Well, I’ve returned from Dublin and have settled back into my old routine pre-departure. Looking back on my time in Ireland, it felt like I was living a different life. I went from living and working in the city and traveling around Ireland on weekends to going right back to my job at Target and living at home with my parents and sisters. I don’t mind being back at home, I did miss my friends and family, but I will miss the routine I grew accustomed to in Dublin. Without wanting to sound too cliché, I feel like a grew a lot throughout the duration of my study abroad program, and I will always remember this experience.
For example, I think I developed a lot of personally. Succeeding in and completing my internship this summer has definitely boosted my confidence in myself, which is something I went into the program wanting to work on. I feel like if I could get by and thrive in a new country while juggling and internship I could definitely handle getting a new job or a spot in graduate school next year. The world also seems a lot smaller to me, and ideas of where to travel next keep filling my mind.
I also valued my internship at Friends of the Elderly. Completing the internship reaffirmed to me that my career aspirations in social service are what I want to do with my life. I felt that my work there was making a difference in the lives of the elderly people, and I loved going to work and seeing the members enjoy themselves. I also learned a lot about nonprofits, especially in regards to fundraising. I hope to keep in touch with the connections I made through Friends of the Elderly and I am wishing the organization well.
I also have found myself growing academically as well. Doing the blog posts and discussions every week kept me sharp and deadline focused, which will come in handy entering my next semester. The six credits that I earned while completing this program will also assist me in completing my foreign culture requirements which brings me another step closer to completing graduation requirements for the school of arts and sciences.
Overall, I think that my biggest takeaway from studying abroad in Dublin is that, like anything in life, you get out of it what you put in. I put in the effort to make sure that I was giving my all in my internship, was making connections with coworkers and learning about my organization while also socializing with other Pitt students and traveling around Ireland as much as I could. By doing all of that, I think I had the best experience possible, and truly enjoyed every day I spent in Dublin. I will take this lesson back to Pitt for my senior year, by prioritizing my future while also remembering to enjoy my last year of undergrad.
Dublin was such a wonderful experience, and I will always treasure the things I did there and the friends I made. Right when I got home, I printed out all of the pictures that I took there and put them in a photo album. I will always look back fondly on this experience, and I hope that someday I will find myself back in Ireland!