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Natalie Plahuta

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: English
Program: UNC Life Writing in Ireland
Location: Galway, Ireland
Term: Summer I 2019


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I wanted to study abroad to explore different cultures. I chose the Life Writing in Ireland program because it contributed to my major, and I would be visiting an English speaking country.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I am capable of navigating a new country.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
I most enjoyed visiting Menlo Castle with some friends I made in my study abroad program. It wasn't a popular tourist destination, so we were able to explore the ruins and relax along the Corrib river, while avoiding bustling crowds. It was a great location for pictures too!


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Pay for an international phone plan. It's easier to pay more for the same phone plan you're used to than it is to figure out SIM cards and burner phones. I was sold a bogus SIM card and was unable to use my phone without WIFI during my stay in Ireland.


Would you do it again?


How did your study abroad experience prepare you for your future career?
I was able to explore different styles of writing within the genre of literary nonfiction, and I am now interested in editing or writing within that genre as a career in the future.


How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
Field trips were built into the class syllabus, allowing us to explore the Irish culture and scenery as a group.