Tyler is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Galway, Ireland
Major: Numerical Computation
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
For me, I have always had an interest in studying abroad. Growing up I have always heard of amazing experiences. Seeing movies where people travel to Europe has given me an interesting and wanting to travel the world. My freshman year, I started browsing the study abroad options one day, and Ireland just kind of stood out to me more than any other. I saw a youtube video made by the group, and that really assured me. When it came time to apply, I researched all of the options again, and while they all seemed amazing, and I know I would have loved some of the other programs as well, Ireland still sat in the back of my mind. It felt like it belonged. When I got accepted, it was the most exciting day, and that excitement grew every single day, until I could finally travel to Ireland, for my study abroad.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
The first thing that comes to mind is my first day in Ireland. We arrived at 4:30am, and could not check into our hostel until 3 p.m.. Twelve of us started wandering the streets, and with no clue where we were going or what to do, we came across a pub that says open at 7, 7 days a week. We all went in and ordered a pint of Guinness, amongst the full bar full of locals. We all sat down, and took the Instagram picture, and proceeded to share a pint. The men in the bar started coming over, and asking us who we were and what we were doing here. They would try to come up with a clever joke about American's to make us laugh. They taught us how to order at a bar, what to do, and told us where to go. They gave us such a great sense of hospitality, that I will never forger. Every single person in there wanted to talk to us, and we wanted to talk to them. The first Irish people we met were so friendly and nice, it was such a comforting feeling. This turned out to be true to the whole country. Everyone was so friendly and nice and hospitable. The first people we met during our first pint, showed us a characteristic of Ireland, that held true throughout my experience.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I had an amazing time in Ireland. The initial shock of it was just what I expected. It was such a beautiful country, filled with funny and amazing people. It turned out to be so much more. My study abroad experience was filled with all the touristy things that anyone might do when they travel to Ireland, but it also immersed me in a brand new culture. The classes I took gave me a chance to deeply understand the vast history of Ireland. I created friendships that will last a lifetime, but also learned so much about myself. Everyday in Ireland was a gift, and I would go back tomorrow if I could.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
There are many things that I have developed from study abroad that will benefit to my personal, academic, and professional development. The first thing that comes to mind is confidence. Studying abroad gave me so much more confidence than I had before. I am a lot more independent with no many things, and have confidence that I will make it work. I can handle most situations, and that will help me out immensely later on in life. I also gained some more people skills. Traveling to countries with other languages besides English, one has to be able to communicate to survive. I was able to get around a few of these countries with much less problems than I would have thought. Lastly, it gave me a great realization about the United States in comparison to the rest of the world. It allowed me to realize that we aren't some golden country on this side of the world, but that there is so much more out there, and it goes on with or without the United States. The United States definitely has a worldly impact, but seeing things from the other side of things was a great experience.
What advice can you offer for CSB|SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
DO IT! I can't tell you what your experience will be like, but if any part of you wants to study abroad, and you have the option to, do it. You won't regret anything. Save the money, work harder than ever before to save up some money, and once you get to your country live in a way that you never have before. You will gain some amazing friends, and have experiences you never would have. Never again in my life can I pull an all nighter to catch a three a.m flight, just to save 20 dollars, so I could buy a hostel for the night. Never will I be placed in so many uncomfortable situations, that they just became comfortable. You will have an amazing time, so don't hold back and do it.