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Exchange: Maynooth University : Reviews (Maynooth)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by Center for International Programs
Ratings for Program
Paige Elizabeth Lazar, Fall 2013 Participant
I would recommend this program to every student at the University of Dayton. I am a Civil Engineering student so studying abroad was not easy to work into my academic schedule. I started planning early and was able to work this program into my schedule. I had to make some sacrifices, including taking all of my general education classes at once which means that the rest of my semesters will be full of engineering classes. This sacrifice was 100% worth the tough semester I have in my future. I would do it all over again if i had the opportunity to.

 

Spring 2013 Participant
This is a wonderful study abroad experience. I was a great chance to meet a great amount of new people from a bunch of different countries.

 

Spring 2013 Participant
The challenging part was getting used to the different structure of the courses I took, and not being able to communicate as easily with friends and family back home. It was very rewarding to meet so many new people whether they were from Ireland, the States, or other countries. Also being able to travel and see so many sights was amazing. I would definantly recommend this program. It was the best decision I've made.

 

Louis Charles De Gruy, Fall 2014 Participant
Don't try to live like you're throwing pins on a map. Pick two or three big trips to take in mainland Europe, and enjoy your time there!

 

Spring 2014 Participant
Ireland is an amazingly friendly country to spend a semester. It is a great place to centre your travels all over Europe. Maynooth particularly is a great campus.

 

Lauren Brooke Chipchak, Fall 2015 Participant
I loved my experience abroad! I was given the opportunity to meet awesome people from all around the world, see beautiful sights, and learn new things about myself. It was great to learn about different cultures and see how different people live. I definitely had a tough time adjusting in the first few weeks, but once I got past that, it was really wonderful. I'll never forget the beautiful experience I had.

 

Colette Elliot Keller, Fall 2015 Participant
I had an amazing time in Maynooth. I was able to branch out and meet a lot of Irish students who helped me explore Ireland more and see it as the beautiful country it is. I would recommend this opportunity to anyone who has the chance to do it!

 

Mollie Colleen McDaniel, Fall 2015 Participant
Two excerpts from my personal blog (liferesalist.tumblr.com/studyabroad) that pretty much sum it up:

Excerpt 1 Final Post: "I know it's not a last. I'll be back here to this country. I'll see my friends again. I'll travel Europe. After all, a traveler has no end to the list of places they want to go.
I just know I'm sad that it's going to be different...and that I'm going to miss a lot. I'm going to miss the stupid Ryan Air Safety presentation. I'm going to miss the Airport Hopper. I'm going to miss chicken fillet rolls and Guinness that doesn't taste like crap. I'm going to miss Sunday movie nights and Tuesday table quiz. I'm going to miss long talks with Nora and goofing off while I walk next to Emma. I'm going to miss Angela trailing behind us everywhere we walk. I'm going to miss going out with MK and getting on Paul about whatever stupid comment he's just made. I'm going to miss conversations with Cian in random places around Maynooth. I'm going to miss Clare's puns and teasing Fran for looking uncomfortable at everything I say. I'm even going to miss either laughing at whatever comes out of Jack's mouth or just not being able to understand it at all. I'll be sad not to be in a new city in a new country every Thursday to Sunday.

But I know it's not a last. I'll be back to see them all again and I know they'll all come see me. I didn't make it to Amsterdam, but I know I'll be back.

An Taithí. Irish for "The Experience." It feels like last week we were lost in the streets of Limerick or sprinting to our train in Rimini screaming "It's all part of the experience!" (The scariest, most thrilling and exciting experiences of my life thus far). I could sit here and write out everything I've learned, but I think three months worth of blogging has included enough of that."

Excerpt 2 Trip to Budapest: " It's kind of crazy because I've made so many travel mistakes and I've had so many mishaps (many which weren't my own fault), yet I've done nothing but learned. Throwback to Limerick. It really is all part of the experience. I have learned SO much from every single mistake or mishap. I think for a long time I was afraid to make mistakes, but I've been talking myself through these "what's realistically the worst that could happen?" scenarios when I get in those scary moments of confusion. It's never that bad and it's always something that I could look back and laugh about. I totally buzzed into people's apartments at 1am Friday morning thinking I was getting into my friend's building. That's pretty funny–not for those people, but come on.

They say there's a difference between a tourist and a traveler. A tourist gets to their destination. A traveler experiences the journey and may or may not get to their destination. That's how I want to experience this three month adventure. Heck, that's how I want to experience my life. I don't want to wait for the fun when I get there. I want to live every moment of my life experiencing everything and figuring it out along the way. It's scary, but honestly, I really have found comfort in discomfort."

 

Fall 2015 Participant
The overall experience was extremely rewarding. I do not know if I would have the opportunity to live in another country for three months without this study abroad program. The parts that were challenging was just understanding the materials that needed to be submitted once there like registering with the Garda and paying the 350 euro. What was memorable was the ability to travel on the weekends to other countries and around Ireland.

 

Megan Elizabeth Utter, Fall 2015 Participant
This program is amazing! Being in Ireland and being able to travel the rest of Europe is an extraordinary experience. I have grown so much from this and became so much more independent. I miss it so much and will always want to go back to it. Cherish every second of it because it flies by.

