Skip to main content

Michael Selfridge

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Environmental Studies and Geography Major, Urban Studies and Planning Minor
Program: Carolina Global Launch
Location: Maynooth, Ireland
Term: Fall 2022


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study abroad because I felt like it was a unique opportunity for me to start my college career somewhere completely out of my comfort zone, and expose me to a completely new culture to make myself a more well rounded and independent student by the time I got to Carolina. This program gave me the ability to grow close with a small cohort of fellow Carolina students, while also taking classes at a university that had a large pool of international students from all over the world.


What did you learn about yourself?
Through this experience, I definitely learned about the great reward through risk-taking and going out of your comfort zone. Beginning my college career in a different country was something I never saw in the cards for me, but looking back at it a year later I have absolutely no regrets for doing so. Through this experience I was able to learn to become extraordinarily independent, having to take care of myself and coordinate international trips an ocean away from friends and family. I was able to curate lifelong friends and lifelong memories and discover my love for travel early on for life.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories from my program was an overnight excursion that my cohort took to the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. These islands are apart of the "Gaeltacht," which means the traditional Irish language is the primary language spoken. The island we were on had a population just shy of 300 people, and had only one grocery store, one bus, one school, and only one ferry that connected it with the mainland. On this trip, not only was I able to live in a place that was unlike anywhere I had ever been before, but I was able to talk to locals and learn about their own lived experiences and cherished histories on this island.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Learn to find comfort in discomfort! There are only a few times in your life where you exposed to so many new things at the same time. Take advantage of these moments and experiences and focus on living in the moment. Traveling to a different country at such a young age is not an easy thing to do and you are bound to face adversity, but learning to embrace the bumps in the road will make your experience as fulfilling as possible.


How do you identify?