IES Abroad Dublin - Irish Studies

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About

This program is designed for students who seek intensive academic exposure to Ireland's political and social history, contemporary economic issues, and literary heritage. By combining coursework with study outside the classroom, you have the opportunity to discover the rich heritage of Ireland, as well as its contemporary culture through its art, theater, and film.

Check out this Center for yourself by taking a Virtual Tour at http://www.youvisit.com/tour/iesabroad.

Questions & Answers

All of our classes for the Irish Studies program were taught in the IES Center with the other American students in the program. The teachers are either staff at the center or professors at other universities in the area. They're all brilliant and creative, and I loved attending classes. All of my professors were Irish or had been living in Ireland for many years, so it gives you a different...

Reviews

98%
based on 20 reviews
  • Academics 8.1
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 20
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Emma
9/10

Best semester abroad with IES Irish Studies

My experience studying abroad in Dublin is probably going to be the biggest adventure I ever had in my life. I was really excited about the Irish Studies program because I have always wanted to learn more about the Irish culture so it was a perfect fit. The classes were very interesting and the teachers were so knowledgeable. I am so thankful for the great teachers that I had in the program because they taught me a lot and they were very nice people. In one of my classes, we would take walks around the city of Dublin and the teacher would stop and tell us about Dublin’s history and it’s present day. Being in this program allowed me to be independent but I also had teachers and faculty close by if I ever needed assistance. I loved the way the classes were scheduled because it gave me great opportunities to explore Dublin and to travel to other countries on the weekend. The IES program had many field trips that we could attend which they planned out really well. One of my favorite moments from my abroad experience was cycling through Killarney National Park. It was such a beautiful day and the park was very pretty. The IES program helped me feel more connected to my classmates and to the culture in Dublin. I can’t wait for the day when I can go back to Dublin and relive the great times that I had.

Yes, I recommend
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Renee
9/10

Fun In Dublin!

I can honestly say I was so happy to choose Dublin. Not only was I surrounded by great people, but an amazing culture as well. It is the perfect size of a city to live and take classes in. It was also very accessible to the airport so I was able to travel a ton too! Abroad is definitely what you make of it but I am so happy I chose Dublin as my city. I experience amazing food, music, conversations and friendships.

How can this program be improved?
I think one improvement was just the area of our housing. We lived in the underdeveloped part of Dublin which although it added a lot of character, it was a little creepy. This was not a huge issue at all but just a recommendation.
Yes, I recommend
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Lauren
10/10

Staff As Wonderful As the Country

From the moment I walked through arrivals at the airport the staff of IES was completely supportive and comforting. Going to a new country that you will be staying in for an extended period of time is likely to cause some nerves, but the staff did everything they could to replace those nerves with excitement. Staff was waiting for arrivals from flights right outside of the gate and escorted us to taxis with our fellow students. We then would have an orientation that would explain everything from the bus system to what "craic" means. From the first day up until the last they helped us with everything we came to them for, from flights for weekend excursions to which spots in the city to visit. The professors I had in this program are among some of the best I have had in my entire college career. When our program was over, saying goodbye to the staff of the center was just as sad as saying goodbye to the city we had grown to love.

How can this program be improved?
Yes, I recommend
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Megan
9/10

Why I Call Ireland Home

I went into studying abroad with very few expectations- I truly did not know what to expect! That being said, IES Abroad Dublin blew even my faint preconceived notions out of the water. The growth I was able to experience during the time I lived abroad is unmatched and I would not trade it for anything.
My living experience was a great combination of familiar and foreign. I lived in a beautiful flat in Dublin just outside of City Centre. The two girls I lived with were both from the States and we got along very well! Coming from the suburbs, it was fun to experience urban life in such a vibrant way. I had the opportunity to cook for myself often, as well, which was a nice way to save money. Anything the apartment needs, such as pots and pans, a bathroom mat, or a coat rack, IES pays for! In this living situation, I felt independent, but still cared for and looked after.
Every living arrangement has an RA who has weekly meetings with his or her residents. The meetings are pretty laid back-mostly chatting, and a few logistics of the apartment. The rest of IES staff is extremely helpful, as well. Each instructor truly invests into the students’ personal growth while in Ireland. From relevant readings in class, travel recommendations, various field trips, and hands-on learning experiences, the professors care deeply about making you feel comfortable.
Overall, my IES Dublin experience was one for the books and I truly could not have asked for a smoother study abroad opportunity. After living in Ireland for four months, I would not say I like it. No, with the help of IES I am able to call Ireland home.

