Sarah is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Galway
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to study abroad for many reasons. One of the major reasons was to push myself outside of my comfort zone so I could continue to grow as an individual. I also wanted to experience new cultures and meet other Bennies and Johnnies that I would not have met otherwise! I was initially drawn to Ireland because of my heritage. After looking into the Galway program, I was excited for the classes and excited about the fact that Galway was an excursion based program. This allowed us to see so much of Ireland!
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Our trip to Northern Ireland really impacted me. We learned about the Troubles in some of our classes, but actually going to Belfast and Derry and seeing the impact the Troubles had on Northern Ireland really helped put the Troubles into perspective. One of our professors, Jacqui, grew up in Derry during the Troubles, and she gave us a tour of Belfast and Derry while telling us about what it was like to grow up in Northern Ireland at that time.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Studying abroad in Ireland was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I became friends with 28 other Bennies and Johnnies and got to explore a beautiful country with them! I was able to meet so many amazing people, like the Foyles who run the Park Lodge Hotel, and learn about the Irish culture from them. It was an amazing semester!
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 grew a lot as an individual when I studied abroad. I gained so much confidence! I learned how to budget my money and gained a sense of independence. Studying abroad also gave me a new, more global perspective. It provided the opportunity to learn about new cultures and further develop my world view.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Spend time looking at different programs and figure out which one is best for you. Be willing to try new things and take a step outside of your comfort zone in order to make the most out of your trip! Study abroad provides you with an amazing way to grow as an individual and make wonderful friends!