Five weeks have come and gone.
The time has come for me to head back to the states.
This has been on the the best and most rewarding experiences of my life so far. I have learned so much about myself and the world around me. Ireland is truly a stunning country and I am sad to go. Although I am ready to see my family and friends, I wish I had more time here.
A few things I have learned in Ireland:
I came to this Study Abroad Program without knowing anyone. I knew the name of my adviser, but she was in Indiana during my time here. Although it is out of my comfort zone, I had to put myself out there and talk to strangers. It was easier with the people I lived with, because we saw each other 24/7. I am blessed that I was able to room with the people that I did, I know have friends in Ohio, Oregon, and North Carolina. The harder part was putting yourself out there in class. I had to just start random conversations with people that I did not know and a lot of them came from the same university. My group was one of the only ones who did not know each other before hand.
Due to the fact that I put myself out there, I met some amazing people that weren’t a part of the school from various places in the world. During the intermission of a comedy show that I attended, I struck up a random conversation with the people sitting next to me. They were two guys from small town near Cork County. The people in front of us heard our conversation and joined in. It turns out they were a school group from James Madison University. By just starting a conversation with a stranger, I was able to surprisingly meet people from Virginia.
You never know who you are going to meet. Always take a chance and put yourself out there. It may be awkward at time, but it is worth it! I now have a place to stay if I ever go back to Ireland.
Being on Your Own
Because I didn’t know anyone going into this trip, there are times where I had to go do things on my own. Although this may not always be advisable, as long as you were conscientious of your surroundings and didn’t do anything irresponsible, you were safe. Ireland is a pretty safe country and as long as you don’t let your guard down, everything would generally be okay. On my own, I went to a comedy show, explored Dublin during the day, explored Galway during the day, went out to dinner, visited a night club, and went to a small concert. I met people at almost every place I went to and I am so glad that I took a chance and went out on my own.
Overall, I believe that this is an experience that I will always remember! Studying abroad is something every student should try to partake in. If you are not comfortable studying abroad on your own, like the program I went through, there are many other study abroad options out there. Studying abroad is an experience that opens your eyes to the world around you and opens your eyes to learning more about yourself!