“So, are you excited for Ireland?” I think I have heard that phrase just a couple of times in the last few months. And the answer is, of course, yes. I have to say though, excited is not exactly the emotion I am feeling. While I am thrilled to be able to study abroad, see different countries, and try new things I don’t quite feel nervous and restless (yet). Right now, a couple of days before I fly to Dublin, I am feeling at ease and prepared. I feel confident in my abilities to navigate living in a new country and I feel comfortable leaving campus for a semester. I am looking forward to living in Galway and am interested to see how the country has changed since I was last there. A better way of saying all of that is: I am ready to have an amazing experience in Ireland. Since I will be living there for a couple of months, studying at a new university, and experiencing the culture and lifestyle of Europe, it goes without saying that this experience will be completely different than anything I have done before. And for that, I am excited.
I always knew I wanted to study abroad, but I didn’t know where or realistically what it would look like. I grew up believing that absolutely everyone studied abroad in college. I got used to the idea that, come junior year I would leave Madison and study in another country. I even knew it would be in Europe. I couldn’t picture myself any place else. After going to Europe both with and without my family in the past, I knew I would return again.
Before applying to NUI-Galway I had a handful of other countries in mind of where I wanted to study. These countries were England, Belgium, and Scotland. These are somewhat similar to Ireland, but each unique. I didn’t consider applying to NUI-Galway until I really started looking into what classes I would need to take abroad. I noticed NUI-Galway had a handful of journalism classes which caught my attention. I had heard that journalism majors have a tougher time finding classes abroad compared to others, which has made me a little anxious. I won’t be registering for classes until I arrive at school and attend orientation, so send some good vibes that I’ll find the right ones.
So, am I excited for Ireland? In my own way, YES!