A note to future study abroarders…
If you are still deciding whether or not you should study abroad-just go. If you aren’t sure where you should study-just pick a place and go there. If you aren’t sure if you can afford it-go anyways, you will find a way to make it work. If you are scared-good, that it makes the whole experience even better! Last April when I was deciding whether or not I should go abroad, I wish someone would have just told me to stop worrying about it and go. It may not seem that simple, and at times it is certainly not easy, but you just have to do it. And once you do it, you will be so happy you did.
I know everyone writes about their study abroad experience in typical, cliched terms like “It was the best experience of my life!” or “I have grown more than I ever thought possible!”. But honestly, that’s all so true-at least for me it is. Sure, there were times that were tough-times where I just wanted a hug from my mom and dad, times where I wanted to be back at Hamilton with my friends, times where I just wanted to be in my home country-but I can honestly say that I have enjoyed absolutely every second of my time in Ireland.
The people I have met, the beauty I have seen, the things I have learned have changed me. Of course you can learn about a country by reading about it in a book or watching documentaries about it on Netflix. But there is absolutely nothing like getting of the plane knowing absolutely nobody, immersing yourself in another culture for four months, and realizing that you never want to leave. I have learned more about myself in the past four months and I know that I have grown immensely as a person, and I owe it all to Ireland and this incredible experience.
So for those of you who aren’t sure if you should go abroad, ask yourself this: when in your life will you be able to live in another country for four months, immerse yourself in a different culture, and travel around the world? Most of you, like me, would probably not be able to answer that question, and that is why you should go abroad. You should go abroad for the experiences, for the people, for the culture, for the places, but most importantly, you should go abroad for yourself. If you are unsure or scared like I was, trust me, it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.
(And remember, if you’re ever stuck, just think of the Irish saying “Don’t worry, it’ll all be grand!”)