I studied abroad at the National University of Ireland in Galway for the 2011-12 academic year.
I have family that live in Ireland, and have always wanted to visit them. I also had an interest in learning about Irish history, so I attempted to trace my own family history while abroad.
My favorite class was my history lecture on Medieval Ireland taught by Daibhi O. Croinin.
The Saturday farmer’s market right in the city center was a great place to get local produce as well as experience “authentic” Irish culture. I also got involved in mountain climbing, which is something I never thought that I would do. That experience was one of the most rewarding experiences I have from going abroad. I also was able to travel to other parts of Europe and see many places that I thought I would never see.
Going abroad was the best decision I ever made. The experience of a new culture was invaluable to me. The experience of a different learning environment, as well as different teaching methods has given me deeper insight. I also gained a new perspective in which to approach my education and general outlook. I would not trade my experience abroad for anything, I was able to travel and see parts of Europe that I have always wanted to see and was able to see many of the places I have often read about or studied in my history classes. I also made great friends from other countries, and I still hear from them regularly. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to go abroad and experience everything that I did. I would strongly encourage anyone considering studying abroad to do so. It can be truly life-changing.