Emilee’s Guide to Studying Abroad

It’s been a little over a month since my time in Dublin ended, and ever since I’ve been home, I’ve been scrolling through my photos from this past year to remember all of the exciting times I had. While doing so, I was so shocked by how much of a different person I was from when I first started the program to where I am now. It reminded me of how, in the beginning, there were a lot of things I had to figure out on my own, especially as I had never traveled outside of the U.S. before. Thus, what I figured I should do for my last blog post, is a guide for those who are about to study abroad and may have some questions that they can’t find by doing a simple Google search. Most of this will be specific to Dublin, but some will be more general information. Regardless, here’s some information I wish I knew before studying abroad, which I hope can be of help to those who may have the same questions!


The Necessities

Cell phone service: Everyone has a different U.S. plan, so evidently you have to figure out what works best for you. With my cell phone plan (I have Verizon), it was much cheaper for me to buy a physical Irish sim card rather than pay for Verizon’s monthly international plan. When I first landed, I paid for the Verizon international plan so that I would have data when I arrived, but one of my first few days there I visited a bunch of cell providers and asked for their different SIM only plans. My phone plan in Ireland was 30 euros a month through Three mobile, and it had more than enough data than I needed, both in Ireland and internationally. I recommend asking around and comparing different cellular plans, because (unbeknownst to me at first) some of them offer student discounts for SIM only plans. But note, if you have an iPhone 14 or later, you may only be able to use eSIMs, which means you may have to open an Irish bank account if you want an Irish phone plan. One of my friends had this issue, but instead of going through that process, he found it cheaper to buy a used phone and pay for that plan. I think there are apps you can find to purchase eSIMs through, but I don’t know enough about that to recommend it.

Budgeting: I’m probably going to give you the exact same answer that everyone else does. Obviously, how much money you spend and should save depends on your lifestyle. However, the new information I can provide is some insight into the general amount that some necessities cost. For groceries, Lidl and Dunnes will be your best friends. The first few weeks were when I spent the most amount of money, as that was when I was buying all of my kitchen supplies, bedding and toiletries. Set aside more money for your first two months than you’ll need for the rest of the year (in my opinion). Everyone will spend different amounts of money to buy different things, but I had weekly grocery runs span anywhere from 17 euros to 60 euros, depending on what I was making and what I already had in my kitchen. For my Trinity folks, if you want to save on poultry, go to Stephen’s on Meath Street. For laundry, the cheapest load in our accommodation was 7.30 euros. So, use that to gauge how much you’ll be spending depending on how often you wash your clothes.

Getting your IRP Card: This is the card that, if you’re staying for more than 3 months in Ireland, you need to be a legal resident. I’m sure that there’s already been a lot of information given to you guys about what documents you will need and how much the IRP card is, so I won’t repeat all of that. What I will say is a) make sure that you have all of those documents printed and b) to make the appointment as soon as you possibly can. Once all of the full-time international students come into Ireland for the start of school, those appointments will be near impossible to get before your 90-day grace period is over. This website has some more information, including the phone number that you need to call in order to make the appointment at the Immigration Office. There’s a rumor that you can only call the number from an Irish phone, but I’m not sure we had any issues with that.

Getting your Leap Card: So the main mode of public transportation throughout Dublin is the bus system. There is a tram called the LUAS, however if you’re going to and from Trinity and accommodation (if you’re living where we did this past year), the bus is your best bet. In order to ride the buses, there are two methods of payment: cash in exact change, or a Leap card. During your orientation week at Trinity, chances are they will give you incorrect information about getting a Leap card. The Leap card that you should get to save you money will be a Young Adult Leap card, which you can only get by going online and shipping it to your accommodation. The Student Leap card is for Master’s or PhD students, so you won’t be eligible for that one. The Young Adult Leap card has significantly cheaper fares than adult fares, however if you don’t want to wait for it to be shipped, you can buy an Adult Leap card from most convenience stores and pay the normal fare. 


What to pack

Outlets: I highly highly recommend getting this adapter from Amazon. It’s a universal adapter, so you can plug in your wire and then use the adapter to be plugged into any type of socket for any country. Plus, it comes with 4 USB ports, so it’s really easy to charge more than one device. If you’re packing hair dryers, you’ll need a converter. But honestly, I would recommend buying one in Ireland for saving space in your suitcase and not risking an accidental fuse blow out.

Clothes: Pack light. When we first arrived, it was still summer/spring weather for the first few months, and then it got colder. So I would recommend packing versatile clothes, ones that you can layer and mix and match for multiple outfits. Pack comfortable sneakers, because you’ll be doing a lot of walking, especially ones that will handle a lot of rain well. Definitely pack a raincoat, maybe rain boots, but other than that you don’t stress too much about what you’ll need. If you forget something or realize you need an item of clothing, go to your nearest Dunnes or Penney’s and you’ll find what you need.

