After 3 months of fun-filled excursions, I’m now back home in the States. The idea of studying abroad came on a whim after my friend, Abby, told me that she was going to Ireland. Truthfully, I didn’t even know the Mount had a program in Ireland. But now, I’d like to thank her for the opportunity to experience one of the best, and most memorable, semesters before I graduate college.
Coming home felt bittersweet. I was glad to see my friends, family, boyfriend, and (most importantly) my dogs after being away for so long. I ended the semester semi-early, apart from one class, so I had time to decompress and wind down. But not having an entirely new city to explore has meant that this past week has dragged, and I have been rotting in my bed. There was always something to do in Dublin and the most exciting thing that’s happened in Reisterstown is the Office Depot turning into a Harbor Freight.
All the slowness of life in Reisterstown aside, I am forever grateful for the time I got to spend in Ireland and all the memories I’ve made along the way. Not everyone gets the chance to study abroad so I’m very lucky to have had this opportunity. Thanks to study abroad, I got to visit London and Amsterdam (places I thought I’d never see) and experience the beauty of the Emerald Isle, from its rolling green hills, picturesque seaside, and hospitable people. I jumped in bogs and made terrible soda bread, ate mysterious black and white pudding, drank in the same pub as James Joyce, and learned the good, bad, and ugly parts of Irish history (though I’m still no scholar).
I loved travelling with my friends––despite all the stress that comes with travel––and exploring Dublin with them while simultaneously getting confused with the directions that Apple Maps gave us. There’s also a small part of me that misses the C3 bus rides with Abby, although we might have annoyed everyone else on the bus with our constant talking. When I had to delete Citymapper (my only saving grace when it came to figuring out public transport), I swear a part of me died. It was also hard to say goodbye to my host mom, who had been so welcoming and kind from the moment AIFS dumped me and Abby on her doorstep.
If anyone who is reading this is considering study abroad, then my answer to you would be a resounding: yes! Studying abroad is a great way to learn about the world outside of America, and it even helped me gain a deeper appreciation for my life and the people that I love back home (because you really don’t know what you have until it’s gone). Plus, studying abroad has given me so many fun stories to tell my friends.
Thank you to everyone who’s kept up with my posts while I’ve been abroad, it was a pleasure getting to share my life with you!