I chose CEA Study Abroad in Galway, Ireland because of the convenient provider to university process.
Maggie Gorman is completing her senior year at the University at Albany, majoring in English and Economics. She has been to 15 different countries and is passionate about traveling.
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider and university assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
Both my program and university provided me with housing, an action-packed itinerary, and a helpful onsite team leader to guide me through studying abroad.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I would suggest to any future study abroad students to plan a budget ahead of time. Make a list of all the counties and places you are interested in traveling to, because it will end up saving you a great deal of money and time! Also, pack light - especially for the weekend getaways.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
After my university's orientation, you are able to chose classes based upon your interests. After your schedule is set, you have the freedom to work around your classes and explore the surrounding area! I had a lot of down time to walk around the city, get to know the locals, and discover the culture.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
One of my main concerns before studying abroad was going on a program with no one I knew. Upon arriving with my group, I instantly connected to a few people and made long-lasting connections. Also, not knowing anyone is a great opportunity to put yourself out there and meet new people! I still keep in touch with my Irish roommates and friends.
What is your favorite memory from your time abroad?
I believe prospective travelers are interested in hitting all the supposed hot spots of each country. My answer to that is: don't! Don't be a tourist. Strike up a conversation with a local at a cafe or pub, and venture out to the hidden gems of each place you travel to.
One of my favorite memories was staying at a hostel near a castle in Edinburgh. I met an Australian man and a French girl there, and we aimlessly wandered through the city's rolling hill landscape, and Romanesque churches, fueling ourselves with fresh fudge.