If you are a participant attending an Internship, Service Learning or customized program on your own, please be sure to arrive at least one day prior to the start of the program.
For most programs you will fly into Dublin International Airport. For other programs, you may fly into Shannon Airport. We highly recommend participants to fly into Dublin, as it is most central, unless you are told otherwise based on the type and location of your study abroad program.
If you need assistance booking a flight, please contact Learn International.
If you are a part of a group participating in a Learn International program, please talk with your Study Abroad Advisor or Faculty member(s) accompanying you about whether group flights are being organized with your home institution.
If group flights are not to be organized, then be sure to arrive on the same day as all participants, so that we can provide efficient airport pickup.
If you need assistance booking a flight, please contact Learn International.
For most of Learn International programs, we offer a pickup service when you arrive. One of our staff will meet and greet you or your group and guide you to where you need to go! You will be informed of this option prior to arrival either through your academic institution or Learn International.
If you miss or have an extended delay on a flight, you must contact Learn International via email, in your VIA-TRM account or phone, to coordinate your pickup time.
If you are unsure whether an airport pickup is included in your program fees, please contact us at any time. If it is not included, Learn International provides this feature at a low cost.
There are many other options for seeking your own transport from the airport, it all depends where you have to go. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Please make sure Learn International has your arrival details, prior to arrival.
Learn International is not an immigration or visa specialist, but we do our best to provide up-to-date information on standards to assist with preparing to study abroad. We highly encourage all participants to read the rules and regulations separate from what is written below. For more information on Irish immigration law and procedures here.
If you are a US or Canadian citizen, you will enter Ireland on a tourist visa. You will be allowed to stay in Ireland for a period of 90 days and no more. Please plan your airfare and extended stays accordingly.
If you are from another country outside the US and Canada, it is imperative that you research whether or not you need a visa to enter your host country.
For more information on Irish immigration law and procedures here.
Upon arrival be prepared for:
17 S. Main Street
Naas, Co. Kildare
Employment laws vary from country to country. In Ireland, you may not work while on a tourist visa. It is important to know the laws in relation to working and the consequences of working without permission. Learn International does not support working of any kind while on short-term programs without a work visa. It is illegal and may distract participants from their studies and overall experience.
Depending on the time of year, Ireland’s weather varies from sunshine to rain frequently throughout the day, so it’s best to be prepared for many seasons and layers. The weather can range from 40-65F every day, even during the summer, so it is important to bring waterproof and warm clothing.
Before you go abroad, it’s best to make sure you have important documents and also copies of these documents with you and also, left with someone you trust in case of emergency.
Packing can feel like a stressful thing, but you can buy most anything you need in Ireland, so it’s best to pack light. Ireland also is a fairly casual country, however, people do tend to dress up a little when they go out for social activities.
Wearing layers is always good idea in Ireland, as the weather changes frequently throughout the day; Temperatures fluctuate between 40-65 F, even in the summer-time.
If you decide to bring toiletries, make sure you check the size limits for carry-on baggage with your airline and be sure to wrap them up to prevent leakage. If there is a brand that you prefer, it is best to bring this with you, as the brands in your host-country may vary.
Types of Toiletries commonly brought:
Tip: You can purchase most toiletries in-country, which will decrease weight in your luggage. However, if your program is short-term (2-3 weeks) it might be wise to bring small travel toiletries with you, to save on costs of buying regular-sized items.
If you take regular medication, it is best to carry this on the plane with you and in the original bottle/package with the prescription attached. Do not mix pills/tablets into one bottle, as this could delay you at immigration. You can choose to pack your medicine in your checked bag, but make sure it’s not something you need regularly, in case your bag is lost or delayed.
If you take any medication such as insulin, narcotics or any other controlled substances, please have a doctor’s note, a written prescription, and medication in its original bottle with you. Controlled substances are taken very seriously while traveling abroad, so be sure to have the appropriate documentation on the items.
If you are doing an extended program, 8-12 weeks, often your doctor can prescribe a script for up to 3 months; this may vary with controlled substances however. Please check with your doctor and health insurance for more information to assure you have enough medication for the duration of your program.
If there is brand of medicine such allergy medication you prefer, it is best to bring this with you also.
– If you bring your home phone, be sure to check with your service provider about international rates and/or use this phone on wifi in-country to communicate. Wifi is regularly available in Ireland but not always reliable in case of emergency.
