10 Tips for Studying Abroad in Ireland

Mechanical Engineer major Natalie Barlow ’24 studied abroad in Limerick, Ireland during the spring of 2022.

A girl stands on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher in Scotland.

Studying abroad is one of the most exciting decisions a person can make, but I also know it can also be stressful, which is why I composed this list of things to keep in mind before you leave. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Natalie, and I studied abroad with CIS Abroad in Limerick, Ireland in the spring of 2022. If you’re looking to study abroad in Ireland, here are a few tips I’d recommend:

Pack lightly 

It’s easier said than done, but try your best with this one. You’re going to be doing a lot more shopping than expected, and shipping things back home can be expensive. So, try to focus on necessities!

Pack a raincoat

Speaking of packing essentials, don’t forget a raincoat. Ireland is well known for its weather, and there are most likely going to be many rainy days. It’s not going to be freezing either, but possibly a bit colder than what you’re used to, so if it’s insulated, even better! 

Ross Castle in Killarney National Park sits on a green, grassy hill behind a small river.
Ross Castle, Killarney National Park

Get a Student Leap Card

Public transportation is going to be your new best friend when abroad. In order to get around faster and cheaper, talk to your advisor about getting a Student Leap Card. These are used for bus systems throughout the Republic of Ireland and can be refilled easily via the Top-Up App.

Go sightseeing!

Ireland is one of the prettiest countries in the world and offers so much to see and visit. The Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Stone, Book of Kells, Aran Islands, and Killarney National Park are just a few of the must-see places in Ireland. Use your time wisely and try to see as much as you can!

Irish Rail 

The Irish Rail is the country’s train and covers both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It’s a great resource for getting around if you want to visit some great Northern Ireland sites as well, such as Belfast! Plus, it’s a bit faster than the buses, so if you wanted to get places a bit faster, I’d recommend this method.

A street in Ireland at night is lit by fairy lights, and the roads are wet and shiny from the rain.
The Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

Be ready to sing

The pub scene in Ireland is very real and a whole lot of fun. There’s live music almost everywhere you turn, and you’ll learn almost every Irish fight song in the book. And no one cares if you have a good voice; go ahead and join in on the fun!

Make new friends

Ireland is known to have some of the friendliest people in the world, and in my experience, it was more than true. Don’t be afraid to talk to new people or ask any questions you may have. But, as always, be smart and be safe!

Travel, travel, travel

Ireland’s Ryanair offers hundreds of safe and affordable flights all throughout Europe. While you’re already overseas, I’d recommend leaping a step further and exploring as many places as you possibly can. 

The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy with a blue, cloud-filled sky in the background.
The Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

Not every day abroad will be great, and that’s okay

While studying abroad is a new and exciting experience, not many people discuss the difficulties that come with it. Some days you’ll struggle, and it’s completely okay. Not every day will be perfect and unbelievably exciting.

Have a lot of “craic”

Don’t worry! “Craic” in Ireland simply means “fun,” so be ready to hear it often. Don’t be scared to go out and have a good time! I promise you’ll love every second.

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