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Joanne O'Keeffe | Animal and Crop Production | Cornell University | Semester 1 2017 (Fall)
"Study abroad is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and better yourself. In some aspects study abroad in an American college was everything I expected it to be but in others it was an eye opening and insightful experience. One of the first things you notice is how friendly everyone is, students, lecturers and locals alike. The lecturers were all on first name basis with every one of their students and were always happy to help in any way they could.
If I had any advice for students thinking of going on Study Abroad I would tell them to just take the leap and do it, you definitely won’t regret it. My time at Cornell contained some of the greatest moments and memories of my life to date. I would advise students that some classes can be very tough academically and long hours of work and study are required but it is all worth it at the end of the day."
David O'Dwyer | Food and Agribusiness Management | Purdue University | Semester 1 2016 (Fall)
"I studied in Purdue University for one semester in third year. It was an amazing experience and I would go back in a heartbeat! I chose Purdue as it was one of the top colleges in the world to study Agricultural Science. The American college system is very different to UCD as there is a lot of continuous assessment but I felt that increased my chances performing better. I got the chance to study Principles of Selling which helped me in my sales promotion job for PWE placement.
There is loads of opportunities to travel over the different college breaks. I visited eight different states and even made it to Toronto, Canada.
College life was very enjoyable - You get the chance to meet loads of people. I'd recommend it to anyone!"
Michelle O'Rourke | Food Science | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Semester 1 2017 (Fall)
"Studying abroad was something I had planned on doing before I even started college, and the diverse agricultural programs offered in University of Illinois made it the obvious choice for me. I was the only student from UCD Ag/Food Science going to Illinois in 2017, and it definitely pushed me to have new experiences! Luckily I got to travel to a few places like New York, Cincinnati, St.Louis and Washington DC, and visited the other study abroad students in Purdue a few times. I also had an amazing trip away to Iowa with the college of agriculture to a three-day conference about food security called The World Food Prize.
The facilities and buzz on campus was unreal. The school spirit, particularly at the American football matches and the ice hockey, was something you'd never see in Ireland. You get out of the experience what you put into it, and I had the time of my life!"
Bernard Ryan | Animal and Crop Production | Texas A&M University | Semester 1 2017 (Fall)
"Studying Animal and Crop Production and coming from a beef farming background, I wanted to go to a university with a strong background in Agriculture. Texas A&M was originally founded as an agricultural college so its roots are deep when it comes to teaching about agriculture and related courses. Its traditions, values and the education you will receive make it unique and sets it apart from the rest. If you want a sun soaked part of America where you can get lots of hands on experience with animals and meet some of the friendliest people in the world Texas A&M is the place for you!"
Maebh Brennan | Food Science | University of Queensland | Semester 1 2016 (Fall)
"Choosing to study abroad in the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia was without a doubt the best decision of my life. As well as the beautifully tropical campus UQ had to offer, I found all the classes I took to be extremely relevant, genuinely interesting and in some cases much more practical than my classes at UCD. As part of the Food Product Development module, we got the opportunity to take trips to the local food companies based in Brisbane. This made everything we learned in the classroom so much more useful and applicable to real life scenarios within the food industry. Getting to play on the college Aussie Rules team was definitely the highlight for me and we even finished second in the league. From the white sandy beaches in the north, to the stunning Tasmanian woodlands in the south, Australia as a whole has an endless list of amazing things to experience, where I made friends and memories I know I’ll have for life. My only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer!"
Cathy O'Donoghue | Animal and Crop Production | Purdue University | Semester 1 2017 (Fall)
"I chose to study at Purdue University because of its outstanding Agriculture Programme that is world renowned. Whilst there, I got to learn from inspiring professors who are all at the top of their respective fields and with highly motivated students that soon became good friends of mine. I took classes in animal reproduction and breeding as well as classes in soils and plant pathology. Each class was very interactive and practical with labs every week and frequent visits to farms. Continuous assessment kept me busy each week which was difficult at the start, but the professors and teachers’ assistants were always supportive and there to help, it really took the pressure off at the end.
I loved getting to experience all the American customs both on and off campus whether it be attending football games or joining a family for their Thanksgiving celebrations, which was very special."
