Studying abroad is something that was constantly asked of me as I began my college adventure. It was as if my parent’s words were a leering shadow that was creeping closer from behind in a dark alley. This is not to say that I dreaded the idea, it was that I feared my ability to adapt and enjoy. Yet, the more pictures I viewed, stories I heard, and time I spent in a new city the more my ideas shifted. It became a goal for my freshmen year of college and a desire I wished to obtain as soon as possible. Ireland in particular was one of my four options to choose from. The reasons behind my choice are due to many factors, some of which include my own prior knowledge of the country. Though achieving the opportunity to travel to Ireland was an objective in itself I believe that it will also expand to my future career plans and beyond.
The idea of studying abroad became something that I craved after my assimilation to Chicago. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, I knew very little about large cities, public transportation, and deciphering a newer, faster paced lifestyle. Ultimately, nothing changed in my life. Yes, the noises were different and the buildings were different, but I felt like I had been put just a couple blocks down the street of my hometown. After this short epiphany on relativity to my hometown I made the decision to apply to a First Year Study Abroad. I wanted to be lost in the unknown and truly feel a culture shock. I had traveled abroad before to Mexico, Canada, and the Dominican Republic, but these trips were service based and I never really was placed in the heart of the lifestyle. This is what I hope to gain out of my study abroad in Ireland.
Ireland was my first choice in the first year study abroad programs. The reasons behind this are due to my own familiarity with Jordan, Ireland, Germany, and Mexico; or lack there of. I had already been to Mexico and the scientific aspect featured in Germany did not fit my interests. I was left with Jordan and Ireland. As I thought more into my options I was lucky enough to spend a weekend with an Uncle who lives in Ireland for approximately half of the year. His pictures were both phenomenal and enlightening. I had fallen in love with the expanse of countryside and third world village style culture. I applied that following week and made every effort possible to ensure my enrollment. It will not only be a great experience to travel there, but for my growth beyond college.
In Ireland, I wish to un-Americanize myself as much as possible. If this means that I need to wear green, become a temporary catholic, and add some radical foods to my pallet that is exactly what will occur. I want to accomplish something that I have never been able to on trip both abroad and in the states. I wish to leave Ireland without regret. This simply means that I want to attempt anything and everything at my disposal, obviously within reason. The worst feeling in the world would be to wake up in Columbus, Ohio a day after returning from Ireland, wondering about the what ifs. That idea is something I want to avoid and therefore accomplish this June.
As a Finance and Marketing major it is difficult to see a correlation between Irish Travel Literature and Business. Business is travel. Travel is business. Tourism rests in each countries economy and at times a large source of its income. In the business world I wish to have global insight. It is important to think outside the box and that is something that traveling abroad to Ireland allows for me. I can view America from the outside while also experiencing something new and unique. Ireland will help assist me in my insight for the world and career goals.
- Will Allen