euros a day for food, which came in handy. They also provided a 40 euro flight voucher. I was able to travel quite a lot out of Dublin on budget airlines, which was great, and I was able to adventure to Rome, Vienna, Paris and have plans for Prague, Salzburg, Edinburgh and Belfast.
While I wasn't at home much, the housing wasn't stellar, but not completely unlivable either. Housing was co-ed in groups of eight.
Overall I loved my experience abroad and would highly recommend AIFS, they made everything easy and memorable.
The offered classes at UL for international students could be improved and additional classes should be added.