Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: Ireland

Elizabeth on Valentia Island, Ireland
Elizabeth on Valentia Island, Ireland

By Megan Schulte, student study abroad ambassador

Amphitheatre ruins in Teramo, ItalyWhat program you are on: USAC Cork, Ireland.

If it’s a Miami or Third-Party program: I am doing a Third-Party program called USAC, but I am a student at University College Cork (UCC).

What you are studying with your program: Economics, European Security, and Irish Politics.

Why you chose the program that you did: I chose this program because I have always wanted to visit Ireland. This is because it is where my grandma is from. I wanted to better understand the place she grew up in and experience the culture first-hand. Over spring break, my mom and aunt are coming. We are going to visit Achill Island, which is where my grandma is from, and we will be going to Queensferry, Scotland to visit my cousins and family who are living there.

Street in Civitella del TrontoCoolest place/thing that you have done so far: The best thing I’ve done so far is visit Abruzzo, Italy for the weekend. I met my cousin and her family there because they were there visiting family that live in the area. It’s not a very touristy area which made it that much better. While there, I was able to try so many different Italian foods even ones that were only known to that area such as Arrosticini. I was taken to many different places, cultural and historical, and learned so much, especially the history of Italy and the region. I went to an old fortress, a large mountain range, and the ocean. I also was able to walk on an old Roman acropolis that the city of Teramo was built upon. I felt like I was able to have a very personalized experience with my family and I know there are a lot of things I would not have experienced if I was there exploring on my own.

Pink and green houses and shops in irelandFavorite part about the program: My favorite part of this program was the opportunity to go on the Ring of Kerry trip with our program and all the students in our program. The Ring of Kerry takes you around Kerry County. While on the trip, we learned some folklore, how to Irish dance, and how to play Gaelic football. We even were able to explore Killarney National Park, Valentia Island, and could even see the Skelligs. The scenery was wonderful. On our trip, we ended up staying in this small town called Cahirsiveen which is one of the darkest places in the world. One night, we went stargazing and I could see the most stars I had ever seen in my life and could even see the light band of the Milky Way. The whole experience was amazing and I had such a great time.

How study away has affected/changed you so far: Studying abroad has helped me to learn how to navigate places on my own. It also allows me to understand the different cultures and systems of different countries and societies. I am able to appreciate where I come from and the things I was able to have growing up while also appreciating where I am now and how things work. I have also been able to play on the UCC ladies soccer team. This has allowed me to talk and play with students from Ireland who are studying at Cork. This has helped me to better understand the culture and schooling system in Ireland as well as the different playing styles.

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