Medications: As I’m sure you know from the pre-arrival information, a 3 month supply is the legal limit you can bring abroad. Do some research to find out if all of your prescriptions are available in Ireland, which I recommend doing by reaching out to International SOS insurance that we have and asking them how to get more prescriptions when you run out. Also, pharmacies in Dublin are amazing, as the pharmacists help you figure out what you need if you describe your symptoms, like if you’re ever nauseous or have a cold.


General information and advice for Trinity/Dublin

  • Buy all of your bedding and kitchen supplies once you land. Do not!!! order one of those college supply kits that you may see ads for, because they won’t arrive on time, you’ll have to pay a lot of money on customs if it’s shipping from outside the country, and you can get better quality stuff for cheaper at Dunnes.
  • The Liberties, where we stayed, is truly such an amazing part of the city. My favorite coffee shop with the nicest people was right across the street, Meath Street has the best poultry, meat, and produce markets, and there are countless pubs and bars that have such fun events and atmospheres. Explore the area, sit on the grass at St Patrick’s Park, and enjoy experiencing the neighborhood outside of city centre. 
  • Sign up for the societies (clubs) that really interest you the most. It’s a great way to meet new people, and a lot of them also host pub nights after an event which is great for socializing. Try something new, as it’ll help expand your horizons (and make for a great ICIP topic!). The food and drink club is one that you should join not just for the events, but for the membership card that gets you discounts to a bunch of places around the city.
  • Apps that will make your life easier: Leap Top-Up app is how you can add money to your Leap Card in such a convenient way. TooGood2Go is a meal saving app where restaurants will put up meal bags for really cheap, so you’ll get a discounted meal but may not pick exactly what you want. Google maps is the best for making lists of places you want to go and pinning the different locations. Blackboard is the Canvas of Trinity, so this app allows you to see everything on your phone. Whatsapp is the main source of communication for everyone, that way you don’t use up your monthly texting and calling limit.
  • If you can, try your best to snag a ticket for TBall. Trinity Ball (TBall) is the end of the year music festival held on campus for students, in which the entire campus is shut down and stages are constructed to host different artists. 
  • Walk around a BUNCH and try different things! Dublin has so much to offer, from amazing restaurants, fun pubs and clubs, and amazing concerts. However, Ireland also has much more than just Dublin. The rail tickets that take you all over the country only cost 8 euros with a Young Adult Leap card, so definitely take advantage of that. My favorite day trip was to take the DART from the station near Trinity to Howth, which has the best seafood, an amazing cliff walk, and is an easy escape from the city.
  • Go to as many of the Holy Cross hosted events as you can!! Our cultural advisors are truly the best and planned such fun events, so make the most of it!!


Okay, I know that this was really long and didn’t have any fun pictures or whatnot. But, I hope that this can be a useful guide and can provide some helpful information! Ultimately, the best thing you can do is to throw yourself fully into the experience and explore the wonderful city. If you have any questions or want some recommendations, feel free to shoot me an email at earori25@g.holycross.edu, but I definitely recommend doing some exploring to find your own places. Have the best time ever, and I hope you enjoyed following along my study abroad journey!

Ball Season!!!

Hello everyone!

As I procrastinate my final essay for my last semester at Trinity, I figured I would share with you a fascinating tradition across campus that I had the honor of participating in. At the end of every school year, most student societies host an end of the year celebration known as a “ball”, where everyone gets dressed up and celebrates with their friends. So essentially, these past two months have been filled with these balls, accumulating what is known as “ball season”.


Unfortunately, Trinity’s Dance Society did not have a ball, however I had the pleasure of attending the ball for the Climbing Club, formally called “High Ball”. Dress code was black tie, and the event took place at the local pub that they always go to after climbing sessions. Of course, I had to go all out for this event, because getting the chance to attend a ball in Europe is truly a once in a lifetime experience. I picked out a gorgeous, emerald floor length dress, but skimped out on my heels (pulling a reverse Carrie Bradshaw). To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect before arriving. All I knew was that I was going to be spending a fun night with my friends in fancy clothes. So, when I arrived at Moss Lane (the pub), I was blown away by the event that my friends were able to put together. The entire pub was booked out for the event, the place was packed with the members of the club, and there was delicious food and dancing that truly made the night. We danced the night away to trad music with a céilí, gave awards out to the nominated members of the club, and laughed the night away with amazing friends. Afterwards, we continued on dancing by making our way to The George, one of the famous clubs in Dublin, because the amazing club officers got us on a guest list. The entire night was a blast, and I am still blown away by how well put together the ball was.

