It has been two weeks since I finished my time studying in Ireland, and I have had a lot of time to look back at my trip and take in everything that I was able to experience.
My program was 4 weeks long. When I signed up for it in December, I remember thinking that 4 weeks would give me plenty of time to see everything I wanted to see in Ireland. Was I wrong! The country was filled with so many different things to see and do. It would take me months to really check everything off of the list.
Overall, I really enjoyed the classes that I took through the CEA program. I have to admit that I was not thrilled to be taking classes 5 hours each day, but they ended up being a great part of my trip. Irish Literature and Irish Pop Culture were taught by two awesome Irish professors who really got a thrill out of teaching foreign students. Many classes were used to take us around the city, which therefore gave us a chance to learn about the city through the eyes and mind of people who have lived there their whole lives.
I have seen a lot of change in myself since getting on that plane 6 weeks ago. I think that a lot of the change I see comes from the fact that I did this trip without being familiar with any part of it. Many of my peers plan their abroad experience with a group of friends and do all of it with those familiar and friendly faces. While I know that I would have had loads of fun doing it with my friends from home, I felt that I should go outside my comfort zone and experience the program as blind as possible. When I say blind, I mean without being able to predict exactly how it would have gone.
While at first I was nervous and timid about being somewhere so foreign with no familiar faces, I quickly realized that there was beauty to be found in that situation. I was able to really get to know myself and have no second thoughts when meeting new people on my trip. Because of this, my confidence has grown and I find joy in being outside of my comfort zone.
Academically, I was able to approach classes with a different perspective than I do here at Pitt. Getting 6 credits in 15 days of class was no easy task. 5 hours straight of classes really pushed me to focus and absorb material much faster than I was used to. Because of this, I feel way more prepared as a student and realized that I was not working to my full potential at Pitt. I am excited to use my new knowledge to achieve more in Pitt Business.
Thank you Pitt Business and my generous donor for everything. I never knew how much 4 weeks could impact my life!