Lauren Neal

Lauren Neal


UCD Fall 2012

Dublin, Ireland

Participating in the ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin Program has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. After I got used to the time difference, stores closing at different hours, drinking terrible coffee, and the unreliable Dublin Bus schedules, I began to thoroughly enjoy my time.

I chose to live on-campus. The on-campus housing was similar to an apartment, with 4-6 separate bedrooms, a kitchen, a common area, and a few bathrooms. Many international students live on-campus which allowed me to meet students from multiple countries, such as Germany, Malaysia, and Australia.

On the academic side, class structure was largely different from that at Cornell. Instead of attending classes 2-3 times a week, classes typically ran once a week for 2 hours. Each class was graded based on a research paper, a group project, and a final exam. The classes required for the program were very interesting and complimented the courses offered at Cornell nicely by showing a European perspective on both human resources and industrial relations. The Irish history course was a general overview of the country’s history and provided insight into the rich background and culture in Ireland.

With classes only once a week, there was plenty of time to get involved in other activities around campus and meet a diverse group of students. During the first few weeks of class, clubs and sports teams all set out tents on campus to provide information and resources on joining the club/team. I joined both the International Students Society and the Canoe Club. The international students’ society offered weekend trips at reasonable rates to many places around Ireland, such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, and the Blarney Stone. Through the canoe club, I made numerous unforgettable Irish friends while learning to kayak; friends who have invited me back to visit. I was also afforded the opportunity to take aerial silks classes (Cirque du Soleil) which were both fun and conveniently located on campus. The instructor was extremely friendly and highly skilled. I would highly recommend this program to all ILR students!

- Lauren Neal, UCD Fall 2012