However, High Ball was not the only ball I attended this season. The real star of the show is the annual Trinity Ball, held on campus by the campus for students and alumni. Just like all of the society balls, the dress code is black tie, so everyone dons floor length dresses and fitted suits. But this isn’t your average ball; it’s a full on music festival on campus. The entire campus gets shut down for the evening to prepare for this event. Imagine Coachella, but for one night rather than weekends, and on a prestigious college campus rather than in the desert. With everyone donning their gorgeous gowns and leather jackets, dancing up and down to the headliners, it was like something straight out of a movie. There were incredible performances by Kingfishr, horsegiirL, and so many more. To be completely honest, this night was a blur, but in the best way possible. I had so much fun running around the campus to watch different sets, bumping into friends amongst the crowds, and seeing the community come together to celebrate right before finals mode. There was so much excitement and joy in the air, not just from me but across the entire student body. 

I am so grateful to have gotten to experience a bit of Trinity’s ball season, as it truly added a new light to the wonder of the community. It was so much fun to spend time with my friends, dancing the night away in fancy dresses and celebrating for the sake of enjoying this past year. If I could go back and relive these moments, I would in a heartbeat. Sooo, thanks for reading about the joy that ball season gave me, as it was truly a massive highlight of my time abroad and is something I will not shut up about for the rest of my life (kidding…kinda).


Until next time,



Welcome backkkkk

It’s been an exciting past few weeks here in Dublin, with the sun beginning to shine, some spring break travel, and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kicking off this weekend! However, one of the most exciting events thus far has been something I had been rehearsing for and working towards for awhile: Intervarsities!


Intervarsities occur across multiple societies, and it’s a type of competition in which a bunch of other teams from other Irish universities come together and compete against each other. Back in October of last year, I decided to try out for the Contemporary Dance Intervarsities Team for DUDance (Trinity’s dance society), and luckily enough I made the team! So ever since October, the girls and I had been practicing weekly to learn the choreography for our piece, which we got to compete with a few weeks ago!


Dancers sitting on the floor in a semi-circle
Pictures from our rehearsals at the Liffey Trust Studios!


This year, Dance Intervarsities was hosted by DCU, one of the other colleges located in Dublin. They have this beautiful complex dedicated to the performing arts called the Helix, with multiple stages, practice rooms, and studios. The day before the competition, we all made our way to DCU to embark in a dress rehearsal, which was so organized and run on a very tight schedule. We got to rehearse on the stage for ten minutes total, with some rehearsal time in the practice rooms after. Shout out to the contemporary captains Sarah and Cora for running those practices with such little time, it was super impressive. We were at DCU from 10am to 1pm, and then had to rush back to Trinity’s campus to grab a quick lunch before our on campus performance!


Screen on stage that says "DCU"
DCU stage

Since the competition wasn’t being held on Trinity’s campus, the only way for our friends and family to come watch was through a performance that the DU Dance Society put together for everyone. Although there’s no performance space on Trinity’s campus, we made do with what we had and held it in the debating chamber. It was super nice to see everyone’s friends and family coming out to support them, and my friends came to support me which was so kind of them. 

Hair & makeup before the Trinity performace

Anywho, the next day, we had to be back at DCU by 8:30am for the start of what would be a very long, but fun Intervarsities day. Hair and makeup had to be ready, so we used the two hours before the competition to stretch and get nerves out. Contemporary was the first category of the day, so we really had to be up and ready to go as early as possible. When it came to our time, the energy in the auditorium was spectacular. One of the best parts about being on a Trinity dance team was the amount of support every team gave one another, so the cheers we heard when we entered the stage were electric. This was also my first time back at a dance competition since sophomore year of high school, so I was feeling so much excitement that I hadn’t felt in a while.

After our spectacular performance (if I do say so myself), we ran back to rest before greeting those who were able to come and support us. Once the contemporary category was over, we spent the rest of the day cheering on all of the other Trinity teams in their respective categories, shaking the walls with our foot stomps. At around 6:30pm, it was awards time. Unfortunately, our team did not place in the top three for Contemporary, however our overall score was an 80/100, which is pretty phenomenal in my books. However, the Trinity Irish Team placed first in their category, and the Trinity Hip-Hop Team placed third in their category, with one of their dancers receiving an award for her performance. 

After a long, yet electric two days, we had such a fun time bonding with one another and cheering on the respective teams. It was so much fun to be back in a competition environment, doing the thing that I love most. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, which is all due to the wonderful Captain, Co-Captain, and teammates I had the pleasure of dancing with.  Feel free to watch our performance here!


Until Next Time,


Thinking of Trinity?

Welcome back!