Yes, I recommend
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Victoria
10/10

If you have cold feet about going to Dublin...

If you are considering going abroad and are worried about getting cold feet...GO! It was the most amazing experience of my life, and I grew as a person and learned so much. I was signed up for study abroad and a month before I was set to leave I almost decided not to go. I am so happy I did, and getting out of my comfort zone was just what I needed. Ireland is an outstanding place to study and I can't imagine studying anywhere else. It really felt like home after only a few short weeks. I was there for 12 weeks total, and I cried when I left Dublin. I made so many new friends and memories in that city, and I am considering trying to get a job there so I can live there permanently!

IES did a great job of allowing us to balance school and travel, so it was not stressful to explore while still getting good grades. I loved all of the pubs and the traditional Irish food. The night life is awesome and the city is so urban. There are really great restaurants, bars, and shopping. The Irish culture is prevalent in the city but to get a real taste of the Irish culture you should do some exploring outside of the city. There are day trips by bus to go visit places like the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Stone, etc. It is really easy to sign up and go! I cannot stress how great this program was enough! If you are considering studying abroad, go with IES and go to Dublin- you won't regret it.

Yes, I recommend
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Annie
10/10

Studying in Dublin

I couldn't have picked a better program than IES Dublin. The academics were the perfect balance of challenging and interesting but also manageable. The staff at IES tended to all of our needs and were very welcoming. For example, many of our teachers brought treats or served tea during class. The location of the program was great and very close to the center of the city. Additionally, our apartments were very nice and about a four minute walk from the center. I felt very safe the entire time I was in Ireland. The night life and social scene were great! I wish I could do it again.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing that I would change about my program is that I wish I had joined a club at Trinity to meet more Irish students. While I did volunteer and meet people that way, it would have been nice to make more ties within the community.
Yes, I recommend
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Grace
10/10

Living and learning in Dublin

IES Abroad has been detrimental to my experience thus far as a soon-to-be graduated senior. It helped me grow in so many different ways - emotionally (battling homesickness while finding new friends), physically (all the hikes I went on, calves of steel!), and intellectually (Irish language, history, and literature are all fascinating to learn about). All of the IES Abroad staff were amazing and extremely helpful in acclimating us to Dublin and keeping us aware of the current issues. The professors were equally wonderful, and always went out of their way to help students out.

I will always keep this experience as a cherished one for myself, and I cannot wait to return to Dublin soon.

Yes, I recommend
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Taylor
10/10

Culture Shock and How to Deal

Studying abroad was the best decision I've ever made for a number of reasons. Most importantly, though, is the way you learn to be yourself - in more ways than just the traditional, first-day-of-school, "coming of age" film kind of way that we've gotten used to hearing about through mainstream media.

It's difficult to explain exactly what's going to happen during that first week or two that you're in a new country. It's a strange little bit of time; you haven't quite gotten into the rhythm of a new city, adjusted to the accents or the slang vocabulary, or felt the pang of homesickness that will inevitably come to you one day later on in the program.

The first two weeks of living somewhere is like being thrown into a swimming pool with your clothes on. It's funny and it feels a little odd, mostly because a part of your brain knows that something isn't right. You're going to find out that it isn't a fanny pack, it's a bum bag. You aren't alright, you're grand. When someone is feeling down or having a rough time, you say "aw, sugar," instead of "honey." Suddenly, everyone uses brown sugar in their coffee and macaroni and cheese is something you only see when your eyes are closed.

