Study abroad has one of the best experiences of my life and I could not recommend it more. It has definitely been a learning experience, so I thought I'd share some tips about studying abroad and some about Dublin . . .
You will spend so much money. This is something I was definitely aware of, but I promise you will spend more than you think. Personally, I saved up so I would be able to spend a bit extra while I was here, but it definitely adds up still. If you’re like me, you’ll tell yourself that you’re gonna budget yourself and not eat out, but then can’t resist an invitation to grab some lunch after class. While obviously it is still possible to limit your spending habits, just be aware that you will probably spend a lot.
Your professors are here to help you!! Every lecturer I have had here is so passionate about what they do as well as about Dublin. They are definitely here to help you whether its something regarding the class itself or even if you just want some recommendations for things to do around Dublin.
If you plan on traveling while you’re abroad, it is so, so possible to do it as cheaply as you can. Websites such as google flights and Skyscanner have been my favorites for finding the cheapest flights. More often than not, you’ll be flying RyanAir as their flights are typically dirt cheap. Travel with just a backpack when you can for the absolute cheapest rate possible. If you’re staying somewhere overnight, stay at hostels! Hostelworld is a great website to find hostels, but I’d recommend booking through the hostels website to avoid added fees. BUT make sure you really look into each hostel; there are definitely some that you would want to avoid, so looking at reviews is always a great tool.
Balance your time!! Abroad is such a fun experience, but that also makes it easy to forget that you are here to take classes. Just make sure you give yourself enough time to get your work done, especially around midterms and finals. Also, make sure you leave time for mental breaks! While traveling all over and being on the go is a lot of fun, it is also SO exhausting. You can definitely feel pressured to always be on the go to make the most of your time, but it’s definitely just as important to give yourself a day, or even a weekend to just relax and take some time for yourself.
Something that I realized pretty quickly was how many pubs/bars/clubs were 21+. This doesn’t mean that if you are under 21 there’s nowhere for you to go, but it’s definitely something to be aware of when you’re looking for somewhere to go for the night. Some places are even 23+, there are fewer of these but they definitely are out there.
The wind. To be fair, during our pre-arrival orientation, we were told not to bother with an umbrella because it would be too windy for them anyways, but they really weren’t lying. Even if it’s not too cold, it does get extremely windy here, so definitely get a raincoat that will keep you warm, as wind and rain do go hand in hand.
“Craic” = fun! You’ll definitely be hearing lots of people saying that something is “good craic” so it's important to know that this kind does not refer to a drug, it means that something is fun!
Use public transportation!! There are plenty of options here including the bus, Luas, and the Dart. The bus will get you to the most places in and around the city, so it’s a great option for places far from Luas stops. The Luas is a light rail that has a green and a red line going through main areas in the city. Nine times out of ten this will get you pretty close to where you need to be. The Dart is more like a commuter train that goes up and down the coast, so it’s perfect to head out for a day trip or hike on the water! Each option is extremely easy to use and not too expensive.
Bring your own shopping/tote bags with you. Grocery stores and other shops will have bags for you to use, but you will have to pay for them. It’s always a good idea to have one on you in case you stop in a shop on your way home. It’s also a great way to be eco-friendly!
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<p>Hi! My name is Maya Reiser and I am studying Psychology, Sociology, and Communication at the University of Pittsburgh. I am studying abroad this Spring in Dublin, and I can't wait to share all of my experiences. My favorite thing in the world to do is travel anywhere I can go. The best memory I have while traveling was watching the sunset on a bridge over a river in Tuscany, Italy.</p>