Why did you decide to study abroad with AIFS at the University of Limerick?
Caroline: Ireland has always been a fascination to me. I wanted to know about the people, their lifestyles and why they had so much pride to be Irish. I had heard that my ancestors were Irish and came over to Ellis Island. I could not think of a better place to study Irish folklore, Irish Literature, because I am an English major, and my heritage. AIFS offered all the classes I wanted and an opportunity to live on campus and feel what it is like to be a student at the University of Limerick. I had always wanted to study abroad and I think affiliate programs connected to your college are great ways to get involved and meet new people.
What made your study abroad experience unique and special?
Caroline: My experience was unique and I think anyone who goes to Ireland will have their own unique adventures. Within my group I met three people from Texas and two Irish students and we all quickly became friends. Someone even asked me if we had known each other from before! Everyday my new friends and I would walk to classes and then explore Limerick and other cities in Ireland.
We travelled to the Cliffs of Moher, Tralee, Bunratty, Dublin, Galway, the Burren, Lahinch and many other breathtaking places. I remember learning two Irish dances, but playing soccer with my friends on campus is what sticks to mind the most. It was interesting to experience the town of Limerick and see its shopping malls, movie theaters and restaurants and how they compare to the United States. I would not change a thing about my experience because I made lifelong friends that I am still in close contact with and found out about myself in the process.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Caroline: This short three week summer trip impacted my future greatly. I am hoping to pursue a degree in Irish folklore, Education and Irish language at a graduate school in the Republic of Ireland. I am traveling back to Ireland this summer to look at schools and I've never been so excited to return somewhere in my life. I've kept up contacts with my friends that live in Limerick and we are planning to see each other again after three years. This trip helped me learn that I can travel places by myself and this gave me a lot of confidence. If I had not experienced this trip with AIFS my life would be very different.