Some of my fondest travel memories are from my trips to the U.S. My overriding memory of visiting our partner universities throughout the U.S. is the overwhelmingly warm welcome I received from staff and students alike.
Outside of the campus setting, people are equally friendly; whether it's getting lost in DC to navigating the subway in New York, people are always willing to help!
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Since taking up the post of Study Abroad Advisor, I have learned a great deal about the challenges faced by study abroad students.
I have been inspired by the energy of these students in overcoming the personal and academic challenges that the study abroad semester brings. To see students emerging at the end of the semester with an entirely new skill set, to include intercultural sensitivity, is very encouraging.
Studying abroad pushes students out of their comfort zones - seeing students encounter and embrace difference is truly inspiring.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
I've had a lot of positive feedback, but one of the best stories I've heard was from a student who felt that the Study Abroad experience at Maynooth had had a transformative effect on her life.
"Choosing to study at Maynooth was one of the best decisions of my life. It gave me the opportunity to meet so many fantastic people, study unique subjects, experience different cultures, and step outside of my comfort zone. I can confidently say that without this experience I would not be the person I am today!"
Grace's experience at Maynooth was so positive that she chose to remain for an additional semester!
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
At Maynooth, we offer Study Abroad students a broad range of classes in 35 subject areas across the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and the Sciences.
If I had the chance to study at Maynooth again, I would definitely love to take some classes in International Development and in Design Innovation. Other disciplines that would definitely interest me are Conflict Resolution, Irish Cultural Heritage and Anthropology.
In sum, I'd love to be adventurous and experiment! The curriculum is so diverse and flexible that study abroad students can easily select classes that complement their home university program. Students have two weeks at the start of term to experiment with classes which is also really helpful.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
Maynooth is Ireland's only university town. As such, students can enjoy the intimacy of the campus whilst simultaneously being very close to Dublin, Ireland's bustling capital city.
In recent times, Maynooth has enjoyed numerous accolades of which we are very proud. We are ranked by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings among the top 200 most international universities. We are named in The Princeton Review Best 381 Colleges as one of the world’s top institutions for 2017.
We are also very proud of our exceptional student satisfaction ratings: these include the Outstanding International Student Satisfaction Award from Study Portals and an ‘Outstanding’ score in the International Student Barometer.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Undoubtedly, the commitment of individual team members.