Studying Abroad in Ireland

By Kaitlin Hurtado on September 4, 2019

Studying abroad during college is one of the most discussed college experiences. It takes your typical classroom experience and turns it into an adventure into the unknown. Everyone’s study abroad experience can be different, and one of the largest variants is the location.

If you’re considering different locations to call home during your study abroad experience, or have already landed and are looking for more information on Ireland, here are some helpful tips for when you are studying abroad in Ireland.

cliffs of moher

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Study in internationally-ranked universities

Irish colleges and universities are recognized internationally and known for placing the responsibility of learning in the hands of its students. Rather than getting “busy” work that usually keeps students on task with whatever they are learning, Irish education is structured to teach students in larger groups and leave it up to them to dive further into the material as they see fit.

Popular study fields include technology, communications, history, and environmental studies.

It’s very important that you remember to stay on top of your education as you take advantage of all that Ireland has to offer during your study abroad experience.

You won’t have to worry about a foreign language

Unlike other popular study abroad spots where your experience almost requires you to be fluent in another language to make most out of it, studying abroad in Ireland doesn’t require learning another language aside from English.

The official languages of Ireland are Irish Gaelic and English, but most of the country does speak English. Those that do speak Irish Gaelic as their first and main language are usually located on the west coast.

Picking up some basic literacy can be helpful when studying abroad in Ireland as Irish is still used for street signs, local signs, and more.

While you should be fine conversing with locals, anticipate learning some new slang during your study abroad experience. Some slang will sound like a foreign language but with some practice, you’ll be able to decipher it like a local, and maybe even take it home with you.

If you hear about “craic,” have no fear that you are being approached for drugs. “Craic” is slang for news or gossip. So, if someone is walking up to you in a pub asking “what’s the craic?” they are really saying “how are you?” and “how’s the craic” someone is asking you what’s new or if anything is going on.

The outdoors provide ample opportunity for adventures 

One of the most appealing things about Ireland is the number of outdoor activities that are available for travelers. You will have water sports, cycling, rock climbing, hiking, and even paragliding available to fill your time outside of the classroom.

Visit the Blarney Castle and indulge your inner tourist when you can ‘kiss the Blarney Stone’ to get the “gift of eloquence” (a local legend, of course). The more Irish history you know, the more you will get out of sightseeing.

If rigorous outdoor activity isn’t your thing, don’t fret! You won’t be bored when Ireland still has so much to offer when it comes to its outdoor sights. From the Cliffs of Moher to the Emerald Isle, you can get breaths of fresh air outside of the classroom and have Instagram posts for days (and weeks).

Stop, listen to the music, and eat 

While you are studying abroad, take the time to relax. There’s always something going on so grab a friend or two and seek out an adventure. Whether it be a pub or an actual concert, stop on by for a listen to traditional Irish music. Dance to your hearts’ content as a nice study break.

Ireland is associated heavily with potatoes, but they are also known for their fish and chips and hearty stews.

Drink beer – safely and responsibly, of course 

If you tell people you are going to be spending your study abroad experience in Ireland, one of the things that they most likely bring up is the drinking culture. It’s about getting your schoolwork done during the day and then hitting the pubs with your friends at night.

Don’t forget that you are in Ireland to study after all. Know your limits, watch out for yourself, and drink responsibly.

Feel at home, away from home 

Ireland is known to be warm to visitors. It’s a great place to study abroad as you will not be constantly regarded as a stranger by locals. Ireland is a popular study abroad destination and if friendly and welcoming locals are not enough to make Ireland your temporarily home, the large international student population definitely will.

What better way to feel more at home than connecting with others going through the same study abroad experience than you?

Studying abroad in Ireland is going to be one unforgettable experience, and hopefully, this guide is just the starting point.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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