I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad at Trinity College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland from January to March when I was sent home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eager to learn about my Irish roots, explore different cultures, and challenge myself academically, I set this goal even before entering college. During the summer prior, I juggled 2 part time jobs and an internship to ensure I could independently fund the venture for myself. I was 1 of only 2 American University students to study at Trinity College Dublin for that semester, and I was both anxious and excited to be entering an education system and culture that was different from what I was comfortable with. Although my time was cut short, I certainly made the most of it.
I learned so much from 4 unique classes: Economy of Ireland, Life in Modern Ireland, Democracy and Development, and The European Court of Justice. I tried traditional Irish dishes, explored historic sites, and even advanced my dance skills with some Irish step dance classes! I lived and learned from my roommates that were from Australia, Austria, and Canada, hosting cultural dinners to learn about each others traditions. I heard the opinions of professors and Irish students when Brexit occurred on January 31, and travelled to Northern Ireland where I learned more about the history of “The Troubles” and the Civil War.
I also travelled to 4 other countries: France, England, Greece, and Denmark. These weekend trips were an opportunity to meet up with other friends who were studying abroad and to learn and explore as much as I could.
My short time on the Emerald Isle taught me to embrace exploring new places alone, to strike up a conversation for the sake of finding commonality, and to always prepare for a rainy day… literally!