I never expected that I would be the type of person to study abroad. Currently, when I am asked where my favorite place in the world is, I either reply with my home and neighborhood or my family's yearly vacation spot, Put in Bay, Ohio, which rests on Lake Erie. I have become very comfortable with these places and traveling anywhere outside of them just seemed unnecessary. Although I have this particular outlook on travel and exploring the limits of my comfort zone, I couldn't be more happy with my decision to study abroad in Sligo, Ireland this summer.
I hope to become more independent throughout my journey in Ireland. I would like to become more comfortable making decisions based on myself and without the influence of others. I would also like to explore responsibility. Having the opportunity to spend my weekdays in a classroom will provide me with experience that will forever influence my teaching skills. I am hopeful that my trip to Ireland will provide me with a more positive outlook on travel and a willingness to share my outlook with family, friends and strangers. I am a Carlow University tour guide, so I believe that my experience abroad will also strengthen my tour guide skills. I will be able to provide perspective students with first-hand information on the Global Learning Center and study abroad programs at Carlow University. Lastly, I hope that this trip will increase my level of cultural awareness. Although my family does have Irish roots, we are not aware of many Irish traditions and cultural practices. I would like to bring home with me some of those traditions and practices and strengthen my family's knowledge of the culture we have been so proud of throughout our lives.