The best advice I can give you is to pay attention to the differences. If something doesn't make sense, ask about it. Stow it away to think about later, because by the time the third week rolls by, you're going to be doing all of those things, too. If you keep track of what's different, if you remember what it is that made it hard to get a handle on your new country, it's going to be a lot easier readjusting once you come back home.

Pay attention to them, but don't get stuck. That's what will bring you down. Think of how funny they are and bring up the differences with other people on the program; see what they've noticed that you might have missed.

Don't let the little things that don't quite jive weigh heavy on your homesick heart; instead, make a game of it. Try and pick up on what you can, and don't spend so much time trying to hold on to who you were and what you did before. Studying abroad is going to teach you how to be yourself without being held back by who other people know you to be; the best way to be okay with that is to forget who you knew you were before you left, because it's all going to be different once the trip is over.

How can this program be improved?
I wasn't prepared for the amount of out-of-pocket spending I had to do on this trip. I ended up underestimating how much it would cost to buy souvenirs, groceries, and little weekend trips. It isn't impossible to be frugal and save yourself some cash, but the money is different and you can't always do the conversions off the top of your head. Be aware of what your budget is, and absolutely stick to it as much as you can.
Yes, I recommend
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Mason
10/10

IES Dublin, Irish Studies

If you're looking for a complete study abroad experience that allows you to immerse yourself in a country's culture, history, and way of life, this is the one for you. This program, through course topics and amazing staff, gave me the opportunity to delve into the essence of Ireland. The staff provided amazing feedback on travel ideas, focussing on the students' overall abroad experience. They were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I took two of the BEST courses in my academic career on this program in Dublin. They weren't too difficult, but they kept you coming back for more information, which was optimal for students. Also, Ireland is gorgeous and the people are one of a kind. I highly recommend this program.

Yes, I recommend
Rebekah
10/10

Delightfully Dublin

I've always had a love for travel, and I knew that I wanted to study abroad as a part of my college experience. I was back and forth between a couple of different programs, and I am so glad that I chose IES Abroad in Dublin. From the moment I walked out of immigration and into the Dublin airport to see the smiling faces of Megan and Regina next to the giant IES sign, I knew that my adventure was going to be absolutely wonderful.
The staff at IES was beyond helpful when it came to coursework, weekend travel around Ireland and other countries, and things to do in Dublin. My apartment was comfortable and within a 15-minute walk from anywhere I wanted to go. IES went above and beyond to make sure that we all had what we needed.
My classes and professors were wonderful and very involved. One of my professors, Stephen, took us to the theatre, walked us through museum exhibits, and took us to some of the best restaurants in Dublin. Every Monday he would start class with, "Where did everyone travel this weekend, and where are you going next weekend?" Midway through class every day, we took a break for tea and pastries-the real Irish experience.
If you're looking for an organization for study abroad, IES is most definitely the way to go. I left a piece of my heart in that beautiful city, and I am so thankful for all that IES did to make my journey phenomenal.

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, my summer with IES was phenomenal. My favorite weekend was the Northern Ireland trip organized by IES. I went to the three excursions they planned, but I would have loved to have more opportunities like this. There were a few evenings where my friends and I had no idea what to do, so we ended up doing things we knew about previously. I wish we could have gotten more ideas from the IES staff of events going on around Dublin that we could have attended.
Yes, I recommend
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Gabriella
10/10

Emerald Isle changed my life!

