Around the world: juniors talk about Ireland experience

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For those tea enthusiasts on campus there is an institution that treasures your obsession with chai or a foggy London. It’s the University of Limerick.

Having teatime during class wasn’t the only reason studying abroad was Ireland or bust for juniors Tess McShane and Catie Cooper.

“We’re both Irish,” said Cooper.

Sharing their family heritage and friendship, McShane and Cooper decided to study abroad together during fall 2013.

“I wanted to stay close with my friends [while studying abroad],” said Cooper. “Why not go with one of them?”

At first McShane and Cooper were hesitant with their decision, having arrived two days before all the other students and not knowing how to navigate campus, let alone find a place to eat.

Both students quickly gained their footing and became confident travelers, McShane visiting five countries and Cooper visited seven while in Europe.

As for choosing the University of Limerick, both agree it was a great experience.

“I loved the people,” said McShane. “You could just strike up conversations with random people.”

They also discussed the Irish Halloween, which consisted of no trick-or-treating, but a great experience of dressing in costumes and visiting local parties.

As for their academic life, they explained how classes consisted of lecture one day a week and the other one or two class periods were called tutorials which were smaller, more intimate classroom setting to learn the material.

Cooper explained how the grading system differed from American universities. The range for an A was 100 to 75.

“But students rarely got a grade higher than a 75,” said Cooper.

McShane said she didn’t really like the education system, but enjoyed living on campus.

Both students lived in apartments with other students from the U.S., Europe and Japan. They liked having the diversity of roommates.

Cooper said she liked being able to talk about her home country with other students who understood where she came from.

Both Cooper and McShane gave valuable advice for students who are considering studying abroad.

McShane advised students to talk to someone who studied abroad at the university you plan on attending.

Cooper said to make sure you bring enough money with you to avoid having to deal with the confusion of wiring money in a foreign country.

McShane explained how it is relatively the same price to study abroad as it is to attend a semester at Pacific.

They also said to make sure the classes you take abroad will apply to your major along with making sure you plan out which countries you want to visit while abroad.

“Studying abroad was an A plus experience and you should definitely do it,” said Cooper.

McShane and Cooper enjoy talking about their experience, and said if students are thinking about Ireland as a study abroad choice, they are open to questions about their experience.


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