 

Spring 2015 Participant
There will never be another opportunity quite like this. You better get on board before you miss out. Try out Maynooth.

 

Spring 2015 Participant
Ireland is an amazing place to study abroad. Campus is beautiful, and having friendly Irish students is another plus. Scenery in Ireland is breath-taking, and traveling to and from Ireland is fairly simple. Overall experience was fantastic, would do it again if I had the chance.

 

Alexander Donald Feuling, Spring 2015 Participant
The most memorable thing for me is the places that I went and the people that I got to know along the way. We had the great fortune of going abroad with 40 students all from the same university, but the institution had 10,000 other students who were super eager to meet us and all had different experiences that they recommended us do. The more we left, the more we all understood about where it is we come from, it isn't a feeling that can be experienced in the States. Even now back in the States, there is an instant connection with other people who have studied abroad, they all learned the same type of things about the world. No other way is it really possible to go to a new country and make a life for yourself. It certainly is challenging to get up and go, espically for some to be away from home for this extended period of time. Everybody around you is doing the same thing, so that challenge becomes a way to talk to people around you very easily. It was also hard at first to leave and go do things outside of school, but the experience would not have been a tenth of what it was without leaving the circle of American students and without exporling more of the world than just the host country. All in all, even the challenges of the program can be turned into memories so long as they are worked through without getting in the way of the experience.

 

Tavis Mackenzie Taylor, Spring 2015 Participant
Everything about the program is challenging, but I think that's what makes it rewarding as well. There are people to go to for help and you're with other students from Dayton, but you don't have scheduled meetings, get togethers, or trips like other students that come from different American Universities. You move into the country and host university, and you're forced to figure things out for yourself in an alien country, albeit studying in an english speaking country does make it easier. I would recommend it, but I would recommend studying abroad in general, regardless of the location.

 

Spring 2015 Participant
This program was very rewarding. It was very easy to get a variety of credits so that you can take a semester abroad and not get behind. It was very easy to travel while still having time to experience Ireland too. I would definitely recommend Maynooth. Maynooth became home after only one semester and I would do it again without a doubt.

 

Anita Joann Weber, Spring 2015 Participant
If allow it to, this program can change your life. As with all things in life, the program will be what you make of it but I did not meet a single person there who was not excited to make the most of the opportunity in front of them. I would highly recommend the Maynooth program to anyone looking to study abroad as Maynooth was a wonderful initial adjustment to a new life because the university itself feels smaller and close knit, similar to the environment here at Dayton. Additionally, being in Ireland and so close to all the amazing travel opportunities Europe has to offer was an unbelievable life experience that I highly suggest any and all college students take advantage of.

 

Hannah Katherine Donovan, Fall 2016 Participant
Maynooth allowed me to explore my surroundings easily, while maintaining the comforts of a home space. Ireland allowed me to experience European culture, while still being true to itself. I highly recommend this program for its ease and comfort as well as the opportunities it allows for adventure and exploration.

 

Fall 2016 Participant
To future students studying abroad: Be sure to plan ahead and know what you want to see. Research ahead of time and it will be worth it, but also find the flexibility to explore and let the adventure take you somewhere unexpected. Be prepared to adjust and to enjoy. Some of my favorite memories were spontaneous or coincidental. Maynooth, Dublin, Galway, Belfast, Paris, and Amsterdam were a few of the cities that I was able to explore, and each made me feel a little different. My interactions with each city were somehow so utterly distinctly colored. Be sure to be where you are when you are there- talking to passengers on the train, eating dinner at ladies night at the small, family owned restaurant with my roommates, experiencing the theatrical production of Swan Lake in Dublin, biking through Kildare, and horseback riding with the equestrian club- were a few of many fond memories of I have of the past semester in Ireland. Further, exploring Big Houses alongside my History of the Irish Country House class was extraordinarily thrilling. Additionally, I met such extraordinary people who felt and thought in such a different manner than I had ever witnessed. Simple cups of tea and expresso shots were staples in my memories of lovely afternoons spent discussing the world and each other. It was an adventure of a lifetime with many lessons attached and friendships formed.

 

Ellen Frances Krueger, Fall 2016 Participant
I met the most amazing people while in Ireland, and I still keep in contact with them. Studying abroad is an amazing and once in a lifetime experience; I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to travel and explore.

 

Fall 2016 Participant
I do recommend it, but it's important to keep an open mind and always be prepared and plan. Try and stick to your plans and budgets but also let yourself stray from the budget a little to do other trips/try new things that you want to do.

 

Fall 2016 Participant
I would recommend this program. Ireland is definitely somewhere that you should live in for several months rather than visiting in order to understand the culture and the people.

 

Spring 2016 Participant
Be prepared to be unprepared. It's one of those experiences where you learn as you go, and can't really prepare for. Accept opportunities for adventures--big and small--, talk to people, listen to their stories, travel beyond your study country, take pictures, write about everything you see and all the people you meet.