I always knew I would study abroad somewhere in Europe—the big question then became where? As I browsed through the IES options (IES being a program that worked well with my homeschool and made transferring my financial aid and grades easy!) the two countries that stood out to me were France and Ireland; France with its romantic language and world renown sites, and Ireland with its charming green hills and classic folklore. I finally decided on Ireland because I heard that the people were friendly and I knew I would appreciate living in an English-speaking nation.
Looking back now, as I sift through thousands of photos during my 14-week adventure, my heart is filled with overwhelming joy and love for the Emerald Isle. I am so thankful I chose Ireland as my study abroad location because it was the perfect environment for me to grow and challenge myself on my own terms. I loved meeting the people in my program, going out for lunch between classes, walking down the canal, which was only a block away from my apartment, and enjoying a pint at the closest pub.
The friendships I made while in Ireland made all the difference—we were a tight knit group who all hung out and shared with each other in a way that I had never experienced before. With the support and advice of the IES Centre staff, who I miss terribly, I was able to journey all over Ireland as well as France, Scotland, and Italy. My housing was perfectly located and had much more space than I ever expected to have in a European apartment.
I feel like a different person than I was before I left for Ireland. I now can confidently manage my way through airports, trains, or any public transport. I can go into a restaurant and order something outside of the box, with excitement and anticipation instead of hesitation. I came to experience and understand the power of true kindness and honesty, and I made some life long friends. Ireland did this to me; it made me let go of much of my social anxiety, allowing me the freedom to be myself without fear. It made me learn to trust my instincts, granting me the power to speak up in any situation. Finally, Ireland gave me the opportunity to recognize what I value most in life—my family and the freedom to explore my curiosities without judgment.

Yes, I recommend
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Brigid
10/10

Slainte! IES Dublin spring 2015

I am currently suffering from severe wanderlust and am fighting the urge to hop on a plane to Dublin as I write this review. As I settle back into my old life in the U.S, I took the time to decipher what my study abroad experience meant to me. Simply put, my semester in Dublin was one of the greatest (if not the greatest) decisions I have ever made. Let me explain that before I left for Dublin I was a painfully shy personality who came from a tight-knit family and had lived in a small town all of my life. Of course I was excited to go abroad, however, I had never done something so out of my comfort zone. I have never been more scared to do anything in my life and I boarded the plane (Departing from Chicago) while trying to control my ugly sobbing. All of the fears and nerves I had were completely assuaged as soon as I stepped foot on Irish soil. At that moment I knew this would be an experience of a lifetime, and it was. Let me tell you why.
1) The Staff- The IES Dublin staff is in my opinion the best out there. I was immediately greeted in the airport by some of the nicest, most enthusiastic people I have ever met. The teachers, coordinators, counselors, RAs, ect. were so welcoming and inspiring. These individuals quickly became a part of my abroad family. From tea and cookies in the middle of class to last minute flight and travel advice, the staff was what really made my experience so unique. The classes were so interesting and pertinent to my every day life in Dublin that class became fun to go to. The staff did everything they could to make sure that we got out to see the rest of Ireland and Europe and were cognizant that although we were there for school we were also there to grow as people and experience travel as well. They will be the first people that I contact as soon as i get back in Dublin (which I hope is soon)!
2) The City- Dublin is such an amazing city in so many aspects. It is a large, modern, growing city with tall modern buildings and businesses, however, the city still maintains its small town feel. The streets are peppered with small locally owned restaurants and cafes and the pubs are all so different and cozy. The city is so full of history that I found myself simply walking for hours each day just to see and learn more. From historic O'Connell street to the Georgian buildings and squares, the city is such a beautiful juxtaposition of the new and the old Dublin.
3) The Culture- The culture and people of Ireland are so warm and welcoming. From "pub culture" to storytelling, there is simply nothing to dislike about the people and way of life in Dublin. I enjoyed a more laid back lifestyle in Dublin and was able to be stress free and take a walk down the canal every day. The locals really love to showcase their history and are so willing to include you in their culture and customs that the transition from US to Ireland went seamlessly.
4) The Land- Everything in Ireland is breathtaking. If I had a euro for every time I found myself saying "is this place even real?" I would have enough money to buy my flight back to Dublin already. The sights I saw and people I met along the way are something that will forever be engrained in my memory.
5) My Fellow Students- As a shy person, I was so nervous about not making friends abroad. I learned very quickly that when thrown into a foreign country, people are so open to meeting new friends and having new adventures. My classmates became my travel buddies, my pub crew, my homework help and my best friends. From Spring break in Spain to a farewell weekend in Galway, my crew was up for anything. I made friends that will last me a lifetime!
As my review is getting extremely long and I am getting increasingly more nostalgic, I best wrap it up. Simply put, my semester in Ireland changed my life. I became a more confident, adventurous and curious person and Dublin secured a permanent place in my heart. I can only say that I sincerely hope that every student can be as fortunate as I was to undergo the amazing adventure I did!

