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Elizabeth Leonard

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: English and Communication (Double Major)
Program: Trinity College Dublin
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Term: Fall 2021


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study abroad because I wanted to challenge myself in both a different academic setting and social environment. I actually wanted to go abroad for Fall of 2020 with a different study abroad program in Dublin, but because of the pandemic, I ended up taking a gap year from college. When I came back, my advisor, Ben Briggs, helped me pick the Trinity College Dublin program.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I'm a very capable person. There were a lot of moments during my study abroad semester where I had to figure out how to get somewhere or plan out an activity that involved a lot of people, and I learned how to tackle these issues with a calm and steadfast approach. I never felt like a very competent or reasonable person before--I always felt like I relied on others for those kinds of things--but I realized, while studying abroad, that not only was I able to figure things out and plan out my steps, but that I had experience with doing these kinds of things. So I guess studying abroad also gave me more confidence than I had, before.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
I went on a weekend trip with some friends to Cork, Ireland, and we visited Blarney Castle and the English market. Walking through the Blarney Castle grounds and wandering through the English market felt so wonderful because I was exploring these places I'd always wanted to go to, with friends I'd just met but who were already so important to me, and had already become people that I loved.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
It's scary to be in a different country, there's no denying that. But there are people in your corner, whether it's your study abroad advisor, or the department at your study abroad institution, or old friends or new friends that you've made along the way. If you learn how to use these resources and even how to build your own support system in whichever way fits you best, then any issue you run into can and should be resolved.


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