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Madeline Johnson, Biological Engineering, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, spring 2017

"My study abroad experience at University College Dublin has been, without a doubt, the best semester of my college experience. From the moment I received the email on a Tuesday morning about being accepted into the program, I couldn't contain my  excitement for the experience which were about to follow as I journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean to spend four months of my life in Dublin. I can't emphasize enough how amazing my time has been in Ireland and all of the wonderful experiences I have had at UCD and beyond. Approximately 80% of students want to study abroad but only 1% has the opportunity to and I know that with my time spent in Ireland, I wanted to make the most out of it. The campus is beautiful with two lakes and plenty of grassy areas along with modern, large dorms (all apartment style) offering the opportunity to socialize with roommates but also have alone time to study and do homework in your single room. The campus offers many different options for food and I have been very satisfied with all of my dining experiences at UCD. The campus sits about 4 miles outside of the city centre surrounded by nice residential areas and is an easy 25 min bus ride into the city. In my engineering modules, I have had very positive experiences with not only my professors but also my peers. Most people are eager to learn and finding help from other students is easy. The professors I had in the Biosystems Engineering Department were all extremely knowledgeable in their subjects, both having many published works. I felt like my studies were engaging despite the academic system in Ireland being different than that of my home University. The topics I learned about gave me a great insight on the agriculture industry in Ireland which will help me with my internship this summer as I will be able to bring knowledge to the table that most likely no other intern will have. Given that I am one of the few people in my major at Penn State to have attended a study abroad program at UCD, it seemed like a daunting task at first but the advisors in the UCD Engineering Department are incredibly helpful and have been a priceless resource to aiding in my time at UCD. Partaking in an engineering study abroad isn't an easy task to take on but for those who are filled with excitement and motivation on a daily basis it was the perfect combination to help me thrive in a new environment. Push yourself, get involved, and you'll never regret it!"

Brian Roda, Biosystems Engineering Junior Year Student, Penn State University, spring 2016

"My study abroad experience at University College Dublin has been, without a doubt, the best semester of my college experience. From the moment I received the email on a Tuesday morning about being accepted into the program, I couldn't contain my  excitement for the experience which were about to follow as I journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean to spend four months of my life in Dublin. I can't emphasize enough how amazing my time has been in Ireland and all of the wonderful experiences I have had at UCD and beyond. Approximately 80% of students want to study abroad but only 1% has the opportunity to and I know that with my time spent in Ireland, I wanted to make the most out of it. The campus is beautiful with two lakes and plenty of grassy areas along with modern, large dorms (all apartment style) offering the opportunity to socialize with roommates but also have alone time to study and do homework in your single room. The campus offers many different options for food and I have been very satisfied with all of my dining experiences at UCD. The campus sits about 4 miles outside of the city centre surrounded by nice residential areas and is an easy 25 min bus ride into the city. In my engineering modules, I have had very positive experiences with not only my professors but also my peers. Most people are eager to learn and finding help from other students is easy. The professors I had in the Biosystems Engineering Department were all extremely knowledgeable in their subjects, both having many published works. I felt like my studies were engaging despite the academic system in Ireland being different than that of my home University. The topics I learned about gave me a great insight on the agriculture industry in Ireland which will help me with my internship this summer as I will be able to bring knowledge to the table that most likely no other intern will have. Given that I am one of the few people in my major at Penn State to have attended a study abroad program at UCD, it seemed like a daunting task at first but the advisors in the UCD Engineering Department are incredibly helpful and have been a priceless resource to aiding in my time at UCD. Partaking in an engineering study abroad isn't an easy task to take on but for those who are filled with excitement and motivation on a daily basis it was the perfect combination to help me thrive in a new environment. Push yourself, get involved, and you'll never regret it!"