 

Ethan Reed Steinmetz, Spring 2016 Participant
This program is great because of the opportunities it presents to meet people from all over Europe, and to learn about their cultures. I highly suggest being open and sociable, being willing to discuss differences in culture and politics, and having an attitude of curiosity. Do not stick with the same people that you come into the program with. Go out on your own to make new friends. I highly suggest getting involved with a society or club. I joined the Ultimate Frisbee team, and through that I gained my best Irish friends and had a team to socialize with.
I would suggest taking classes that are not part of a person's intended major; classes that they would not have the opportunity to take again (such as traditional Irish music, or a class on the history of the Irish conflict in Norther Ireland).
I also would suggest to travel. Take the initiative to travel to other places within Ireland so that you get to know your host country fully. Also consider taking some trips to mainland Europe or the UK. Open yourself up to travel with people even if you do not know them completely, and even open yourself up to the possibility of doing some traveling on your own. My favorite trip was an independent four day trip to Switzerland.
This is a well rewarding program, and I could not recommend it enough. Have an open mind, and make sure you make the most of it.

 

Bridget Mary Wagy, Spring 2016 Participant
This program provided me with probably the best experience of my life. The places I traveled, the people I met and the experiences I went through definitely changed my life for the better and I would recommend this program to anyone.

 

Spring 2016 Participant
Challenging at first but allows for some real independence and a chance to develop new friendships

 

Charles Edward Cheatham, Fall 2017 Participant
Be ready to learn, in a positive way, more outside of the classroom than inside. Make the most of each day and night, and don't be afraid to take a few risks.

 

Bridget Nicole Kallmeyer, Fall 2017 Participant
I would highly recommend this program because it is a great way to develop a greater understanding of the world, and the different cultures out there. I got to meet so many different people from all over the world. Also taking philosophy classes at a place that had so much history within the subject was really cool.

 

Ryan Michael Muskin, Fall 2017 Participant
This was the most life changing experience of my life. I've grown so much as an individual and I feel more connected with the world than ever before. I highly recommend studying abroad to everyone, it's an amazing experience.

 

Spring 2017 Participant
I would highly recommend this to any student. I would suggest to get involved in a club with Irish students. with such a large international student population on campus, it is easy to not interact with Irish students so make sure you are immersed.

 

Mary H Deeds, Spring 2017 Participant
Truly immersing oneself in the culture of any country he/she visits is important for getting the most out of the study abroad experience. In my experience at Maynooth University, and Ireland in general, the people were friendly and more than willing to teach you about the Irish culture and heritage, or engage in any sort of discussion. I believe this program allows you to make your experience what you want it to be by choosing to involve oneself in the multiple activities available, including clubs and societies. I would definitely recommend it to any student wishing to study abroad. At first I was unsure if I wanted to study abroad for a full semester, but I heard wonderful stories from my brother who studied at Maynooth, took the chance, and ended up enjoying every bit of it. A lot of that positive outlook had to do with creating new friendships and living in the town of Maynooth, Ireland.

 

Spring 2017 Participant
Make sure to allow yourself to fully immerse in the culture! Try to branch out from just hanging out with Americans and discover different cultures.

 

Sarah Beth Morgan, Spring 2017 Participant
My semester abroad was one of the most challenging and amazing experiences I could ever have dreamed of. Being away from friends and family was tough, but I got to live my dream and travel Europe. I saw so much and learned so much, about cultures, history, people, and myself; I definitely would've regretted not doing it!

 

Spring 2017 Participant
They do not hold your hand. I think one big misconception about me and the other 50 UD kids that came thought we would have more guidance like other groups, but we didn't get that. A lot is one you as a student. You have to find where your classes are. You have to find the online finals schedule.You don't have to go to classes, but you are responsible for the work and turning it in. You have to decide if you want to hang out with the other UD Kids. I found that this program is complicated only on the academic format. I think the program is aware of this and working to eliminate confusion. I recommend everyone to go through this program. If you want to travel you can go to a new country every weekend. If you want to immerse yourself culturally, like i did, you can join clubs and easily and learn so much about how the other half live. The people are friendly and campus has a lot to offer, but you need to get out and find it. The key to success is putting yourself out there. I found that I had the best time by branching out and trying to meet new people. I got to experience Easter at an Irish home. I got to go all over Ireland with my new friend form Seattle. I got to travel to Belgium with some Irish friends, who later threw me a going away party.I met Croatian student who let me stay at her house and meet her Grandma over a break. This experience is what you make of it and you can shape it to be what you want at Maynooth. The campus has a university town vibe, but Dublin is a 45 min bus or train ride away. The possibilities are endless. One down side is a lot of UD kids go and sometimes it is hard to deiced when to break away from the pack, or stay with the group. I kept breaking away after the first month and I am grateful I did. I met so many cool people who are planning to visit me and want me to come back and say with the. There is comfort in knowing so many UD kids, but you can't limit yourself. This experience was perfect for me and I hope other people take the leap away from Dayton and Go to Maynooth and fall in love with the small Irish town.

 

Spring 2017 Participant
This is the experience of a lifetime, but it is what you make of it.

 

Spring 2017 Participant
Its a great experience and would recommend it to anyone.