Let Katie tell you how she's been completely charmed by Dublin. This city of wonders made this a memorable adventure for her, and she can't wait for you to have one too. As she makes her way back home to continue college, check out these 3 key pieces of advice about studying abroad in Ireland.
All good things must come to an end……or do they? Almost 3 months in my home away from home has taught me many things—ONE being that the letter “h” and your money just disappears overnight. No, but seriously, Dublin is a city of wonders: the architecture dating back to the Victorian Era, the history of Irish past, the pubs on EVERY corner, and people who yell “CHEERS” after receiving every drink. This astonishing city has turned my summer abroad into the summer of a lifetime—and HERE'S WHY!!!
Ireland is NOT, I repeat NOT, all that different from the United States. I know what you are thinking……is this chick brainwashed by Guinness and Bangers n’ Mash? Let me assure you, I am not. Upon my arrival into Dublin, I saw not 1, not 2, but 3 Starbucks within 3 miles of one another. Let’s not forget the Papa John's, Five Guys, Dollar Stores (Or EuroGiants as they call it there), movie theaters, malls (GO TO PRIMARK—YOU ARE WELCOME), and so much more. For whatever bizarre reason, I assumed Ireland would have nothing and I would have to bring everything with me (no shopping, no cosmetics, no everyday item stores, etc...). The biggest culture shock for me, and TRUST you will have this at least once, is how much this city is experiencing globalization. Guys, even Google and Facebook are here. Like, WHATTT! My advice on this is to actually DO THE RESEARCH. DO NOT assume anything because Dublin is a continuous growing city, and the city I experienced may be completely changed in a few years. So ladies and gentlemen, Get Ready and DO THE RESEARCH!!!
With the roomies on our Phoenix Park adventure.
Here's some parting advice.
1. Get To Know People
Do this—plain and simple. The individuals I met, both in and out of the program, were life changing. Any experience is better with people, we all know that. Now imagine a summer in a new country with folks that are as curious and excited as you. Dublin is home to, what I believe, the most kind-hearted humans I have even been given the privilege to know. From the welcoming CAPA staff to a random stranger you may meet on the bus, a sense of community is found throughout this city wherever you go. The students in my program, both from UF and across the country, are lifelong friends. I am forever grateful for knowing them. This experience, for me, would not have been so rewarding if not for this major factor.
Jenny and I at Giant's Causeway.
This is my one "you MUST do" advice while abroad. Whether you planned ahead with a stacked wallet or are “ballin’ on a budget,” traveling within Europe is both affordable and a MUST DO. There are several ways to plan ahead and travel on a student budget, so you CANNOT use this as an excuse. Don’t want to go alone? That is NOT a problem, because there will be at least one person on your program who will also want to join you. Don’t know how to use public transportation? Truly NOT a problem because living in Dublin teaches you how to navigate a train, bus, and tram system all in one summer. Don’t know what to do or where to stay? The CAPA staff has you covered!!! Everything from recommendations to accommodations, these individuals are nothing but helpful. So please, PLEASE take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and TRAVEL!!!
A group of us from the UF Program touring Scotland.
3. Reach Out
My Dublin experience has been the most incredible summer, and if you ever need to reach out about it—PLEASE DO! From my incredible internship to memories that will make me laugh for years to come, studying abroad is one of the greatest decisions I made in my college career. When considering whether to study abroad or not, if my blog posts haven’t convinced you yet, PLEASE reach out so I can convince you even more. HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU ALL BECAUSE CAPA IS THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY ABROAD!!
All the roomies on our Houth hike.
Signing off, one last time. Farewell.
Katie Berlin is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2019, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Industrial and Systems Engineering major at University of Florida, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.
See more of Katie's journey abroad.