My entire life I have dreamed about exploring and traveling; studying abroad has allowed me to accomplish that. I found studying in Dublin to be nothing short of a dream; I would wake up most mornings and still not be able to believe I was in Ireland! Initially, I wasn’t sure what program to use when considering studying abroad. In my search for a program, I was seeking something that fell within my budget, offered me a wide choice of courses for my degree, and offered plenty of excursions. KEI: Knowledge Institute Abroad was the most suitable choice for my semester abroad because it met all my requirements.
When considering studying abroad, I knew I would have an incredible experience as well as meet some interesting people. However, I did not realize the extent to which the people and the experience would impact me. Upon my arrival in Dublin the first day, I walked to a Tesco’s grocery store for some necessities. The self-checkout was devoid of plastic bags; I looked around frantically, wondering how I would carry all those groceries back to my dorm. Due to Ireland’s opposition to single-use plastics, I began to use reusable cotton bags and reduce my personal use of single-use plastics as well as recycle.
I studied journalism and media at Griffith College Dublin and lived in the student accommodation on campus. The location of my accommodation was super convenient, being only 10 minutes from the city center. The college I attended had many international students which made it very easy to make friends. Many of my international friends I met in my Irish History and Culture class. Every Friday we would attend a lecture and then tour a historical site in Dublin. When we had finished our mini excursion, we would eat somewhere in the city and do some shopping or visit the park. I cherished these Fridays spent with my new friends from all over the world: Japan, Ethiopia, Germany, Switzerland, and France. For our final class trip, we visited the Titanic Museum in Belfast, Ireland and historical murals throughout the city. In addition to seeing the Titanic’s construction site, my friends and I also got the chance to see a Christmas market the same day.
In addition to me and my roommates traveling with KEI, we also received an On-Site Director named Olwyn. Olwyn quickly became like a second mother to all of us. Olwyn accompanied us on our day trip to Howth, County Wicklow and Glendalough, Belfast, and we had a weekend getaway in Lisbon, Portugal. Once the first month of weekend excursions ended me and my roommate from California decided to start traveling Europe on our own.
In Milan, Italy, we visited the Duomo Cathedral and ate gelato on the sidewalk. During our visit to Barcelona, we met people from all over the world. In Paris, we visited Disneyland and the Louvre, where we saw the incredible Mona Lisa. Together with a few of our international friends, we went ice skating in Hyde Park in London. To round off all the exciting travels, I went on a solo trip to Greece: a place I had always wanted to visit. Not to mention the fun weekends I spent with my friends visiting Galway, Phoenix Park, and the famous Guinness Storehouse.
My time in Ireland with these people I now call my best friends was one of the most precious times of my life. Studying abroad should be an experience that everyone should be able to experience.
Lindsey Thurman (BA Communication) spent Fall 2021 studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland with KEI. Lindsey had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad in Ireland was the best experience of my life. Getting the opportunity to completely dive into another culture is a crazy experience full of trying new things, and learning more about yourself along the way. If you have ever been interested in venturing out and exploring another culture, studying abroad is a fit for you.”
Share this post: