The National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM) is the best of both worlds, in so many different ways. Here’s three of them!
1. NUIM is the second oldest university in Ireland, and yet it is also the fastest growing university in Ireland. The campus is actually split up into two campuses: the South campus and the North campus. The South campus dates all the way back to the early 1800’s. There’s even a castle that’s apart of the South campus! Meanwhile, the North campus has some of the most modern and state of the art buildings Ireland has ever seen. Read more
ISA, Interstudy‘s partner organization, has had an awesome student blog since 2009. The ISA student blog has served as an open forum for ISA students to explore all aspects of the study abroad experience through stories, photos, and other media, and will now serve the same purpose for Interstudy too! The goal of the blog is to help prospective students get an inside view of what life is like as an ISA/Interstudy participant so they can make an informed decision about which study abroad location best suits their academic and personal goals. Read more
Yes, you heard correctly; there are three different programs in Dublin, Ireland! Interstudy has programs at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, University College Dublin, and Trinity College Dublin. You might ask why are there three different programs in one city? These three programs might be in the same city, but they could not be more unique from one another! Read more
As I lie in bed, unable to sleep the night before I return to the States, I think about what I’ll miss most about Ireland. When my Irish roommates asked me the question at dinner, I couldn’t give them an immediate answer. The truth is I can’t pick out a few aspects of the country that I know I’ll long for once back in the States. Rather, it’s the whole Irish environment and character I’ll miss the most. Read more
Before embarking on my study abroad experience in Ireland, I couldn’t wait to encounter the wonderful things in store for me: the new people, the new culture, the new food, the new WORLD. However, I have to admit, there was one thing I didn’t think a lot about. And that one thing is school. I was always excited to start classes at Trinity College Dublin; however, I didn’t expect it to be much different than my home university, University of Michigan. Read more
Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right? Whether we realize it or not, there are many words still used in American English that have an Irish origin – words like “galore”, “whiskey”, and “blarney”. Here’s an interesting BBC News clip about American students connecting with their Irish roots through language: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17394912.
Many of Interstudy‘s programs in Ireland offer a more in depth look into the culture and history of Ireland. Through courses in Irish history, dance, music, art or language, you’ll find a connection to your Irish roots (even if you’re just Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!).
Contact Interstudy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on courses like these: Read more
As my second month in Ireland begins to unfold, I can finally begin to say that Dublin is starting to feel comfortable and more like home. When I embarked on this journey a little more than a month ago, I understood I would experience many cultural differences; however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that these cultural similarities and differences have affected my time in Ireland in a very positive manner! Read more
As my departure date for Dublin draws near, I find myself spending more time thinking about the experience and what I wish to gain from it. Traveling to a foreign country, I know I maintain the traditional goals of experiencing a different culture, meeting new friends, and gaining a unique perspective; however, I also would like to set higher expectations for myself. Coming from a small town in Pennsylvania and then attending the University of Michigan where I self-admittedly have stuck to my comfort zones, I hope to push my boundaries and work to understand how those in a different country live, learn, and think. I wish to immerse myself in the Irish culture and learn directly from the mouths of the Irish how they go about and experience life.
As an American in a foreign land, I must remember to be respectful and abide by their society’s conventions, never wishing to offend those who I am trying to learn from. Though we are from different countries and cultures, I am confident I will be able to relate to these new people and introduce them to new ideas while they do the same for me. I know this journey I’m about to embark on will be rich in experiences, and I hope to push myself to extract the most from it as possible.
As has already been mentioned, there are quite a few differences during the Ireland study abroad experience from studying at home, but often these are good and important. The classroom culture, I suppose, is much like that of large schools in America during lectures. The main difference, however, would probably be that participation during tutorials is much harder to come by in Ireland. I have found on occasion that I have to ‘force’ myself to participate just to end the awkward silence after a question is asked and no one is answering. So here, there are obvious positives and negatives.
As far as how things are outside the classroom, getting around town is easy enough. A bus goes right from the campus into the city centre, and from there, it is easy enough to either walk, find a cab, take another bus, or for particularly long destinations, taking the trains, all of which I have found to be very well kept and operated. Once you get to where you need to go, pubs obviously aren’t hard to find, and the food, especially fish and chips, is wonderful.
Finally, it is important to go over holidays. During the fall semester, there is really only the October 31st Bank Holiday, which also happens to be Halloween. During this four day weekend, I took a train from Dublin to Sligo to stay with some family for a while, and had a great time experiencing the beautiful sights and ‘true’ Irish culture outside of the big city.
When traveling to any foreign country, one of the most common things for travelers to consciously pick up on are the typical cultural habits of the people of their new country. This can often lead to culture shock, with people becoming frustrated with how things are done, either because of a lack of understanding, having adapted to a particular way of going about things, and being wary of change, or maybe there are legitimate reasons from time to time for such frustrations to occur. Read more