Studying Abroad

Studying Abroad

I studied abroad in Ireland, and it was the most memorable part of college and recommend that every college student should study abroad.

I studied in Ireland for 6 months, and if I could go back and do it again, I would have stayed there for an entire school year. I decided to study in Ireland because my family is from Dingle, Kerry. I wanted to see where some of my family still lived and where my

I decided to study in Ireland because my family is from Dingle, Kerry. I wanted to see where some of my family still lived and where my great-grandparents grew up. I wanted to dive into the Irish culture and gain a real life, up close and personal understanding of my heritage.

Living in Ireland humbled me. Not every student had a car, IPhone, IPad, laptop, and mom and dad’s credit card; they lived modestly and within their means. Life was slow, relaxed, and easy-going. No one was in a hurry to do anything. I acclimated to the Irish lifestyle quickly and fell in love; I didn’t want to leave! I was able to visit family and even attend a family wedding that lasted four days. I traveled all throughout Ireland and Europe; plane tickets were cheap since I was already across the Atlantic. I was able to experience and enjoy many ethnicities and cultures I would have not otherwise if not for this journey.

Start looking into studying abroad your sophomore year. Dependant on your school will determine whether or not they allow study abroad. Most schools allow students to study abroad their junior or senior year and/or during the summer of the junior and senior year.  If your school does not send students to the country you want to travel, most will partner with other schools to make different countries/schools abroad accessible. For example, I was a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and they did not have a program that allowed me to travel to Ireland. UIC, like most schools, had a partnership with another school that sent students to Ireland. I was able to study in Ireland through Butler University’s study abroad program. I met students from all across the United States. I roomed with one American student and lived with three other Irish students. The same applied to all the American students I traveled with. We all became close friends, and I still speak with and see some of them to this day. It was an experience of a lifetime, and I am incredibly grateful for the friendships I formed and my new found perspective and respect for my family heritage.  

I urge you to think about why you would want to study abroad. Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to see where my roots began. I studied to get decent grades, but for me, studying abroad meant experiencing how it was to live in Ireland. Other reasons to study abroad may be to continue to learn or master a different language. Travel to various countries to study art among the museums and galleries, or the architecture of different cities or cathedrals. You may want to go to a second or third world country to help improve their way of life or teach underprivileged children. The possibilities are endless and there is no limit on what you can do, or experience. 

 

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