Sarah Moyer | Agribusiness | Kansas State University | Spring 2018
"Fáilte! I felt very welcome by students and faculty during my exchange semester with UCD’s School of Agriculture & Food Science. Even though my degree program, Agricultural Communications & Journalism, is not offered at UCD, there were enough options for me stay on track with my expected graduation from Kansas State University. My courses were comprised of mainly Irish students, which enriched my experience as we collaborated for group projects. My professors went above and beyond to assist me in participating in research and industry tours, as I had expressed interest. Both academically and personally, Ireland and UCD provided a unique backdrop to study beef production, crop science, international food marketing and more. Come for the education, and stay for the friendly people, beautiful countryside and good craic!"
Brittany Meyer | Agronomy | Purdue University | Spring 2018
"I chose to go to UCD after talking with so many people from Purdue who studied there for a whole semester, as well as meeting and talking to UCD students who were studying abroad at Purdue. From that point on, I went ahead and signed up for the program and took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take on the adventure of travelling and studying in another country.
By far, it has been the absolute best experience I’ve ever had, not only in my college career, but in my entire life. It was hard in the beginning trying to adjust to a new way of living in a different country and being away from home, but as I met new people to hang out with and got used to everything, it became much easier. It was so neat to gain the friendships I did throughout the whole semester with people from all over the world, coming from so many different backgrounds and cultures. Without them, this experience would not have been the same. This whole experience in general, allowed for me to step out of my comfort zone and take on the opportunity to not just travel and learn about Ireland, but to also explore five other countries while in Europe."
Morgan Winder | Agribusiness | Purdue University | Spring 2018
"I knew I wanted to spend some time abroad in college and UCD was always in the back of my mind after hearing friends talk about their amazing experiences here. The program offered by the School of Agriculture and Food Science was excellent and I was able to study more specialized classes in agricultural economics than I could get at my home university. This was my favorite semester of college not only because I was able to travel and experience so many new things, but because I was studying things I was really passionate about. I gained a lot of new perspectives about the agriculture industry. It was eye opening to compare how values and ethics play into the decisions producers and consumers make in the US and in Europe. The assessment style is much different than in the US, with only a few assignments and essay style exams, but I felt this forced me to have better study habits and interact with the material much more than I do at home. This semester I will have the highest GPA of any semester yet, all while juggling traveling to nine countries and soaking up all that Ireland has to offer. I highly recommend studying at UCD. Living and studying in Dublin is the adventure of a lifetime and you won't regret it."
Shelby Wallace | Agricultural Business and Economy | Texas A&M University | Spring 2018
"I am from a small town in East Texas, and the thought of studying abroad for a whole semester was very intimidating. I chose Ireland because there was no language barrier (unless you try to interpret Irish slang), but the culture was still very different to that of Texas. Most of my friends thought I was crazy for leaving the US for five months, but it was undoubtedly the best decision I ever made.
Although I traveled a lot, and visited 12 countries around Europe while studying at UCD, I am so glad I had the chance to immerse myself in the Irish culture and experience real and prolonged exposure to everything Ireland had to offer. Traveling around Ireland is like living in a postcard! Studying abroad offers many unique experiences including the opportunity to work on assignments with Irish students, and interact with professors and other students from around the world. My classmates were always very friendly and inclusive, and made efforts to invite me to events like a student horse race day, or various hangouts within the College Of Agriculture. The structure of classes and exams is very different than that of my home university, but UCD provided several resources that made the adjustment easy. I could not have imagined a better study abroad experience and I will definitely be returning to Ireland in the near future.”
Magdalena Spritzer | Food Technology | Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences | Spring 2018 | Erasmus Exchange
"My study abroad semester was undoubtedly the best semester of my studies. I chose UCD as my destination because of my main goal to learn the English language fluently and because I always wanted to visit Ireland. Looking back now it was a very good choice.
UCD had a wide range of modules I was interested in and through the semester I got help from my fellow students and professors wherever I needed it. Living on such a big campus was also a great experience as my home university in Germany isn’t that big.
I would recommend everybody making a semester abroad especially at UCD as it is a very good organized and welcoming university for a semester abroad."
