Ireland: Addison Black

Photo of Addison Black
Addison at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, Ireland, where she saw the famous Connemara ponies.

Program: National University of Ireland, Galway, Spring Semester

Addison’s Major: Human Development & Family Studies

Academic Life: College in Galway is very different from college back in the states! First of all, signing up for classes can be a challenging process. There’s some online registration, but for seminars, you have to fill out a form and submit it to the department in which you are taking the class. The classroom setting itself is similar to UW-Madison discussion sections. The large lectures here are only about 30-40 people. The way the class is run is similar to UW, with 50 minute lecture times. All of my classes had at least one American, and in some courses Americans were the majority.

Housing: I lived in Niland House. I think most UW-Madison students decided to live here too because it’s pretty cheap and right in the middle of the city centre. The city centre has all the restaurants and shopping you could possibly want! I lived with three other UW-Madison students as roommates.

Advice for Someone Considering This Program: I would say even if you don’t like rain and gloomy days, go for it anyway! I really dislike rain and humidity, but the island itself is absolutely beautiful. You definitely will get over the weather. Also, I am a very shy person, but this experience made me step outside my box and learn to adapt to new situations. Even if you think you can’t do it, you definitely can.

Tips for Future Students: I do think it is important to stay connected with family, but also go out and experience life yourself. You are in an amazing, very green country with beautiful landscapes, so go explore!

New Perspectives: I have learned that I can be by myself in a foreign country for an extended amount of time. It sounds basic, but I was terrified of flying by myself and not seeing my family for over four months. However, I realized that I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to.

“The amount of personal growth I’ve attained has been astonishing.”