Clare Johnson, '23

Program: Ireland-Dublin Semester

Major: Global Business

Minor: Accounting


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I decided to study and intern in Dublin, Ireland to explore the relationship between the only English-speaking European Union country and the rest of Europe. I wanted to intern on my abroad experience. Ireland is such a beautiful country that is full of culture, history, natural beauty, and joy.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your program that made a lasting impression.

Every Saturday, the Áras an Uachtaráin in Phoenix Park is open to the public. The Áras an Uachtaráin is the home of the President of Ireland. I woke up early one Saturday morning to try to get a ticket to visit the Áras. The tickets were first come first serve, and I was able to get a ticket. There was no vetting to visit, which surprised me. We did have a Garda (Irish Police) with us. The tour took us all around the house. At one point, a dog ran into the room. Michael D. Higgins, the president of Ireland, is a big fan of dogs. The dog that ran into the room was a dog of one of the president's relatives. It was such an interesting cultural experience because the tour was formal but became informal with the dog. The Irish are really relaxed, and I enjoyed being able to visit the house of the president.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

I attended Dublin Business School and I interned at Solas Project, an after school program for children in the Liberties neighborhood. I worked with Solas Project twice a week with their Junior After Schools club. The children were so full of joy and energy. I took two marketing classes and Irish Life and Culture. Irish Life and Culture has two trips included. We went to the west of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Each trip had some learning as well as cultural interactions and experiences. The trip to Northern Ireland was full of political lessons.

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?

The benefits of studying abroad include broadening one's worldview, learning about international business first-hand, and gaining independence. Professionally speaking, it is really important for a student to be willing to travel. I think it is important for future employees to have experience traveling the world.

 What advice can you offer for CSB+SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

It may be a large leap of faith, but it is worth the jump. The world is so big, and it is such a joy to travel.