"At the beginning of this past summer, I was so nervous, but excited to travel to Ireland for an entire month to study Irish literature. I didn’t expect that I would learn so much about the Irish culture in the span of four weeks, but I came away with so much more than I ever imagined. It was an interesting experience because I was able to see firsthand the pubs where Irish authors and poets went to write some of their most famous pieces. In the program, I traveled to three cities in Ireland and Northern Ireland: Dublin, Derry, and Galway. I also was able to travel to Limerick during my excursion weekend. Even though my trip was pretty short, I was able to see so much and learn more about the Irish way of life. The people I met in Ireland were so friendly, and were very interested in what my group was studying.
During my visit in Ireland, I saw the famous Trinity College, The Cliffs of Moher, and our group went to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin to see a play we were reading in class. Not only did I get to see the urban setting of Dublin, I also saw the rural side of Ireland on Connemara Island, where people still live in thatched-roof houses and speak the Irish language. Studying abroad in Ireland was an invaluable experience, and I am truly grateful that I was able to learn about a different country that I have always been interested in. "
"When I left this past semester to travel to Florence, Italy, I didn’t expect to walk away with so many memories and life lessons. I learned to live a daily Italian’s life, which I really loved. Waking up and going to the market, walking everywhere and never driving, learning the language, and seeing what Italians value became my values.
Traveling most every weekend to other countries gave me the opportunity to enrich my time abroad and do things I would not normally do. I went skydiving over the Alps, participated in plate smashing in Greece, and tried foods in Germany that I would not normally eat back home. Coming back to the United States, I was in confusion when I heard EVERYBODY speaking English and all the signs in only English. The culture shock was upon my arrival back to the United States, not my departure to Italy. This entire experience has and will impact my future because I will not take many things for granted that I used to and be more open to chance and change wherever it awaits me."