Slán, Ireland!

For a short program spanning only two weeks, the Plus3 Ireland program surely exceeded my expectations and provided an incredibly insightful and enjoyable study abroad experience. 100% recommend for anyone considering it!

I arrived in Dublin with a surface-level idea of Ireland’s entrepreneurial support system, corporate tax policies, and technologically advancing business landscape, and after completing this Plus3 program, I can definitely say that I have a deeper understanding of all of the above aspects. In addition, the emphasis placed on historical context and its impact in modern-day Ireland provided an added layer of understanding. For example, learning about the 1845 famine and its impact on the Irish population and their daily lives allowed me to understand the cultural significance of organizations like FoodCloud and appreciate their not-for-profit, collaborative mindset. I also learned a lot about inter-organizational collaborations and interaction between technology and social entrepreneurship through our tours of youth-centered, innovation-driven organizations like ThinkHouse and the Guinness Enterprise Center. Contrasting the tours of such Irish businesses with multimillion-dollar corporations like Microsoft and Google accentuated the similarities and differences these corporations shared with the four Ireland-based companies. More specifically, regardless of size and popularity, every organization we visited shared a deep commitment towards client-centered processes, employee satisfaction, and sustainable business solutions.

The guest lectures, notably those delivered by Dr. Darren Kelly on Dublin’s financial district and by Mr. Rob Cullen on networking, were incredibly insightful and motivated me to do my own research about Irish history and understand how its economy and business practices evolved to what they are now. In fact, being aware and knowledgeable a country’s (particularly a high-context country like Ireland’s) historical context and its impact on its current business culture prior to a visit will help professionals read between the lines and understand the cultural and historical significance behind business decisions made by local organizations. In a competitive setting, learning about and being respectful of a country’s cultural identity would set an individual/business apart from another entity that may be approaching a partnership with purely profit-oriented intentions.

On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoyed the perfect mix between academics and relaxation that the Plus3 Ireland provided. At first, it was exhausting to adhere to a busy schedule packed with orientation, classless site visits, and historical tours–but thinking back, I am grateful that CAPA, our program partners, created a schedule like that, because it enabled us to get a holistic experience of Ireland and its business culture as opposed to staying in our [very cozy] apart-hotels all day. In addition to learning about Ireland in a professional and academic sense, I also learned about Ireland’s social life and visited really cool touristy locations such as the Cliffs of Moher, Wicklow, Glendalough, Kilkenny city, Galway city, and of course, Temple Bar. After a stressful and intense spring semester, I had longed to spend some time just having fun and learning more about my likes and dislikes–and I did exactly that during the free evenings that we had in Ireland. Along with some other people from this Plus3 cohort, I enjoyed wandering around the shopping districts, bridges along River Liffey, and exploring Dublin’s night life. I didn’t think I would miss Dublin so much even as I was leaving for the airport, but I cannot shake away the feeling of nostalgia for the gorgeous city of Dublin even after being home for a week now.

Overall, this was surely a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I had an amazing time! I am beyond grateful to have been a participant in this program and would like to thank our faculty, Hillary Koller and Meade Johnson, for being there for us every step of the way (including the 20-hour delay at Newark Airport on the way back even though they weren’t obligated to do so). For anyone considering this (or any of the other Plus3 programs), DO IT!! It’s a pretty neat deal and you won’t regret it!

Until we meet again on another study abroad program,

Sláinte!

Shreya.

P.S. ‘Slán’ means ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Sláinte’ means ‘Cheers’ in the Irish language.

P.P.S.For those of you on the same boat as me with regards to missing Dublin, there’s a soundscape of Dublin city on the Calm meditation app ( and it’s pretty nice to fall asleep to). After keeping the window propped open for cool air each night, I am starting to miss the seagull noises and horns from cars so the soundscape was pretty soothing to me.

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