Jacob is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Galway
Major: Applied Physics
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I knew I wanted to study abroad because I have always been fascinated by the fact that even though we're all humans, our cultures can vary so vastly.
I chose Galway because I wanted the opportunity to study abroad in a more calm environment that is similar to the small town I am from. While Galway is by no means a "town" it is a small city about the size of Duluth, MN which is exactly what I was looking for and the size of Spiddal being nearly identical to my home town made the decision for me. I also wanted to study in Ireland because I honestly have an obsession with the country. Its music, its culture, its people, all of it is perfect.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
It sounds cliche, but when I went to a pub by myself for lunch in Dublin on my last day in Ireland, I never once felt intimidated or unwanted by any of the people around me. The Irish are always welcoming and friendly no matter who you are. Whether you're black, white, or polka-dotted, they treat you with the respect you deserve.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Overall, my study abroad journey in Ireland was an experience like none other and one I wouldn't trade for anything. The comradery formed between the students on this trip is truly special and getting to experience a different culture with them was the greatest gift of the experience.
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?
One of the biggest benefits is it makes you realize how narrow your view of the world is. I believed myself to be a fairly world-conscientious person, but after going abroad I see how that wasn't always true.
Academically, it taught me even more how important it is to get things done ahead of time so that you can have time for the fun experiences life throws at you.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
I would say, don't be afraid of it. I know that's hard to do; I struggled with it myself. But just do it. The experience is totally worth it. Will there be some low points? Of course, but overall I would venture to say that 98% of people who go on study abroad would have nothing but positive things to say about it.