Your flight is booked, your bags are packed, you’ve picked a weekend to visit the Guinness Factory, you’re moving to Ireland. Whether you’re studying abroad in Dublin for a year or just for a few months, take a look at our best tips for getting the most out of your study abroad experience.
Go for a Wander
Whether Dublin is a new city for you, or a regular weekend haunt, the first thing we recommend you do when you move is take a wander. Wandering around (and maybe even getting lost) is one of the best ways to get to know a city. If you’re new to the Irish capital, start small, and visit the areas around your student accommodation. Chances are, you’ll be in some of the most popular areas in the city, surrounded by bars, cafes, and some of the best entertainment in the city. Once you’re acquainted with these areas, venture further afield. Take yourself to a new area of the city for a few hours. Studying abroad is all about having new experiences, and if you’re constantly pushing yourself to try new things, you’re halfway there.
Build Some Room Into Your Budget
Dublin isn’t the most expensive city in Europe, but it’s certainly not the cheapest. The Odyssey suggest building some room into your budget so you’re never held back by your finances when it comes to new experiences. They’ve got a great list of budget supermarkets and shopping highlights here.
Challenge Yourself to Learn some Gaeilge
The challenge has officially begun: before you leave Ireland, you must know at least three Irish words by memory. The catch? You’ve got to learn these words from Irish people themselves. These kinds of challenges are a great way to make sure you’re stretching yourself, and a fantastic way to strike up a conversation with the locals. Adjust this challenge to fit your needs. Learned three news words in a night? Fantastic, now it’s time to learn five the next week. Keep pushing yourself to make sure you get the most from your study abroad experience.
Try a ‘Tourist Weekend’
Living somewhere is different than going to visit for the weekend, but sometimes it’s good to get the touristy bits out of the way early. Go to Temple Bar at least once, take photos at the viewpoint in the Guinness factory, and check out the Cliffs of Moher. Getting the ‘tourist weekend’ out of the way early can make you more open to other experiences as you explore Dublin.
Caveat: If you’ve got friends or family that are visiting from home, think carefully about the tourist activities you try, and whether you want to do them twice (or more). The Guinness Factory might be fun the first few times, but if you’ve got family visiting multiple weekends, it can get a bit wearing and expensive!
Check out the Culture
If this seems vague, it’s because Dublin is absolutely bursting with things to do. There’s something for everyone. Whether you’re aiming to try a new gig every weekend, or you just want to check out the art scene, Dublin’s got something for you.
Venture Outside the City
Dublin is a fantastic place to be, but don’t let it distract you from Ireland’s other charms. Book a weekend out in the countryside, or go visit some of the surrounding villages. They will give you a real taste for Irish culture outside of city life. Need day trip ideas? Take a look at this article in Time Out.
Whether Dublin is the first place you’ve visited, or the fiftieth, it’s one of the best cities in the world when it comes to studying abroad. But don’t just take our word for it! Get out there and start exploring.