Abby Hansen

Abby is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Galway

Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I am fifty percent Irish and wanted to experience some of my heritage. Ireland is a place I have wanted to travel to since I was a child, and I saw this as a perfect opportunity to stay there for an extended period of time. I also did not want to go on a trip where I knew a lot of people because I wanted to meet new people. I thought it was a great opportunity to meet other people outside my normal friend group. I could not have asked for a better trip. At the end on our semester, all of us students were so close and we miss each other immensely.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

We went to a pub near Limerick and found out a local was having her 50th birthday party there. We asked the locals if they wanted us to leave so we would not spoil the evening for her friends. They insisted that we stay and when the birthday girl arrived, it became a night to remember. We had dance offs on the dance floor with the locals, sang with them, and they taught us some of their own dance moves. They fed us and hugged us when we had to leave. I will always remember that moment because it shows the true nature of the Irish.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

It was fantastic. I wish I could go back. There were just the right amount of people and we grew used to out living situation. Sometimes that water heater didn't work or the electricity would run out, but we were always happy to be in Ireland.

Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?

I thought spending a semester abroad was a great opportunity for me to find myself. I was put in a situation where I didn't know many people and was made to meet new people. I grew more confidence and I am now more comfortable meeting new people.
Studying abroad has helped me better handle new situations, experience other cultures teaching styles, and how to act around people who are completely different from myself.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

I would say you will regret not going, no matter what. You can go abroad if you are on a budget, you will miss home but the people around you turn into your family, and you will see another part of the world!


Do you have questions about studying abroad in Galway? Email Abby at