3 Reasons Why I Loved My Study Abroad Program

I’ve been back in Michigan for a little over a week now, and I’m still processing the fact that I’ve been in Ireland for four months. It’s just crazy to think I’ve been there and experienced so much all within such a short amount of time. There were so many things that made my time in Ireland memorable, but one aspect that was a huge part of my experience was the program that I went through – IES.

IES, or International Education of Students, is a study abroad program that offers students a wide variety of countries in which to study abroad such as Italy, England, Australia, and Ireland. While the base of the program is the same everywhere, there are obviously unique aspects to the program in each country that it resides. Today, I’m going to give three reasons that the IES program in Dublin made my study abroad experience one of a kind.

1. The professors were out of this world.

At any school and in any program, if you have good professors, you’ll probably end up liking whatever class your taking, even if the content isn’t the greatest. However, I feel that it’s especially important to have good professors in a study abroad program because the students are there to learn and learn well, and if the professors aren’t up to par, students’ experiences could be marred. When I was in Dublin at the IES program, the professors were warm, welcoming, and delighted to help with anything I needed. They even made me tea on many occasions and we became good friends. The atmosphere and kindness of professors was very close to Hope’s and I appreciated that when I was feeling most homesick.

2. There was a good mix of expected traveling and school work.

The first day of the program in January sitting in Orientation, a professor got up to speak and told us that during the 12+ weeks that we were in Dublin, he didn’t want us stay put. He wanted us to travel and to see different places – that’s what we were here for, anyway. That statement carried our class through to the very end and reflecting back on it now, was something that was incorporated into the curriculum well. Every Monday, professors would ask where we had been during the weekend and those conversations of travels were mixed into what we were learning that week. Travel was expected and encouraged, and I loved that.

3. Activities were fun and ran smoothly.

Throughout my many weeks in Dublin, the IES faculty and staff put on events and field trips. Anything from a trivia game night to reentry workshops to visiting a local farm, there was always something to do through the program and people to be with. Especially towards the beginning when everything about the city was fresh and new, there were orientation activities and dinners to attend that got us acclimated to our new surroundings and forced us to interact with new people. It was helpful and fun and I’m grateful to have had those opportunities.

If you have any questions about the IES Program or just about Study Abroad in general, I’d be more than happy to answer!


During my time in Ireland, I made a video of snippets of every day I was there with the One Second Every Day App. It was so fun to make and I love being able to look back on moments that trigger amazing memories for me. So, without further ado, here is my One Second Every Day video!


This week holds a plethora of events on Hope’s campus, one of which is Spring Fling! Lookout for blogs about that, as well as what I learned from my semester in Ireland – there are a whole lot!

Until next time!

Published by Mikaila Bisson

Hi there! I'm a Hope Senior from Sterling Heights, Michigan (about 45 minutes North of Detroit). I'm an English major with a Creative Writing emphasis (fitting), and have a Business minor. I'm super active in Hope life. I am a Student Ambassador, the Senior Treasurer on the Executive Board of Nykerk, and was involved in Orientation as an AD. I also work on campus at the Career Development Center as a Career Advisor, and at Hope's Physical Plant. I love playing any kind of sport (soccer's my favorite!), have a weakness for shoes, eat dessert twice a day, read like its my job, am currently watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix, and have a passion for Golden Retrievers. Contact me at mikaila.bisson@hope.edu because I'd love to hear from any and everyone. Also feel free to follow my super trendy Instagram account at @miktroubleee or my equally as trendy, even more Hope-filled Twitter account at @hopemikaila17 .

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