Jennifer O'Brien, UCD Fall 2012
I have always wanted to study abroad and Ireland has always seemed to be the place for me (my last name is O’Brien and the only way I could be more Irish is being from Ireland)! However, being a transfer, I was not sure whether I would be able to study abroad at all. However, with the classes taken during the ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin transferring over as direct ILR credit, I was able to have one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I was lucky enough to meet diverse and interesting people, explore Europe, and learn about labor relations and Irish history from an Irish perspective!
I was able to meet so many great people during my time in Ireland! I lived on campus in an amazing apartment with three other girls (two Irish and one German), and from them I learned all about their cultures, they helped me to explore not only Ireland but other countries around Europe as well, and they fed me interesting international cuisine! Living on campus was great, though I learned the hard way that when the electronic door to my room was flashing red that meant the batteries were running out and it would lock me out (it took several hours, 3 RAs, and two “magic” boxes to get me back in). I was also able to meet and work with kids from all around in the world in my classes and form lasting friendships with these people! In my Globalization class, the professor purposely placed us on a six-person team with people from all different countries! It was great I worked with an Aussie, an Italian, a German, an Irishman, and a Chinese student (try keeping that straight)! Being able to closely work with people from different cultures definitely taught me a lot of things, how to deal with people of different cultures, how to have patience (some cultures like to leave things to the last minute), all of which I am sure will help me in the future workplace!
Outside of the classroom not only was I able to travel to wonderful places around Europe; I was able to become involved on campus. The class schedule at UCD allowed for quite a lot of travel time and I was able to visit many places not only around Ireland, but also around Europe, even going to Brussels with all the kids from Cornell! I also joined the softball team and it was one of the best decisions I made at UCD! The team was like a family, welcoming me in like a lost sister and making sure that I had a good time while I was in Ireland. Not only was practicing twice a week so much fun, there was always a team outing each week. From going to the disco, to karaoke, to tasting locally brewed beer, the softball took us around Dublin and we had a blast! We also had tournaments that allowed us to travel and bond as a team. While the Irish may not be good at softball (we did come in 3rd at a tournament), they sure know how to have fun! My time in Ireland was absolutely amazing and I will treasure it forever!
- Jennifer O'Brien, UCD Fall 2012