It is difficult to properly sum up my 2 months spent at UCD because it was one of the most exciting, beneficial, challenging and incredible times that I have had.
I initially decided on doing the UCD Summer Internship Program because of the Internship component. The internship I had, working in a finance department for a private hospital, was an amazing learning experience for me both professionally and personally. I gained so much more from my internship than I could have ever expected or wanted. UCD did a fantastic job of taking my goals and skills and pairing me with an employer who was capable of helping me achieve them with a meaningful project assignment. I can honestly say that my internship through UCD was a turning point for me in my professional pursuits and will be an experience I reflect and talk about for the rest of my life.
What is amazing about the UCD program is that, on top of an incredible internship experience, it offers so much more. Getting to live on an Irish college campus with 80 other students was a blast. I got to meet students from all over America, and truly made lifelong friends. UCD did a great job making everyone feel welcome, and helped introduce us to each other.
Taking two classes was also a perk of this program, as they both transfer back to my home university. The 6 credit hours they offer will help me finish my degree back home. Beyond the credit hours, the classes were a learning experience on many levels. First, they taught you about Irish culture, the Irish business environment and overall improved my knowledge on Ireland. The elective classes offered were broad enough that every student had the ability to pursue an area that they are interested in.
Finally, the UCD program offered many opportunities to travel around Ireland and Europe. The program organized trips almost every weekend, including trips to a farm (which was my favorite!), a trip to the Cliffs of Moher, and a hiking trip in the nearby mountains. These trips were a great way to get to know Ireland and get to know other students in the program. I also was able to see parts of Europe, such as London, Amsterdam and Portugal, because Ireland is such an easy place to travel from.
Overall, the UCD program offered an endless list of beneficial opportunities, ranging from valuable international work experience, to educational classes, to incredible trips throughout Ireland. It took a lot of courage for me to decide to do this program, as I was so nervous to be away from home for 2 months in a program that I didn't know many people in. However, I would encourage people to embrace this opportunity to be outside of your comfort zone because I would not trade this summer for anything!