My time in Ireland was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. My global theme is “Culture and Politics.” My time in Ireland better informed me on this topic because of the tense relations with the UK, and immigration in Europe. I also learned more about the most powerful political systems other than the US living in Europe, and close to the UK.
My experience taught me more about life in the USA through the people I met, and through my experiences in and outside the classroom. I had one roommate who grew up in Russia, and another from China. Those superpowers are often at odds with the US, so it was interesting to hear their perspectives of my home country, and learn about how they grew up and how they hoped to live in the future. In the classroom, I took a class called Politics of Northern Ireland which was so insightful and sparked my interest in the normalization of otherism in a community and how it can make that overall community less prosperous and accepting. I also took multiple non-required Irish Culture classes such as Irish archeology.
My time in Ireland also helped me to develop as a leader. It was an interesting social landscape to navigate. I went straight from Ireland to an internship in DC and was able to transfer my knowledge to a very different situation. I learned to be sure of myself and to know when to bend and when to assert myself. I also learned to find my people and empower them and myself rather than changing to fit in with the larger group.
Some questions I have now are mostly related to what it would take to live full-time in the UK or Europe, and what my future education looks like as far as a master’s degree or working.