Nya (Laura) Jencks
About My Study Abroad Program
Program: Carolina Global Launch: Maynooth, Ireland
Location: Maynooth, Ireland
Term: Fall 2021
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I wanted to put myself out there, and do something new and exciting. When I found out about, and applied to, Global Launch I saw it as the opportunity to learn about a different country and expand my cultural awareness.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned how to be more interdependent and push myself out of my conforate zone. I also gained valuable leadership skills, like communication, organization and planning.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite moments, was when I was in Ireland and I got to talk to local people and listen to really amazing and funny stories. I was staying in Maynooth, Ireland so the community was very lose knit and inviting.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
I would say that it seems scarier then it actually is. At first, it might seem overwhelming, but as you adjust it becomes a place you won't forget and you will come to love. Additionally, you can create life long friendships with those you travel with and those you meet abroad.
How do you identify?
Student of color, Rural County Resident
Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
I went to a Ireland which is a predominately white area. I was worried about the possible racism or not feeling like I fit in while abroad. However, the people there are very welcoming that it never became a problem for me.
Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
I would say for those, who are students of color, it is important to research the place you are going to see if it is BIPOC friendly and if you would feel comfortable there. I would also say to try and become friends with other BIPOC people there, whether that is in the program or a local resident. It can be helpful to have others that have a similar experience as you do.
If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
I would turn to my closest friends, both in the place I was at and those back home.