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Choosing to move from your country is not, by far, the easiest decision to make. That

happens because leaving home evolves different factors, from emotional to financial ones.

However, when we talk about cost we can’t limit ourselves exclusively to high or low,

instead we have to look at the benefits each country and institution has to offer.

The first researches I made didn’t include an exchange program to Ireland because I

didn’t know about this possibility. When I included Dublin in my searches, some aspects called

my attention.

The first one is about the visa, which only happens after you arrive in the country. In

your home country, your main concern will be basically your passport expiration date and the

amount of Euros you will have to take to stay in Ireland.

The second aspect was how interesting the life cost can be in Ireland. With about 500

Euros a month is possible to have a comfortable life, with no excesses but also without too

many restrictions.

One of the things I was more worried about the program was the possibility of

working. The student visa (Stamp 2) gives us that permission as long as some rules are

followed. For example, you can work 20 hours a week (part-time) when you are having classes

and 40 hours a week (full-time) when you are on vacation.

Having those three advantages in mind, my exchange program country was decided.

Then it comes the time to research about schools. Just a few months after I signed

my contract to travel, the Irish government changed some of the rules for these programs,

which is why is very important to be always aware of these types of changes. Especially after

October when the list of authorized schools will be divulged.

After dealing with all the practical and economic issues (school, traveling insurance

and tickets), starts the emotional preparation for the big day when you are going to board (and

the few days after that).

It is extremely natural if you feel a mixture of anxiety and fear on the months right

before your trip, especially because it is a completely new experience and after your arrival

you will have to deal with things like culture, searching for a place to live and a job. These

aren’t extremely easy to solve, but they are far from being impossible. In the end, you will

realize that all the effort for worth it.