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Elizabeth Tarangelo, Bioengineering Sophomore, Syracuse University, Fall 2017

I always thought Ireland was beautiful when I saw it in pictures, but nothing compares to setting foot on Irish soil and experiencing the real thing. Attending UCD has been grand, and even though it’s only been a few months I already feel like it’s my second home. I’ve loved digging into all of the rich history and soaking in the vibrant and accepting culture, and I’ve learned just as much during my free time as in class. Since arriving in Ireland, I’ve lost my voice cheering during the camogie finals at Croke Park, capsized dinghies in the Irish Sea, hung out in Leinster House with a senator, taken a train to the opposite side of the country on a school night for a bit of craic, nearly gotten stuck in a bog, and many more experiences I never thought I’d have but have made life infinitely more exciting. The minute I got to campus everyone from the Harry Potter Society to the Mountaineering Club made me feel so welcome, and there’s so many clubs and societies that it’s hard to be bored. Of course, class fits into the equation at some point also, but the education system is set up differently from what I was used too so it was cool to be able to study in a different way that was more focused on independent learning, giving me more time to travel around and explore on my own while still getting my work done. You can’t put a credit count or a GPA score on the education that you get by being citizen of the world, and getting to know the Irish people not as a tourist but by embracing the culture. For a country as small as Ireland it’s amazing how much diversity there is to soak in, and because UCD is so internationally established you get to interact with students from all over, so a global university like this really has no borders or boundaries. People aren’t lying when they say study abroad is the best experience; that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when it will be difficult, but you will look back and appreciate the moments you don’t love because that’s what helps you grow, and if you push yourself to try new things, you will have the time of your life.

Samantha Hardy, Biochemical Engineering Sophomore, University of Colorado Boulder, Fall 2017

UCD has been the best decision I have made in my college career. Since day one, I have felt welcome on the UCD campus and in Ireland. Never have I met so many students, staff, and friends who are dedicated to my success and who genuinely care about my progress. I have gained a global perspective on education and have learned a lot in the classroom, but even more outside of it. The relationships I have built here, my personal growth of character, and my increased confidence as a world traveller could not have happened without the great support system at UCD. Studying abroad was a hard transition, but the Irish mantra of "one hundred thousand welcomes" is legitimate; seeing a smiling face in the hallway, making a new friend at the pub, having a bus driver make an extra stop because you missed yours (oops!), are all ways that the friendly atmosphere has made Ireland feel like home. I have applied to work in Galway this summer and am hoping to return to Ireland on a working visa after graduation; if that doesn't say how amazing and this semester has been I don't know what will!

Kiara Yough Biomedical Engineering Major Duquesne University, Autumn 2019

At my home university I will be among only the fifth class to graduate from our biomedical engineering program. Since it is so new we were told that there was absolutely no way we’d be able to study abroad when we started out, however, the way that UCD has accommodated for us to take the classes we need has allowed for that to change.

I always felt so welcomed in the classes and have absolutely fell in love with Ireland and its people in the four months that I’ve had here. I hope to revisit in the future, as I think a piece of my heart will always lie in Ireland after this experience. I really can’t thank the professors and faculty enough for making us feel so welcomed and helping us so much throughout the process, and making Ireland feel like a second home.

Max Wallner Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Autumn 2019

My semester at UCD has been one of the most enjoyable and valuable experiences of my life. From the moment I arrived I felt welcomed and the numerous Orientation week activities helped me familiarise myself with the campus and meet many people in the same position as myself. The various clubs and societies were a particular highlight for me, as I joined the UCD surf club and took two trips to the stunning west coast, making new friends from all over the world.

Whilst I was here, I also enjoyed the opportunity to take modules that helped me better understand the complex history and culture of Ireland. Coming from a place like Australia, the opportunity to do plenty of affordable travel through Europe was particularly special and I was able to see heaps of countries I wouldn’t have been easily able to without coming on exchange. Whilst it’s somewhat sad that my time is almost over, I feel proud and grateful for all the experiences I’ve had here and my time at UCD has certainly helped me gain some independence. I look forward to coming back and visiting the friends I’ve made here in Ireland and across the world.

Stefanie Durcan, Biomedical Engineering Junior, Northeastern University, Spring 2018

I recently finished my semester abroad at UCD and I absolutely fell in love with Dublin and the people there. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and the city had so much to offer. UCD not only provided me with a great educational experience, but also introduced me to people I never would have met before, helping me build friendships that I will always treasure.

During my time at UCD, I was enrolled in their Biomedical Engineering program, where I took classes in Bioinstrumentation, Neural Engineering, and Rehabilitation Engineering. I felt both challenged and encouraged by my professors, and I learned more about the field of bioengineering. My professors were clearly very passionate about the topics covered in my modules and it made my educational experience much more impactful.

The history of Ireland is very interesting, and I learned so much while I was there. Traveling throughout the countryside, from the big cities to cute villages, I was exposed to so much beauty in my short stay. I had the opportunity to road trip throughout western Ireland, visit the Cliffs of Moher, hike through the Ballycroy National Park, and see so many amazing places all over Ireland and in Dublin. My overall experience was so memorable and one that I wouldn't trade for the world.

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/

Laura Dhellemmes Chemical Engineering Major INP-ENSIACET, Toulouse, France, Autumn 2019

Studying abroad has always been a goal of mine, and once I found out about the courses and opportunities provided at UCD, I knew it would be a good fit for me. One semester later, my expectations have been blown away by all the wonderful experiences I've had at UCD, from joining the French society and talking to fellow students over steaming cups of coffee and delicious croissants, to meeting classmates from all over the world and exchanging stories about our international adventures.

In the chemical engineering department, my classes led me to view material I had already studied in a new light, and the professors were always supportive in answering questions or providing additional information. I made friends I never expected from different engineering courses and found a support system that helped me through difficult assignments and the rough weeks coming up to exams. Outside of class, I have had an amazing time discovering the vibrant, multicultural city of Dublin and could not be happier with my decision to come here. I strongly encourage students from all over the world to choose to study at UCD, as it is a decision they will surely not regret.

Brian Schramm Chemical Engineering major Stevens Institute of Technology, Autumn 2019

Studying at University College Dublin has been one of the best decisions I have made for my academic career. I was the first Chemical Engineer from Stevens Institute of Technology to study abroad since 2013, so from the beginning the odds were stacked against me. I worked through it, with the help of the UCD Study Abroad Office, and was able to make a study plan that fit my rigorous and tight engineering curriculum.

As any college student starting at university for the first time, there were those initial nerves coming into it. Well, let’s just say those nerves basically went away instantly. I was able to meet new people during Orientation Week, interact with numerous amounts of people from around the world through modules, and overall take advantage of all that Dublin had to offer. From the pubs on almost every corner to the countless museums such as the Guinness Storehouse and the National History Museum of Ireland, there is something for everyone in this lively city. There are also endless opportunities to spend your time at UCD campus, such as Res-Life pumpkin carving to the fitness classes at the UCD gym.

Study abroad also grants you the opportunity to explore not only all of Ireland, but mainland Europe! I am proud to say by the end of my study abroad experience I went to nine countries, some including Germany, Hungary, Belgium, and Portugal! These are memories that you will grab onto and remember forever.

All in all, if you are someone that is unsure if studying abroad is for you, I am here to say that UCD will not only exceed anything you imagined, but also give you an opportunity of a lifetime that is full of challenges and rewards. I am very confident in saying that UCD is the perfect place to study abroad and to call home for a semester.

Madeleine Kho, Chemical Engineering Junior, Bucknell University, Fall 2018

I knew very little about Dublin when I decided to study abroad at UCD, but I had heard great things about the school and I thought it would be an interesting challenge to go to a place I knew so little about. Before I arrived, I was nervous about picking an unfamiliar place, but it couldn’t have worked out better. UCD and Dublin vastly exceeded my expectations, and now I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else. The campus is so beautiful and my classes were awesome, and I felt supported and welcomed into the community almost instantly. I got to take a wide range of interesting and unique classes, and although the teaching style is very different than what I was used to, I always felt like I had plenty of support and I definitely learned a lot from all my professors! My classes were engaging and challenging, but I also had plenty of time to explore Ireland and a few other countries!  I couldn’t believe how fun and fulfilling the semester was. I've learned so much in the past few months, inside the classroom and out. Throughout my time at UCD, I felt encouraged to focus on my classes, but also make time to have new experiences outside of the classroom. I also took a class called "Ireland Uncovered" which was a great introduction to the history and culture of Ireland, and it was a great way to learn about the country and make some new friends. I also took dance classes with the dance society, which was another great way to meet new people. I have made so many friends from all over the world and have learned so much from all of them! Dublin is a great city to study abroad in - there's so much to do and it's a very student friendly city. From pubs, to museums, to shows, to gorgeous scenery, there's something for everyone and so much to explore! I'm so glad that I got to come to UCD for a semester and I am already looking forward to coming back!.