Read Brian’s online blog at http://cantstopdublinthefun.blogspot.ie/

Paaras Agrawal, Chemical Engineering student, University of Alabama, Spring 2015

"UCD has been amazingly welcoming from before leaving home and continues to be after I took my first steps onto the Belfield campus. Whether it was joining the ping pong club or the wind surfing club at Refresher's day to attending the various events hosted by the international school - such as the super bowl and bowling nights - there was bound to be time spent with great fun and new friends. Attending the Engineering school in particular here allowed me to see firsthand how globalized the field has become and how vital it is to interact with people of different backgrounds both socially and professionally. The professors were incredibly helpful and went above and beyond in order to help ease your transition into what may be a new style of learning, wanting me to not only understand but thrive in the topics of discussion. Studying in Dublin has surpassed any and all expectations I had for studying in a new country and as I say good bye to close friends and familiar faces I know this will be always be a place of fond memories and a home that I look forward to coming back to."

Sean Street, Chemical Engineering Junior Year Student, University of Arkansas, Fall 2015

Seek and embrace the stresses of your great engineering-abroad opportunity as you, an engineer, stand the most to gain of all of those who study abroad!  As I sit in a pub off Dawson Street, enjoying my second pint of Guinness and a dozen of the best oysters I've ever had, I reflect on my experience.  I chose to push myself to the max academically and socially, and my growth exceeded that of my wildest expectations.  I'm a junior chemical engineering student taking 4 senior level courses at UCD which transfer back to the U of A - GPA is counted as I'm applying to MBA programs.  The professors have been exceptional and their altered approach is exactly the challenge I had hoped to find when arriving - note, they don't baby you!  How do I adapt to new assessment styles, new methods of teaching, an absence of homework, new concepts taught in strange and funny accents - all of which in a new country with nobody I know?  These are essential questions for all engineers as throughout our careers, we will constantly be cast into new environments, tasked with piecing puzzles together.  In addition to my daunting academic schedule, I tried out for and made the UCD fresher’s soccer team; I walked on at a local rugby club, and I travelled to Liverpool, Belfast, Galway, Rome, Barcelona, and London (x2).  Among 3 practices, pints almost every other day, 1-2 nights of going out to the clubs, weekend matches, and travel, each week presented a hectic schedule and required a disciplined motivation.  I couldn't have accomplished all of this while making A's and B's without the awesome group of classmates - party with them, get to know them, and join their group message!  In choosing UCD engineering, I entered the perfect situation for social growth and academic growth - far more than the other abroad students who took a majority of Irish introductory courses (although I think all study abroad students should take one).  Push yourself and you will enjoy the benefits!"

Daniel Corrigan, Civil Engineering Major, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Spring 2017

“I had a fantastic time studying abroad at UCD in Ireland and I wish I could have stayed longer. I learned a lot in the classroom, I met loads of new and interesting people, I got to experience a different culture for four months, and I also got to see some other parts of Europe in my time there!

Dublin is a fantastic city with lots of character and history. I had so many good experiences exploring the city and enjoying its sights, restaurants, and night life. I also had the opportunity to travel to several beautiful places in the countryside of Ireland such as Killarney in Co. Kerry and the Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare. The Irish are an incredibly welcoming people and it was a privilege to embrace their culture while living in their country, and I particularly enjoyed their music and their sports.

The breath of engineering courses available allowed me to seamlessly integrate a study abroad semester into my home university plan of study. I also got to take some interesting elective courses such as ‘Music in Ireland’ which I thoroughly enjoyed and would never have taken otherwise.

I encourage anyone who is considering studying abroad at UCD to do so because I have had the time of my life during my semester here, and I have no doubt that the staff and the students will help to make it an unforgettable experience for you too”.

Rebecca Brake, Civil Engineering Junior Year Student, University of Alabama, Spring 2016

“I knew I had to study abroad since high school. Then, I knew I had to study at UCD since my learning of it freshman year of college. It took me two and a half years before I followed through with my dream of studying in Dublin, but it was well worth the wait. I never knew I could meet people from basically every country in one place. I also realised that I could be connected to someone in so many ways, whether we knew the same person or shared the same random experience.

The civil engineering classes I attended here were so eye-opening; I was able to get a different viewpoint on how civil engineers work overseas. I also enjoyed the small class sizes so I could easily talk to the lecturer or other students. The Center for Study Abroad program was another great aspect of UCD. With them, I was able to go on awesome trips and experience some Irish culture. Learning how to place Gaelic games and then attending a Gaelic football game with my friends was one of the coolest experiences ever! As my semester comes to a close and I begin my journey home, I realise I will be missing some part of myself in the beautiful country of Ireland”.

