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Laura Crook

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Biology and English Majors
Program: UNC Science in Dublin with IES
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Term: Summer 2019


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose UNC Science in Dublin because I wanted the opportunity to study abroad, but was afraid that it might not be possible with my science major and the many required courses it entails. When I discovered that I could take one of these courses with a UNC professor abroad and get UNC credit for the course, I knew it was the right opportunity for me.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I can cook, I am good at planning, and I love hiking!


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One Sunday afternoon, a few friends and I caught a bus down to a national park south of Dublin. We went on a three-hour long hike around Guinness lake and saw breath-taking views of the Wicklow mountains. I had such a feeling of accomplishment not only because I was able to physically scale this mountain, but also because I realized that I'd scaled other intangible mountains. I'd lived over a month in a foreign country, I'd made new friends, and I was feeling more confident than ever even though I was far away from my original comfort zone.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Spend some time looking into the place where you want to study. You will be there for at least six weeks and you want to find somewhere that is a good fit for you. For example, if you can't imagine yourself living in a big city, don't assume that a big city in a foreign country will be any different from a big city at home.


Would you do it again?


How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
I took an Irish studies class abroad called Celtic Mythology. I would never have had the opportunity to take this class had I not been in Ireland and studying at an Irish school. I also found that the six week biology course, while quite fast-paced, was helpful in that the class size was small and we got to know our professor very well. We were also able to study better together as we all lived in the same accommodations and took the same classes.