Like the River Liffey that runs through this fascinating city, the list of Ireland’s attributes is long and lively. If you’re unsure of where to spend your semester abroad, tip your hat toward the Emerald Isle and guaranteed, you’ll come away with an entirely new perspective of this culturally rich country. And, with some 10% of the U.S. population reportedly from Irish heritage, you might find Ireland feels just like home.
- Just the right size. Dublin is a small city. (In fact, the entire country of Ireland is small – just 174 miles east to west, and 302 miles north to south.) You’ll have no trouble exploring a good portion of the island as well as its capital city, which covers just 44 square miles. If you love the idea of a cosmopolitan city filled with nonstop entertainment but hate the idea of feeling like a tiny fish in a huge ocean, choose Dublin.
- No language barrier. While there are small pockets of residents still speaking Gaeilge (don’t call it Gaelic), the remainder of the population speaks English. No learning curve necessary – you can jump right in and start chatting it up with locals. You’ll no doubt find many are imbued with “the gift of gab,” so settle in and get ready for storytelling at its best.
- Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and Dublin City University. Three local universities that happily host international students, where you can take classes alongside locals, enjoy a robust selection of campus activities, and live on campus. No matter what your academic focus, you’ll find a hearty selection of courses where you can earn credits and advance your degree.
- James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde … Ireland is a wanna-be-writers dream and a reader’s utopia. Some of the world’s most famous authors have walked its cobblestone streets and expounded on its corners. It’s all captured at the Dublin Writer’s Museum which pays homage to these literary giants with exhibits, readings, manuscripts, and memorabilia.
- Location, location, location! Spend the semester in Dublin and make the entire European continent your playground. Cheap flights abound from Dublin to London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Brussels, Paris and more! Study abroad in Dublin = study abroad in Europe!
I haven’t even touched on Ireland’s up-and-coming foodie scene, the awesome Irish brogue, the incredible museums, the Pride, Theatre and Fringe festivals, buskers singing heartbreaking ballads, Supermac’s, gorgeous public parks, cliff walks, Celtic traditions, and so much more. Find out firsthand!