Students from the southwestern United States are currently studying at DCU with Learn International. Two of them recently talked about culture with us.

Sam Hipolito of Northern Arizona University

Why did you come to Ireland?

It was a good study-abroad opportunity. I would have to do summer school anyway. I wanted to study abroad and it fit my schedule more, not being able to do it semester-wise or [academic] year-wise, so coming here was a great opportunity.

Did you come to study anything specific?

No, just to see things, and explore and to still get my credits.

How are you finding the work here?

It’s more sped up because we have to cram a full semester into one month here, so it’s quite intensive.

And have you travelled much before?

First time in Ireland, but I’ve been to France and London before.

And how do you find Ireland compared to elsewhere?

There is definitely more of a culture shock in France, for example, because of the change in language. Here, it feels a little more like home, because everyone speaks English, and like the US, it still has that cultural diversity.

Joe Andersen of Northern Arizona University

Why did you come to Ireland?

IMG_0015For me it was mostly for the education aspect of it, because I study Communications over at Northern Arizona University. Here we’re doing Media in Irish society, as well as Mobile and Social journalism. It works with my major so it was a great opportunity.

We were asked to research what was going on in Ireland and stay up with their politics so that we could communicate things back to the United States about what’s happening to people and the students here.

I also do a blog, travelling – in order to come here and receive a scholarship, I have to write about Ireland and photograph Ireland, and keep up with my schoolwork.

Is it your first time here?

It was my first time here but I travelled to Australia, Fiji and New Zealand for a high school study abroad experience. I definitely noticed coming to Ireland, and Dublin specifically, that it was a lot more Americanised, you can make comparisons to some of the bigger cities in California and New York. I find it has a lot of the same shops, friendly people, no language barrier, so all that has made the adjustment really easy.

The education system in comparison to the United States is pretty similar. Here, we have longer days. We have the same topic all hours. The classroom size for the summer program is a lot smaller, so it’s a lot more hands-on and we’re able to interact more and have more discussion-based classes, which I really enjoy.

DCU has a reputation as an intensive university.

Yes. Plus we have to get a full semester into one month.

Joe is on Instagram and Snapchat: @jotuckedin.



Learn International develop accessible and immersive courses for international students to come and study in Ireland.

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