My time in Ireland is coming to a close and I’m both excited and sad. I’m eager to be home for a few days before school and see my friends. I have so many adventures to tell them about! On the other hand, I am sad those adventures are ending. My study abroad experience was absolutely phenomenal. I feel like I did just enough traveling outside of Ireland as well as exploring many places within. I also feel like I gained valuable work experience, of course. My job was definitely not what I expected, but I really grew to enjoy it and appreciate the skills I was gaining. I’m disappointed, though, because I’m just now starting to really gel with some of the people in the office. I wish that could’ve happened sooner but those things just take time. I feel like I have a new understanding of another culture, and have developed a desire to do more traveling! I hope to return to Dublin someday. Some people in the program have suggested that they would want to come back her to live and work permanently. While I love Dublin, I’m unsure about if I would want to live in a different country. It was easy only being here for a few months with people from my school, but coming to a new country without knowing a single person seems challenging. I’m definitely not opposed to the idea, but it would take a lot of consideration.

I leave Dublin feeling proud of all that I have accomplished here. I am so happy to have worked for such a great organisation. Not only did I learn about the day-to-day functions of an office, I also learned a lot about issues facing rural African populations. I feel like the latter is more valuable, and I did not expect to become so knowledgable about people on an entirely different continent than the foreign one I traveled to. I still feel unsure about my future career path, though. While the Gorta Self Help Africa’s mission is in line with what I want to pursue, working in the communications department was not. It wasn’t awful, but it was tedious. There’s a lot of work with media and different Adobe programs. I made so many videos I think I’ll start a production company back in America. I did get to observe the work of the fundraising team, however, and that seemed more up my alley. They deal with donors regularly and oddly enough they interacted more with people outside the company than the comms team. I’m excited to continue to follow the company’s progress from America.