Erin O’Brien, Chemical Engineering Junior, University of Notre Dame, Fall 2018

My semester in Ireland has been filled with new faces, new classes, and new experiences. As I look back at the semester, I remember all the times spent studying, laughing, and enjoying myself with friends. UCD does a great job of integrating academics with fun extracurricular activities for its students, like having Yoga and Pilates classes, but also having events like Mario Kart Tournaments. Not only does UCD provide fun activities, but the staff are also so helpful to the international students in helping them to choose the right classes, hosting events to bring international students together, and even sometimes having extra pots and pans for the apartments!

UCD is located about a fifteen-minute bus ride from Dublin City Centre, which has a rich culture and history. It was so fun to explore the city, visit some pubs, watch some Gaelic Football Games at Croke Park, visit the Guinness storehouse, and see all the beautiful Christmas lights in the city. Not only did I enjoy myself at UCD and in Dublin, but I was also incredibly fortunate to be able to travel all around Ireland and Europe throughout the semester. I got to explore Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, Scotland, and not to mention traveling all over Ireland, seeing the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, the Aran Islands, and Giant's Causeway. My semester at UCD has been filled with so many memories that I will treasure for a lifetime!

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”.

Yufeng Guo, Electrical engineering senior year exchange student, Beijing Institute of Technology, 2018/2019


"My time at UCD is one of the most rewarding times of my life. Apart from the engineering courses, I also took German electives from ALC and Irish culture course. During the first semester, I work closely with Associate Professor Paul Curran on my graduate project. I’m so happy to apply my knowledge of control theory into practice and have the privilege to learn the cutting-edge control algorithm developed here in UCD to control the fuel tanks of ESA’s Ariana rockets. My invaluable experience here also helped me to receive an admission from Duke University’s graduate school. I’d say my experience at UCD absolutely adds to that.

My favorite music band is Westlife and that’s the reason why I choose to study in Ireland. After I arrived here, I’m so impressed by the history and culture of this emerald isle. The national museum of archeology is my favorite place to visit. I also love the breathtaking scenery at the cliffs of Moher. I’m also learning how to play the Irish tin whistle. Hopefully I can play a complete song before I leave here. In one word, a semester/ year at UCD is worth it without doubt."

Tara Myers, Electrical & Computer Junior, Baylor University, Fall 2017.

First, let’s get one thing straight. It was not my idea to come to Ireland. In fact, back home I would tell people, “There is no way I could ever study abroad, I’m not adventurous enough!”. Well, as it turns out, all you need to be ‘adventurous’ is an idea, and a leap of faith. One of my good friends from my home university began talking about going to study abroad in Ireland, and the thought that changed my life was, “If she can do it, I can do it too!”. That was the end of that. Before I knew it, I was scrambling to get my paperwork in before a deadline that I wasn’t even sure I wanted to meet. Next thing I know, I’m sitting next to that same friend on a plane to Ireland! I’m an engineering student here at UCD, and my classes are hard, but I learned that my life does not have to be. Coming to Ireland was a split- second decision for me, but the lessons I have learned here will last for decades to come. The Cliffs of Moher taught me that nature is a force to be reckoned with, and this earth has survived through problems much larger than my homework. The crumbled view of several castles taught me that this life, my life, will someday end, and all that will be left as a result of this life is what you build. My favorite coastline in Bray taught me that there is a healing nature in the peace that comes from the slow correction of the ocean waves. My student experience at UCD taught me that my life is more than my education. Although the largest impact I leave on this world may be the products of my future work, I am not just a brain. My body has a heart inside that also requires attention. My student experience at UCD taught me to notice the beauty I am surrounded by, and determine what I really wanted from my life after college. Coming to UCD has helped me to understand why I chose the major I did, and what my life can look like in any country if I simply take the time to appreciate my surroundings. Because I am a senior, I cannot think of more perfect timing for this realization. Although I love my home country, there is a certain magic in those beautiful, still ponds on UCD’s campus. The education is deeper than the water, and the quality of life is definitely brighter than the overcast skies. Thank you UCD!

