About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Marine Sciences
Program: UNC Science in Dublin (Dublin City University St. Patricks Campus)
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Term: Summer 2022
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I believed that having the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland would provide me the chance to embrace a side of my family I have never really identified with, let alone explored more in-depth. I was also very excited to have the chance to immerse myself in Irish and European culture as a whole. With regard to the program I selected, I chose the IES UNC Science in Dublin program. With this program I was able to take Organic Chemistry and Celtic Myth and Legend. Both of these courses gave me credit that was easily transferable back to UNC, allowing me not only to explore Ireland and other parts of Europe but also stay on track for graduation.
What did you learn about yourself?
After studying abroad, I learned that with time comes experience, and with experience comes knowledge and acceptance. However, I realized that I still have so much left to learn and do. I am just now beginning to learn how to enjoy the journey I was given. So, even if it may seem hard, we have to try to push through and always remember that no matter the distance, whether an inch or 1,000 miles away from home, self-exploration knows no bounds. Therefore, now I know that life truly begins at the end of our comfort zone.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories from my program is when about twelve of my friends from the same program and I decided to go cliff jumping at a place call "Forty-Foot". We noticed that it was going to be high 70s on this one day and fcontext, all the other days were mid 60s and some had scattered showers throughout the day so we were all very excited to get outside and go swimming. Whenever we all met in the lobby of the apartment complex we stayed at, we walked to the train station and it was pretty funny how chaotic the forty five minute ride was with all of us in the same passenger cart together having a good time, not really knowing exactly what we are getting ourselves into. Once we got to the spot at Dún Laoghaire, we realized that the name "Forty Foot" did not refer to the actual drop but the distance the surface water and ocean floor were from each other. It was pretty fun having everyone stand on the edge and try to convince the person next to them to make the first jump, but then a small kid came by and just jumped with no problem - and then he did it again before one of us actually made the jump. Once we were all in the water, we all collectively noticed how cold it was so we didn't stay too long. But the time we had there was extremely fun and we decided to end our half day trip by getting ice cream at Scrumdiddly's while enjoying the nice Irish summer day before it would rain again for the next two weeks.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
I recommend finding a coffee shop online that you seem very interested by in the place you are studying abroad. Once you find the coffee shop explore the streets on google maps with their streetview function. This allows you to be more comfortable around the streets you'll eventually go to and the coffee shop is a great place for you to practice speaking the native language of that city by ordering a coffee. Your pronunciation probably won't be great the first time you order your cup of coffee and you will have errors but it would help you gain confidence in not only your speaking ability but in yourself with the proud moment of "hey, I just did that" whenever you made your first purchase in a new country. Then you can go back to that coffee shop whenever you feel stressed, homesick, excited, nervous, any emotion; and observe your language skills progress and comfort zone grow.
How do you identify?
First Generation College Student, Covenant Scholars, Scholarship Recipient