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Where to Study Abroad in Ireland?

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Greetings fellow travelers!
I am trying to figure out where I want to study abroad next summer and Ireland has always been a dream destination for me. I am open to all others parts of the world, but Ireland is my #1 choice. With that being said… I am curious as to what is the best place to study abroad or get an internship in. My school has a great study abroad program but none that deal with Ireland, so I am kind of on my own for the research.

I realize that Dublin is the most populated city and there are lots of great Universities there, but I want to think outside the box and look at some other possible options. I am more into the Irish countryside and the natural beauty of the country, so with that being said I think I would actually enjoy a smaller town like Cork or Galway for example. The beauty of living in Dublin is that it is a great city and only about an hour away from Wicklow Mountain park, so I could in deed get my nature fix from time to time. I will also need to take the railways to get around, so being located near some kind of rail system is also key.

Anyway, any advice for beautiful places to study? I want to try and stay away from super crowded cities, but do not want to be in a city where there is nothing to do. Please help.

*feel free to share your study abroad experience, like I said, I am open to pretty much anywhere!*

Thanks!

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