My time at University College Dublin was everything that I wanted my international experience to be. From the very beginning, I was surrounded by not only Cornell students, but students from all different countries and states. I had the opportunity to live off-campus in the heart of Dublin which was one of the best decisions that I made! I lived with other students from both Cornell and University of Richmond and we had a great time exploring all throughout the country in our down-time, as well as being able to fully immerse ourselves in the city of Dublin. From the city center, the public transportation can get you to just about anywhere you want to go in Ireland and this is very convenient for day trips and spontaneous adventures. It is also great for getting to the Dublin International Airport, because with RyanAir, you can get just about anywhere in Europe (or also North Africa in my case) for under 100 Euro.
The ILR-UCD program allowed for an academic schedule that closely mirrored that of the ILR School, but with the opportunity to hear the perspectives of professors from Ireland and Switzerland. The UCD campus is beautiful and has all of the amenities that you can find at Cornell. One of the most impactful academic experiences I was able to receive at UCD was the class trip to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium with Professor Roland Erne’s class. During this 3 day trip, provided by Cornell, we got to speak to several active members of the European Parliament, as well as explore the town of Leuven and learn first-hand from European Union representatives about the EU and the future of the EU and its social model.
The Irish students that I had the opportunity to meet were great and I actually was able to stay in contact with a few of the students and visit with them when they came to California. The ILR-UCD program brought me closer to the Irish students I was with, as well as the Cornell students with whom I was able to travel all over Europe. This program shaped the experience I will be able to say I had at Cornell and I am so glad that I decided to participate in the Dublin program for my time abroad. The academic structure related to the ILR curriculum which took the fears of credits transferring and graduation requirements off of the table and allowed for a smooth and incredible experience!