Alumni Spotlight: Audrey Tompkins

Why did you decide to study abroad with API in Ireland?

Audrey: I had always wanted to travel abroad and just randomly decided on Ireland one day while I was driving. I started researching programs and API interested me the most. The website was easy to use, I was in constant contact with study abroad advisors helping me along the way and their trips were the most extensive and appealing to me.

Audrey studying abroad in Ireland

What do you think made this experience unique and special?

Audrey: There are so many different things that made my experience with API in Ireland special. Our study abroad group was small, therefore tight knit. Eileen, our “Irish mam” was there for us from the start and even after we returned home. She made sure we were signed up for classes, understood some of the Irish slang and even sent my transcripts to my home university for me. Also, living with Irish students made a huge impact on my time there. They offered to take home my laundry so I didn’t have to pay for it, invited me to their homes on the weekends, let me travel with them and anything else you can imagine. I still keep up with them and am looking forward to seeing them again soon in the future. When I got home my dad asked me what my favorite part of Ireland was. I said, “the people.”

Thumbs up for studying abroad in Ireland

How did this experience impact your academic development?

Audrey: I have always been pretty independent and self-motivated but living in another country sent that over the top. I gained a better understanding of the world and most importantly of myself. It’s a crazy experience to be out of your comfort zone just walking around. I have a few editor positions on my resume in which I take great pride, but interviewers are always more interested in “University of Limerick, Study Abroad.” Living abroad seems to really impress future employers. Academically, it was a challenge. It was so different than the school I was used to. The semester I returned to my home university, I made the best grades I had my entire college career. I think the Irish way of education made me miss what I was used to!