Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Reflecting on the Last Four Months

They say all good things come to an end.  Unfortunately for me, my time in Limerick, Ireland is over.  I returned home five days ago and I am still having a tough time coming to grips with the fact that it will be a while before I return back to Ireland.  It was the best and fastest four months of my life and I am so incredibly happy I was able to do something like this.  Since I was young I always wanted to spend time in Ireland.  As I explained in my first blog post, Limerick is the home of both of my grandparents who emigrated from Ireland to the United States in search of a better life; the American Dream.  Ever since I can remember, pride for my Irish heritage was instilled in me and that is something that I hopefully can engrain in my children’s lives.

Throughout my time in Limerick, I was able to forge a strong bond with my cousin Mark Reilly.  I consider my study abroad experience so unique because of the familial connections that I have.  It was great to become friends with him and the memories we made together will forever be etched into my mind.  I had never met Mark before but it was as if we had been best buddies all along.  His mother Antoinette also provided me with some great memories.  She made me feel so at home and was basically a second mother to me while I was away.  She took me all over Ireland and showed me places and things that many Irish people may never see.  It was an absolute pleasure getting to know her and I am certain that when I return back to Limerick there will still be a place for me in her home.  In essence, I want to thank her for everything she did for me.  I know how grateful my parents and I are for her generosity and selflessness.

 

Before I was accepted to study abroad at the University of Limerick by IFSA-Butler, I was unsure if I was going to go to Ireland.  In fact, I didn’t put much thought into studying abroad at all.  If it wasn’t for my parents, I may have stayed at Franklin & Marshall College for the Spring semester.  I am so thankful that my mom pushed me to look into programs in Ireland and ultimately apply when the time came.  In addition to this, I can’t thank my parents enough for supporting me while I was in Limerick.  If it wasn’t for them, my study abroad experience wouldn’t have been possible.

 

I have left Ireland knowing that it was certainly not the last time I will be there.  I have made so many connections and seen so many unbelievable things that it is kind of hard to accept I must acclimate back into my previous lifestyle here in New Jersey. Luckily for me, because I was able to spend time with my cousins, I also made many Irish friends who I plan to stay in contact with.  A lot of them plan on coming over to the United States for the summer, so I plan to link up with them if the opportunity presents itself. I would love to show them a little taste of what life is like here, especially after living like an Irishman the last few months.

 

I can’t believe it’s all over.  But as one good thing ends, another one starts. I will be interning in New York City this summer and am so excited for the opportunity that lies ahead.  I want to thank IFSA-Butler and the University of Limerick for providing me with the trip of a lifetime…  It’s only a matter of time before I head back to the Emerald Isle.  Goodbye for now!

 

Sláinte. Éirinn go Brách.

-CJR

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