I could not have been more grateful and fortunate for such a wonderful experience. Never in my life did I fathom I would be studying abroad, no less in Ireland. I can still remember being in the airplane heading off to Dublin and fully realizing that I truly was going to Ireland to start work as an intern. From having my first encounter with an Irish local taxi driver to making an Irish friend, my time abroad has been full of firsts. I was able to travel abroad for the first time and even learn so much about Ireland’s government as well as the country’s political climate due to my internship.
It is almost surreal—all the places I have gone to and the things I have done. The Giant’s Causeway and Lochtay will remain as my most favorite tourist locations because of the sheer beauty and tranquil atmosphere. My breath, along with all my worries, were automatically swept away and I genuinely felt like I wanted to live there forever. Even while traveling within Dublin, the environment is incredibly peaceful. Everyone is friendly and you can notice how different day-to-day life is between the United States of America and Ireland. People are quiet, whether it is on the bus or in a store; however, the liveliness of the city increases tenfold as night approaches where everyone socializes over a pint of Guinness. I still find it fascinating to be able to experience another country’s culture for the first time and then coming home to notice all the differences even more.
To me, the most iconic trait of the Irish personality is how free-spirited the people are. This is something I have grown personally in. Numerous locals have expressed to me how much the United States works and worries about life. I am guilty of this culture, constantly stressed about the future and where I should direct my life. The locals would tell me to stop worrying and enjoy my time while I was still young, and I think I have grown to loosen my strict personality just a bit.
Academically and professionally, I have learned so much from my internship. From the work culture to the material, everything I experienced in my internship will prove valuable in any situation. I know so much about the functionalities of the Irish government as well as its attending members. In addition to that, I learned about the different political parties and the Irish police, referred to as the Garda. More specifically, I read thousands of articles from the Irish Times relating to political corruption in Ireland. From knowing absolutely nothing about Ireland’s government to knowing more than the average local, I can proudly say I have tremendously grown academically. In terms of professionally, I have increased my global awareness of work cultures. By observing and researching, I was able to smoothly interact with my superiors and co-workers. There is also the important fact that you must understand that you are in a foreign country, especially if you become frustrated. For example, the Irish are extremely roundabout and indirect with their words and commands which frustrated me, since the work culture in the United States is very forward. You have to try your best to understand and learn their culture instead of staying stuck within your own.
There is so much to take away from my study abroad experience. I have become more independent and open-minded as an individual and more capable in interacting with a diverse array of people. These three traits can be utilized in Pitt Business and anywhere in the world. Having independence is especially important, whether it be solving problems or being tasked with a project you must complete on your own. Being open-minded and good at interacting with a group of people is even more crucial. Pitt Business stresses networking and if you are able to interact and accept others’ viewpoints, you will successfully connect with others. It is vital in today’s society to be able to work in a team and I will bring these traits to Pitt Business—to the classroom, to the city, and to the world.