Deirdre Eason, Electrical Engineering Sophomore Year Student, Villanova University, Fall 2015.

"Everyone always says that studying abroad is one of the best memories they have from their time in college. Three years ago I visited Ireland for a family vacation and from the day I left, I knew that I wanted to come back again. However, as an engineer I was always told that studying abroad is very difficult if not impossible. I had never been to UCD or even heard of it before my abroad advisor suggested studying here. I had no doubt that I wanted to come back to Ireland and UCD offered the classes I needed and seemed like a good fit. I was very nervous at first traveling to a new country alone for 4 months but also wanted to make the most of it. The first week of classes, we were encouraged by our teachers not only to study hard but also to get involved on campus. I ended up taking the advice of my teachers and joining the UCD Club Lacrosse team. These girls and guys became some of my best friends here at UCD. I not only expanded my friend group with the lacrosse team but I also found the engineering upperclassmen very willing to offer their knowledge about professors and classes.

 I came to Ireland because I loved the country but about a month into school I was already looking for a way to stay at UCD for another semester. The school is beautiful, the professors are eager to teach, and the people you meet will become some of the most amazing friends you will ever have. I would absolutely recommend other students to come study at UCD for a year or even just a semester."

Kathleen Fownes, Electrical Engineering student,  Northeastern University, Spring 2015

“My time at UCD has been one of the happiest of my life. As an electrical engineer, I had to stick closely to my home curriculum, but also was able to take electives in Irish language and music. The engineering professors make themselves more than available for help and questions and are extremely passionate about their subjects. My course at Northeastern University includes three six-month internships, and the support staff at in UCD engineering cheerfully provided me with advice and contacts to set up my own placement here in Dublin. So I get to come back! In terms of extra curricular activities, UCD outdoes itself with its student societies. I joined the traditional music society and immediately felt comfortable and welcome, making some great friends. UCD has something for everybody and so much to take advantage of. I’m so glad I chose to spend this semester here”.  

Pei Shan Goh, Mechanical Engineering,National University of Singapore, Spring 2017

My semester at UCD has been an eye-opening experience. It was heart-warming, to see how friendly and welcoming the people are. From the get-go, the Study Abroad team had been incredibly supportive, with their quick replies to my questions (I had a lot of those), and helping to break down all the administrative details into bite-sized, digestible titbits. I am incredibly grateful for their help.

Orientation week was a blast as well. It was refreshing, being able to just walk up to people and engage them in conversations, and it was interesting what I learnt about people from different countries and cultures. I met a lot of amazing people, and keep in contact with most of them. It has certainly livened up my semester here!

One of the highlights of my semester was joining the archery club. Archery has always been something I wanted to try out, but it is prohibitively expensive and opportunities are scarce where I come from. When I found out that UCD has an archery club, I leapt at the chance and contacted them straightaway. The seniors were really welcoming and helpful, always on the look-out in case we needed help or had questions, and always ready and willing to dispense advice to help us improve.

Classes, too, were immensely enriching. The small class sizes were surprising; the first time I walked into the classroom, I thought I had taken a wrong turn. However, it meant that I could get to know all my classmates and professors better, and I really appreciated that. Now that the semester has ended, I feel sad having to leave all these behind. I am happy that I came, despite initial fears and reservations. If I could choose to do it all over again, I would do so in a heartbeat!

Ellise Damschroder,Mechanical Engineering Sophomore Year Student,George Washington University, Spring 2016

I came to Ireland on a vacation with my dad during a summer in high school and absolutely loved it.  I’m from a place that is brown or white most of the year, so the green of Ireland really struck me.  I think I knew then that I wanted to study abroad here and fortunately, GW has a close relationship with UCD.  My time here has been incredible, from the first day where I took a trip to IKEA (I love IKEA) to all the weekend trips around Europe and Ireland I have loved every second.  The transition between universities and the different type of learning was very smooth and it was very easy to get in the swing of classes after the first introductory week.  Coming to UCD and Ireland has been one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to come back someday.