Sarah Beddow is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Galway, Ireland
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
A specific cultural experience I had on my study abroad trip was constantly being impressed on how hospitable and friendly the Irish were. Sometimes it was hard traveling in a huge group of American students but that usually never stopped the Irish from coming to talk to you. People went out of their way to be nice and that includes in stores, restaurants, excursions, in Galway or at the Park Lodge. They approach to life is so unique and I loved being apart of it for three months.
Why did you choose the program in which you participated?
I wanted to study abroad because I knew it was an once in a lifetime opportunity. In a few short years I will be graduating and would not have the time to study and live in another country for three months. I think it is important to experience other cultures while in school because it will open so many doors in the future. I choose the Galway Program for many different reasons. I wanted to go to an English speaking country but also a program not located in the city. Finally Ireland was always a country I wanted to travel to but I chose the Galway program because I wanted a faculty advisor during my program.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I would describe my experience as TIME OF MY LIFE. During my Galway experience I was able to travel all over Ireland and four other countries in other travel. Almost every weekend was filled of traveling, meeting new Irish people, and having fun with the students from my program. It was full of adventure and experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
How has the trip affected you? How are you different for having completed the experience?
I believe that I am a more confident, independent, and relaxed. The Irish have a leisure approach to life and nothing is too rushed. I believe I am not as uptight as I was before this program. Also I am more confident because I was able to live by myself in a foreign country and planned trips all around Europe. Doing these things made my rely less on my parents and gave me the boost of confidence of doing these sorts of things by myself.
What advice do you have for future Study Abroad Students?
Make the experience your own and do what you want to do. Go to the places you want to go and see everything Ireland has to offer. Get close to the other people on the program because you all are sharing the experience together. These are the people you go to class with, eat with, hang out with and explore Ireland with. It is also important to immerse yourself in the culture and get to know the locals. The great thing about the Galway program is CSB/SJU students have been going to Spiddal for almost thirty years so it is easy to become part of the Spiddal community.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Galway? Email Sarah at email@example.com