Sorry for the hiatus, I’ve been in finals mode for the past few weeks  trying to get high marks! On the topic of grades, I figured I would go into some of the nitty gritty details about studying at Trinity, before jumping into some of the more fun stuff.

So you’re thinking about studying at Trinity? Amazing choice, I like the way you think. When reflecting back on my time applying for studying abroad, there are a few tidbits I figured I would share with you that would have been helpful to know when weighing my options. 


First: HC students are required to go to Trinity three weeks before first semester classes to participate in a pre semester module called the Semester Start-Up. This program teaches you all about Irish history, takes you on a bunch of field trips, and provides you with the opportunity to meet a bunch of other study abroad students before everyone arrives on campus. No need to stress, the class is super laid back and honestly is one of my favorite parts of last semester. We visited some amazing places, Glendalough being my favorite (i swear that place is magical). Plus, it allowed us to get accustomed to the city and the school way before everyone else came, so basically we were experts by the time the semester rolled around.


Glendalough lake
Glendalough lake
Picture of me chilling in a tree at Glendalough
Chilling on a tree in Glendalough











Second: You are only allowed to take classes in the areas of study you get accepted into. This is one of the most important things to keep in mind when applying for different study abroad programs, in my humble opinion. So for me, I knew that I needed to take a bunch of Psychology classes for my major, as well as complete my Cross-Cultural and Religion common area requirements. Thus, I made sure to apply for Psychology, Religion, and Art History on my Trinity application on “areas of study”, that way I could stay on track for completing my degree on time. The only hiccup was that I wasn’t accepted into the Statistics area of study, but thankfully I had planned my degree timeline accordingly so I didn’t need to take any classes for my minor this year. So, if you have specific requirements you need to get done, keep this in mind. Trinity isn’t like Holy Cross where you can take classes in any field, as you have to apply directly to each school of study and get approved to be able to take their classes. 

SSP friends at the Hill of Tara!
SSP friends at the Hill of Tara
Picture of my friend holding the fake trophy at Croke Park
Croke Park!!












Third: Class structures are widely different than at Holy Cross. Rather than having smaller classes that meet two or three times a week, you typically have one class that meets for 50 minutes a week, with about 70 or more students in that one lecture. Additionally, some of these classes will also have smaller seminars that meet every other week, which take more of the Holy Cross approach of discussion based learning. For me, this was part of the appeal to go to Trinity, as I wanted to challenge myself to take on learning in a different setting. Plus, rather than getting multiple weekly assignments throughout the semester, many classes only have one or two grades total, and you get weekly readings to do on your own. So the dynamic here is widely different from Holy Cross, as there is a lot of independent work that adds up to your one chance of proving you paid attention all semester.


Those are just some of the key information that I figured would be vital when thinking about coming here! Now that I have the foundational ideas out of the way, I’ll be sure to jump into some of the fun stuff next time. If you have any questions about Trinity, feel free to shoot me an email! 


Until next time,


Introducing Me!

Hello everyone and greetings from Dublin! My name is Emilee and I’m currently writing this from the Arts Block at Trinity College Dublin (TCD for short). I’m starting this blog exactly 3 months and 5 days after living in Dublin, which is super exciting, and I can’t wait to share all that has happened thus far. But before jumping in, I figured I would write this introductory post to let you know a little bit about me and the program.

Emilee at Trinity College Dublin in front of the Campanile
In Front of the Campanile!

I’m currently a third year Psychology, Statistics, and Pre-Business student at Holy Cross who choreographs for Dance Ensemble. However at Trinity, I’m studying Psychology, Art History, and Religion as a way to get the rest of my Common Area requirements completed. That was part of the reason that I chose to study at Trinity, as it allows me to take classes (which they call ‘modules’ here) that align with my academic requirements. Other than meeting my academic needs, Trinity also has so many clubs (called ‘societies’) that align with my extracurricular interests. For instance, I’m a member of DUDance as a member of the Contemporary competition team and a member of FilmSoc, which has weekly movie showings. These have allowed me to really experience the school culture not just in the classroom but also in everyday life.

Photo of St. Patrick's Cathedral as the sun is setting
St. Patrick’s Cathedral on my walk home from school


Beyond the school itself, living in Ireland, specifically Dublin, has been such a dream. The Semester Start-Up Program we did prior to classes and the Holy Cross Cultural Advisors have been amazing at showing us Holy Cross students around both Dublin and Ireland, through different field trips and shows. These past three months have been so joyful and fun-filled, I cannot wait to share it all with you.



Photo of a building in Dublin during sunset. Blue skies on top fade into orange and pink.
Dublin during sunset


In the meantime, that’s a little bit about me and a brief overview of Trinity! I’ll be keeping this blog updated as much as I can with different topics and stories about my time abroad, so stay tuned for more.



Until next time,