The Best Semester. Ever.

Academics: 4
Support: 5
Fun: 5
Housing: 5
Safety: 5

I studied in Dublin in the fall of 2019. I was the only student from my college, and I was completely terrified. I had never traveled further than outside the New England area, much less out of the country. In addition to this, I was a first semester senior. So I knew going in that this may be one of my most challenging semesters. Especially in a new academic environment, different from any other I had been exposed to.
Most of my worries and fears stemmed from this. I was petrified that I wouldn’t be able to handle my course load. Since I was a senior, my home institution required that I take 5 courses, as well as an internship while in Dublin. I had already known that I had good time management skills. At home I had taken five classes and worked during one semester. I knew I could do it at home, but I was worried that the cultural differences would make it difficult for me to succeed.
I have never been so happy to be wrong in my life. They say that studying abroad changes you in ways that you’d never imagine. I can say from first hand experience that they are absolutely true. My semester abroad was the best that I have ever had. I ended up becoming friends with everyone in my program! This made my transition and adjustment so much easier. In addition to this, I had the endless support of the CAPA staff in Dublin. If ever I had a question, comment, concern, or just wanted to share something I had learned, they were always there and more than happy to listen.
My courses were some of the best I’ve ever taken while in college. Each lecturer made their class filled with new knowledge in ways that I can apply to my career. We analyzed problems for real-life scenarios, then worked as a group to find real life solutions. As a business major, with hope of one day starting my own business, this is incredibly useful.
My internship was one of my favorite places to be during the week. I worked 15 hours, going to my site four days out of the week. My internship was at a startup Irish fashion company called Tonn. They make specialty T-shirts themed with the beauty of Ireland. I learned so much from being there. The company itself is only made up of four to five people, so I was able to see first hand the ups, downs, joys, and struggles of owning your own business. Here I learned how to plan for the unexpected, when and how to cope with frustrations, as well as when to walk away. In the U.S. I feel we sometimes struggle with this. Sometimes we take on more than we can chew, or get so invested in what we are doing that we can forget how important it is to take a break. My internship and my courses taught me that walking away and taking breaks are essential to success. While we would love to complete a task all at once, it is important to remember that we are not robots. We cannot run, continuously, forever. We are all human, and that is what makes us unique.
They say that studying abroad changes you in ways you can’t imagine. I can say that they are right. My time abroad allowed me to learn more about myself than I ever had before. It allowed me room to grow as a person, and find myself in places I’d never thought I’d be. I have made relationships that will last a lifetime, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed