Before going abroad I was nervous to travel and unsure if it was the right thing to do. These concerns quickly withered as I fell in love with Ireland and my experiences while there. Being abroad provided clarity on my future career field and allowed me to grow as an individual in a multitude of ways. The people I met on the trip truly enhanced my experience. I met so many genuine, kind, fun, and outgoing people from all over the world. I am confident our friendships will last for years to come. Going away from the normal for a bit and being immersed in a new country provides a fresh look on things at home and the people you surround yourself with. Ireland itself is stunning. The people there are exceptional, and each day brings a sense of joy and adventure.

The landscape Ireland offers is one of a kind. With the country being roughly the size of Indiana, in terms of square miles, the culture and history ingrained is fascinating. Nearly every tourist attraction and historical city was only a short drive away.  The old abbeys and castles made me feel like I was in my own fairy tale.

Dublin was an everyday adventure in itself. I stayed at a college near the city and learned to navigate the city’s public bus system. Since it was an internship abroad I had to be at work from 9-5 Monday thru Thursday with some weekends involved. At my internship, I led children in creative writing workshops. This allowed me to fully experience the people of Dublin and understand the Irish and their culture. Irish people are some of the kindest people I’ve ever had the honor of meeting. There is no such thing as a stranger there. If I was lost or simply looking for things to do, the locals were always more than accommodating and friendships quickly formed.

As if the people weren’t enough to create an amazing experience, the parks and pubs did. Greenery is everywhere in Ireland! Whenever I had downtime I would go to a national park where I could see deer, many sheep, and cliffs that overtake the close ocean. Pubs provided great food and even better live music. A favourite part of my time was learning traditional Irish dancing while a live band played.

My study abroad experience created a confidence in me that I didn’t know was there. Now I feel more prepared to travel in the future; whether it’s for career decisions or just for fun. Two months away from home reminded me that there is kindness worldwide and how important it is to spread in everyday life. If I could have never left Ireland, I would have. I will always be grateful for the opportunity and will cherish my memories from this summer forever.

Sarah Moore is majoring in Political Science and interned abroad in Summer 2019 in Dublin, Ireland with ISA. Sarah had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad changed my life for the better. I experienced a new adventure everyday and made lifelong friends. I returned home from being abroad more confident in myself and future career.”

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