-If you have an unlocked smartphone, you can easily purchase a sim card in Ireland with a pre-pay plan.
– You can purchase a ‘burner’ phone in-country with a pay-as-you-go plan, which is cost-effective.
*Tip: Make sure you put your home phone on either airplane mode or turn off your data once you arrive in Ireland or host country, so you are not charged international rates while abroad.
*Tip: Download applications on your smart-phone prior to arrival which on wifi will allow to text, talk and send photos for free. Examples: WhatsApp and Viber.
Check with your airline carrier to see what your luggage allowance is (weight and size). Typically, you can take one large checked bag, a carry-on bag and personal item.
It is also recommend that you bring a small suitcase/duffel bag that you can use for overnight excursions or travel within Ireland and Europe.
There are ATM machines, banks, and money exchange at the airport. However, it’s important that you check with your home bank and credit card institution to see what fees (typically, it’s a 3% charge/fee on every purchase or withdrawal) there are when you use your debit or credit card abroad.
*Tip: Travel checks are not used often, but you can exchange monies prior to your arrival or use companies such as, Travelex, as a safer way to carry money.
If you have any further questions about money, banking and credit cards, please contact us. We are happy to help you plan.
Ireland is generally a safe country overall, however, it is important to use your best judgment when going out, especially late at night. Please be aware of your surroundings, as you would in your home country. It is always best to travel with a friend or in a group.
If you feel unsafe at any time in Ireland, please contact the local authorities in Ireland by phone at: 999 or 112, tell your on-site Learn International Coordinator or follow the Learn International Emergency Plan provided in your on-site orientation packet on arrival.
Health Insurance: All participants on Learn International are required to have international health insurance. Please check out our Health and Safety page for more information.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is highly recommended. It can cover things like trip cancellation, lost baggage and electronics. Some international health programs have travel insurance built into them, so please research these options before arrival.
Before you go abroad, it’s likely you are pretty jazzed and excited to experience a new place, a new culture and explore. We’re excited for you too! That’s why we want to review a few things before you set off, so you can be aware of feelings of adjustment when you immerse yourself into a new society, place and people.
For the context of studying abroad with Learn International, culture is the way of life, value systems and behaviors of a group of people and varies from place to place, region to region and country to country. This way of life may be different from your own or what we’re accustomed to. At times, these differences can be difficult for us to manage and we may experience what is called, culture shock.
Some participants are completely unaffected by culture shock; others struggle with it at different degrees of intensity. The majority of Learn International programs are short-term or under 3 months in length, so participants who do experience some form of culture shock, may do so at less intense level than those on longer programs, but it is still possible.
When traveling and entering a new community, culture or daily routine, we have to adjust to a new way of life, routine and behaviors. At times, you may feel alone, uneasy, sad or even depressed from being outside of your comfort zone. Whether you are a participant on a study abroad program or a family member of a participant, please know that these feelings are normal, will decrease in time, and at times they are preventable.
A few additional symptoms of culture shock are:
Oberg’s was the first person to identify and coin the term “Culture Shock” in the late 1950s. He developed the five stages of Culture Shock, which we will use for this discussion but there are many theories related to Culture Shock and adjustment, such as Rhineback’s Ten Stages of Adjustment, if you would like to read more.
It’s important to note, that everyone goes through these stages differently, not in the same order, at varying rates and levels of intensity. It is wise to understand these phases prior to arrival, so you are aware and recognize if you or someone else is experiencing symptoms of culture shock while abroad.
According to K. Oberg’s stages, there are four that apply directly to culture shock abroad:
The rest of the stages refer, not listed here, to returning back to you home country and how you navigate your feelings and thoughts.
Tips on managing culture shock abroad:
Remember, you aren’t alone and most of what you are going through is normal; it’s all a part of the process.
All of us at Learn International have either studied abroad or lived abroad, so have firsthand experience with culture shock and managing it. We are always here to listen and help!
UC Irvine Center for International Education: Culture Shock
Returning Home, Canadian Bureau for International Education, 1984, p. 7.
Oberg, K. (1954). Culture shock. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.
Oberg, K. (2006). Cultural shock: Adjustment to new cultural environments.curare, 29(2), 3.
If you have any questions about the above, please contact us or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help.