Coming to Dublin: Reasons to Consider Studying Abroad

It is 56 degrees in February. The sun shines above the water and the hustle and bustle of morning traffic is just beginning. As I walk to my day school, I pass cafes buzzing with the morning rush, the smell of pastries and coffee wafting through the air. Where am I? Not Boston (56 degrees should have given that). I am in Dublin, Ireland, with five other students participating in Boston College’s Semester-in-Practice program.

So what attracted me to this program? Take a round of exams at law school and you’ll see the appeal of internships. But seriously, how could I pass up the opportunity to spend a semester living and working in Europe? Maybe I’m just a product of the Covid era – eager for the study abroad experience that has been swept away from under me. Still, I find it more likely that I was drawn to the opportunities this program presents.

For starters, this may be the only time in my life when I can definitely save myself a few months to live abroad. Given the nature of a US law degree and the other commitments that come with growing up and joining the workforce, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to turn my life upside down and move to another country later in life. my career. As far as I know, the PTO has its limitations.

Beyond the perfect timing, I think I can leverage this experience to access more international opportunities in the future. I will have an experience of living and working abroad while learning two new legal systems: Irish and European. This not only signals a willingness to work internationally or with international clients, but also shows the ability to do so. With an increased presence of law firms, nonprofits, and other organizations around the world, I believe this experience will be invaluable to draw on throughout my career.

This semester I am extern at the Mercy Law Resource Center, an independent legal center and charity providing free legal advice and representation to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Ireland, like many other countries, is currently experiencing a housing crisis characterized by low housing supply and rapidly rising rental prices. As a result, many people are completely excluded from the housing market. I can meet these people through Mercy Law’s free legal clinics and work on their cases. This involves writing letters to the local housing authority, writing complaints to government watchdogs and interacting directly with government officials. Thanks to this work, I see people living in extreme poverty find housing or move into more suitable housing. Being able to help people in the Dublin community is by far the most rewarding part of my job.

That being said, this program is not all work and no play. At the weekends, we embrace Irish pub culture and take advantage of the cheap airfare. So far students have been in England, France and Italy with Switzerland, Belgium and Scotland on deck. Obviously, this isn’t your average semester in law school.

Dublin also has a lot to offer. It is a very pedestrian city, which makes visits easy and accessible. Whether you’re shopping on Grafton Street, strolling Trinity or admiring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, there’s so much to do right here in Dublin. Also, unlike most major cities, the bus system makes journeys of over an hour outside of town. For a few euros you can take day trips to Howth, Wicklow and Bray or hop on the Irish rail system for longer journeys to Belfast, Cork and Galway. Of course, you never get bored.

Coming to Dublin was not a difficult decision to make. It’s a chance to fully immerse yourself in another culture and see the world while earning credits in law. If you’re feeling bogged down reading cases or writing memos, consider coming to Dublin and experience all the fun for yourself.

Katie Cross is a second year student at BC Law, studying in our Semester-in-Practice: Dublin Program. Contact her at

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