Rachel Heckle | Environmental Economics | University of Tennessee | Spring 2018
"The first thing that drew me to UCD was the extensive course offerings. I had no issues finding courses that corresponded to my major, Environmental Economics, and with the help of UCD staff, found out which ones transferred back perfectly to my home university. The courses that I ended up taking had so many hands-on learning opportunities like interesting practicals in the greenhouse with my horticulture class, field trips to nurseries with my forestry class, as well as guest speakers in my marketing class. These experiences allowed me to see the practical implications of my studies which was really cool! I felt like my professors truly loved their subjects and worked hard to create an environment where questions were welcomed.
Along with the challenging and rewarding academic atmosphere, I found Dublin to be an amazing place to live. I had never even left the United States before so living in a new country seemed daunting. However, students at UCD and people in Ireland were so friendly that I acclimated quickly and really began to appreciate the culture. There's always something new to explore and someone to meet. Experiencing Ireland is something I wish everyone had the chance to do!"
Austin O'Neill | Animal Science | University of Idaho | Spring 2018
"Before I decided to study abroad, I had no intention of ever leaving the United States. However, after some convincing from family and advisors, I decided I would partake but had no idea where to go. After thinking about what I wanted in a study abroad experience, University College of Dublin was easily the number one choice. UCD is a student-friendly campus with a lot of on-campus amenities, a wide variety of courses (modules), and the nicest students I have ever met. In addition, being an Agricultural major, it helped that UCD is a top Agricultural school in Europe.
I would highly encourage any agricultural students to attend UCD for many reasons. With agriculture reaching across the entire globe it is important to have a diversified background and understanding. Trust me, it is a lot more fun to learn about European and Irish agriculture firsthand with the super welcoming Agricultural students at UCD in the School of Agriculture and Food Science.
My advice to students getting ready to attend this wonderful university is to be social! My only regret is that I didn't speak up in my first two weeks being in class with classmates. As soon as I did I felt much more relaxed. The students were welcoming and very helpful in navigating campus, exams, study habits, and extracurricular activities."
Tara Westington | Environmental Studies | King's College, Pennsylvania | Spring 2017
"I am majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Political Economy in effort to bridge the gap between science and government policy in the environmental sector. I knew UCD was the place to come for this program because I found a wide range of modules to take that interested me and offered supporting experience to add to my background from my home university.
Through my courses here I’ve learned about the environmental issues facing Ireland and Europe and the management practices used in response to them. These courses offer a broad understanding of various disciplines as well as guided field trips to understand how these environmental applications can be used in the future to promote sustainability. In addition to the academic rigor and diversity of the courses offered at UCD, there were plenty of travel opportunities to immerse myself in on the weekends. During my time here I’ve traveled to London, Barcelona, Berlin, Venice, Rome, and Paris however I always found that the culture and friendliness of Ireland always felt like home. Between school and traveling I joined the softball club team, attended events organized by the Culture and Social Program for international students and made lifelong friends from all over the world.
When I left the United States for my semester abroad I was anxious, but once I dove into the experience of being abroad it all went by in a flash. My advice to anyone considering going abroad is to not let the apprehension of leaving your comfort zone hold you back on this incredibly unique opportunity. This experience has made me more independent and uncovered an intense desire for adventure that I would not have discovered otherwise. My only disappointment about studying abroad is that I can’t rewind to the beginning and do it all over again."
Kelley DeLacey | Animal Science - Pre Vet | Berry College, Georgia | Fall 2017
"My home institution partners with several universities around the world but I knew the Pre-Veterinary program at UCD was the best fit for me. The variety of options of modules meant that I would be able to take the same classes I would have taken at home and wouldn’t be set back at all. Being able to learn about topics in my major from an international perspective was eye-opening and helped me become more perceptive to different styles of thought.
At the beginning of the semester, I was nervous. It seemed like I was starting college over again and I was afraid of having to make new friends and adjusting to classes in another country. My fears were immediately negated when I arrived at UCD - I was quickly able to make friends with my roommates, other students in my modules and in sports clubs. It’s true what they say about Irish hospitality because after meeting a few Irish friends I felt right at home. I spent almost every weekend exploring Dublin City Centre, hiking in the Wicklow mountains, jetting off to another country, or just hanging out around UCD, and pretty soon I never wanted to leave. I wouldn’t trade my semester for anything and I highly recommend taking the leap for anyone who is considering studying abroad at UCD."