How can this program be improved?
The only bad thing i could say about this program is that it wasn't longer. Everything was amazing, it was just so hard to leave!
Yes, I recommend
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JoAnna
10/10

IES Dublin

Dublin is an incredible city. It's extremely walkable, so I saved a lot of money on transportation while still sightseeing. The airport was easy to get to, and cheap Ryanair flights to various countries were plentiful. The DART train allowed us to take quick day trips or half day trips when we had a spare morning for exploring another coastal city or cliff walk.

The program is very small, and we all become close friends as a result. The staff members are incredible, and the courses are all very interesting. Even though we were living an ocean away from home, having friends who were American helped ease the culture shock as we all adjusted together. Everyone we met, from the owner of a coffee shop down the street to the tour guide on Paddy Wagon tours, was friendly, and I felt completely comfortable in the city as a result.

On a typical day, I would get ready and walk to class around 9:30am. My first class would end around 12:30, so a group of people would either eat lunch at the center or go out to eat at a cafe. Sometimes we would go visit a museum or do something in the city center in the afternoon. Otherwise, we would work on homework before the afternoon/evening class in the IES center. After class, we often made "family dinners" and watched movies while working on homework.

The staff at the IES center are absolutely the best. From the very moment I stepped away from the baggage claim, they helped welcome us to Dublin and introduce us to all things Irish. I always felt cared for, and they made sure we knew that they would do whatever they could if we ever needed anything. They excelled at serving as tour guides (both in Ireland and by making suggestions for other cities we wanted to visit), friends, and instructors.

The biggest challenge I faced abroad was learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. At first, almost everything I encountered, from ordering at restaurants to navigating the bus system, felt challenging, new and a bit daunting. Within a month or two, the city began to feel like home, and I learned how to simply ask for help when I was confused or else fake the confidence.

How can this program be improved?
It was difficult to get to know many Irish people outside of the IES staff all that well. Without joining a club or getting a gym membership, I was unable to make any real connections outside of the program.
Yes, I recommend
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Sarah
10/10

Irish Studies

My time in Dublin holds a very special place in my heart and I owe this to the wonderful IES staff and students. The academics and field trips within the program allowed me to gain a better understanding of Irish culture and history. I made lifelong friends during my time abroad and would highly recommend this experience to anyone who is looking to expand their horizons, grow, and see the world around them.

How can this program be improved?
N/A
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Katie
10/10

Take me back!!

IES is the best place to study abroad. I never felt lost or out of place in my city because the staff was so helpful. The housing was beautiful. I lived in the best area of Dublin and I could walk everywhere without even thinking. I feel perfectly comfortable and safe. The field trips were so fun and I miss Ireland already. I met my best friends in this program and think I will keep in touch with the staff and students for years to come. The center had everything we would need academically to get our homework done. The best part of the classes that it wasn't all about classroom learning. We were constantly going to museums exhibits and even coffee and scones for class periods to take advantage of every second we had in Dublin. I truly felt at home and could be dropped at any point in the city and find out exactly where I was.

How can this program be improved?
There should be more field trips, even outside of Ireland. I loved traveling with the teachers and other students. The best part was that everything was planned for us so we knew we were getting the most out of the experience.
Yes, I recommend

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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...