Franziska Schurr Mechanical Engineering major University of Stuttgart Germany, Autumn 2019

My Semester at UCD was a great experience. When I arrived in Dublin it was September and the weather was still nice. UCD has a super good orientation week, one week before the lectures start. During this week there are many events for all students and especially for exchange students. I met very nice friends, with whom I spent my whole semester here. By joining various societies and sports clubs I had a lot of fun with so many different people from all over the world. I decided to join the rugby and trampoline club, because I wanted to try something new and it was great. I also had a lot of fun the mechanical engineering society in the formula student team.

The teachers and their staff were always very nice and cooperative and made a lot of effort to help with assignments and essays. Joanne, the Study Abroad Manager, was always very helpful and the first contact person for all questions about my studies. Before and during the semester, I was always able to ask her all kinds of questions by e-mail and in her office hours.

With the friends I met here I made a lot of trips in Ireland. Definitely worth seeing is Galway, the Cliffs of Moher and Northern Ireland with the Giants Causeway! The societies always offer a lot of excursions in Ireland. Dublin itself is so beautiful and so diverse. It is definitely worth it to go to Howth, a small peninsula of Dublin. Howth reflects the landscape of the island perfectly. You can see it in the picture. There you can walk along the cliffs to a lighthouse and after that you can eat fish and chips and have a pint in the small village.

I had a lot of experiences, at school and personally. Ireland is a super beautiful country and meanwhile it feels like home. The friendships I have made are for life. The pubs, the street musicians, the old buildings in the city center have a very special flair. Therefore, I would always come back to Dublin.

Amy Gasperlynn, Mechanical Engineering Sophomore, Marquette University, Fall 2017

Before coming to UCD I thought one semester abroad would be plenty, but now that my time is coming to a close, I only wish I had more time. The new friends I have made through the Athletics Club and Engineering Society are people I will stay in contact with throughout my lifetime. Joining campus organizations exposed me to a fun group of people that support each other, but also have a ton of fun by hosting pub crawls and dinners as a group. I highly suggest going to a dinner at the Punch Bowl, a pub that is only a twenty-minute walk from the Belgrove campus! My teachers have been great resources of information and all three of my engineering professors have met with me when I have questions about the subjects or work problems. They have been extremely helpful and welcoming as I adapted to my new learning environment. Along with the professors, I have found my engineering adviser, Joanne, to be someone I could ask all my many questions to at the beginning of the semester and I always received a speedy email answering all my inquisitions.

I had the opportunity to travel around Ireland along with other countries in the UK. Different student organizations I signed up for, the Erasmus Society and the Study Abroad Society, along with the Centre for Study Abroad hosted events and trips around Ireland. I got to travel to Belfast, Galway, and Kilkenny with fellow students and I had a blast learning about the history of different areas and making friends along the way. I got to tour many castles and hike to various waterfalls. The Cliffs of Moher are truly magnificent. I had imagined the cliffs before I got there, but pictures do not do how high they stand.

If I had the opportunity to come back another semester, I would in a heartbeat! UCD has been a second home for me this semester and I encourage other engineering students to come and study at UCD, because they will not be disappointed with the beauty of Ireland and the excellent education they will receive. I am taking all the opportunities I can to dwell in the culture of Ireland before heading home.

Cole Trammell, Mechanical Engineering Sophomore, Texas Tech University, Fall 2017

When I first got to Ireland it was rainy and overcast. That was the first sign that I would love it here as days like that were rare at best in west Texas. It was a very interesting day, missing my bus stop for UCD, getting lost on campus, and not knowing where to get food. Luckily for me everyone in Ireland is extraordinarily kind and willing to help the best they can. That alone made my semester completely worth it. The class structure was markedly different from what I am used to at my home university, but I prefer it since there isn’t homework every single night. The combination of the calming weather, the beautiful amount of green I had never seen before, the kindness of the community, and the challenging yet easy going class structure at UCD has made this semester one of the highlights of the college life. I would love to return to Ireland again in the future.