Shawn is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Ireland-Galway
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
Overall, I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to interact with a culture that was different than mine own. I wanted to travel and I had heard how great of an experience study abroad can be. I chose the Galway program because I was interested in a rural program that was not located in a big city. This program definitely offered me that. I was also excited at the living situation in the cozy cottages at the Park Lodge Hotel.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One of our first nights in Ireland we went to the one of the three pubs in Spiddal. We ended up talking with two of the locals. They gave us a brief history lesson of Ireland the conflict between Ireland and Northern Ireland. One of the guys sang a song related to this issue. It was really fascinating to see the passion that the people had toward the affairs and state of their country.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I had an absolutely fantastic study abroad experience. I was lucky to have a great faculty director, Anna Mercedes, and 26 other group members to share the experience with. I really enjoyed that we were able to see almost the entire island with trips to Belfast, Cork, Dublin, and several others. I will always the cherish the memories I made with the people I met there. I also really enjoyed our classes because I found the history of Ireland so fascinating.
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?
I became a lot more confident in my decision-making. That has benefited me personally, academically, and professionally. I have also become a much more flexible person. Some of the best days abroad are spent exploring a new city with no agenda. Part of that is that I am much more independent and willing to try new things on my own
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Do it. The benefits from the experience are beyond imaginable. Save your money before you go and be willing to try new things. Looking back, I most cherish the memories where I stepped outside of my comfort zone.