Category Archives: Study Abroad Tips

Wisdom from Stephen McMahon, Champlain Dublin Professor

I sat down this week with Stephen McMahon and a few other Champlain students in the café of Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery. This is how many of Stephen’s classes for Writing in the City go; we explore a site in Dublin, Stephen asks us to take a few minutes to write a response, and then he extends an invitation for coffee and a chat to any students who wish to stick around. There is so much to learn from conversations with Stephen, and as it turns out, he still finds there is much to learn from us.

Stephen McMahon - Adjunct Faculty for Champlain College Dublin  Photo Credit: Kelsey Keown

Stephen McMahon – Adjunct Faculty for Champlain College Dublin. Photo Credit: Kelsey Keown


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Independent Living Abroad

I honestly never thought I would enjoy apartment living as much as I do. Like many other students studying with Champlain Abroad Dublin this semester, I have lived in dorms up until this point. Therefore, being here in the apartment is honestly the first time that I’m really living on my own. And I have to say; I’m really enjoying it. The student apartments are located in the city center with a 25 minutes walking commute to the Academic Centre.


Living room Champlain Abroad Dublin student apartments

My roommates hanging out at the end of the day. This is a typical living room of a student apartment.

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From Paris to Dublin, Learning from Experience

Studying abroad for me was a big step in the next chapter of my life at Champlain College and future career. I have always loved traveling and knew for a long time that study abroad would be a big part of my college experience. What I didn’t know when I decided to study abroad is how much it would change me as a person. Before I left to study in Paris last fall, I was full of magical daydreams of Paris and how I would travel the world in four months; clearly I had some slightly naïve and unrealistic expectations. Over the four months I lived in Paris, I become self sufficient, self-reliant, and by the end I realized I wasn’t the same naïve girl who had left the U.S. in August. Now, I’m in Dublin with Champlain Abroad and I’m glad I have developed the skills to feel more comfortable in a new city and at the same time am constantly learning new skills that are just as valuable.

Karisa Desjardins – Champlain College: A photo from my first week in Paris!

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Lessons from Oslo

A great deal of Champlain Abroad students go to Ireland because it is the so-called “gateway to Europe.” Dublin is a home-base, and now that you’ve already crossed the Atlantic, almost anywhere you’ve ever dreamed of visiting in Europe is a quick flight away. Cheap flights from airlines such as Ryanair make country-hopping affordable. One thing I believe many of us want to take away from study abroad is establishing ourselves as travel-savvy— able to breeze through the airport with a week’s worth of possessions tucked away neatly in a backpack, scoffing at the newbies frantically sorting through their luggage at security for a tube of toothpaste that exceeds the allotted volume.

View from the roof of the Oslo Opera House

View from the roof of the Oslo Opera House

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The 5 Biggest Differences Between Burlington and Dublin

My study abroad semester in Dublin has been going along swimmingly thus far. I’m having a blast, seeing tons of wonderful places all around Ireland with plans to see more of Europe super soon. I can already tell my time here is going to go by way faster than I’m currently willing to accept.

A map of Dublin

A map of Dublin

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Ever wondered why Europeans don’t refrigerate eggs, but Americans do?

Ever wondered why Europeans don’t refrigerate eggs, but Americans do? Believe it or not, but this subject always pops up sooner or later when a new group of American study abroad students arrive in Ireland. We found a great article on, answering all those egg questions. You can check it out here:

ABC’s of Dublin


Adventure- Don’t just sit in your apartments!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make on this trip is just staying at home and sitting in your apartment. You are in a city with millions of opportunities. Even if you can’t travel much outside of Ireland, there are so many cheap and exciting things to do around you! Always make an effort to get out of your apartment and experience all that Ireland has to offer.

Champlain Abroad students in Italy

Myself and Kaitlin in Italy

Book your trips early – Don’t wait, it’ll only get more expensive!
The first thing you should do when you get here is book your trips. Get the schedule for the semester, check your syllabi, and book your trips. The earlier you book them the cheaper they will be and the more prepare you can be to travel.

Cook – Make your own meals and save millions (or at least a couple of bucks)!
Almost every night my roommates and I cook dinner together and it has worked out beautifully. We’ve saved so much money by going in on food together and sharing the responsibilities of cooking. It has definitely made a huge impact financially because you know you aren’t going to eat that 18 pack of eggs all by yourself before they go bad! Continue reading