Amanda Dixon

Amanda is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Northern Ireland

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

I chose to study abroad in Ireland because I wanted to learn about the Irish history and culture. I have family members that have traveled there and I have heard only great things about the country and have always wanted to go there.

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

Being able to spend a long weekend in Northern Ireland was something that has left a lasting impression on me. While in Derry, our group was able to go to the Free Derry museum, a museum from the Catholics perspective of Bloody Sunday. Our Archaeology professor that brought us to the museum, Jacqui, had grown up in Derry and experienced Bloody Sunday firsthand. The fact that we were learning from someone who lived through this event and could tell personal accounts of it was so interesting. It was during that time at the museum that I got to learn so much more about the conflict of Northern Ireland from a personal perspective. It was because of this excursion that I will always remember my time in Northern Ireland.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

There aren't enough words to describe the amazing experiences I had in Ireland. Not only did I learn a lot about the Irish culture and lifestyle, but I got to spend time in almost every county in Ireland and see all the amazing sites that the country has to offer. The location of my study abroad experience was truly incredible and I created lifelong relationships with the people in my group. Everything about studying abroad was positive and I love and cherish every memory I have of it.

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?

Personally, I acquired much independence through studying abroad that cannot be taught in a classroom. I learned that I don't constantly need someone at my side in order to go somewhere or get something done. Although this is a personal benefit, it is positive for professional development as well. By spending a semester abroad, I was able to grow as a person and it forced me look at the world and people through a new light. Academically, I was able to complete my experiential learning, humanities and upper theology requirements. I was able to experience Irish professors which allowed me to work much harder in the classroom and understand what education is like for Irish students. Professionally, studying abroad helped me because I now have the experience of immersing myself in different cultures which will benefit me in my future career.

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

I would encourage anyone considering studying abroad to do it because it is a life-changing experience that will stay with them always. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that everyone should do if possible. For anyone planning to study abroad, I would encourage them to be open to new experiences, research the history of the host country, attempt to pack light, make studying abroad a positive experience by having an optimistic attitude and most of all have fun!


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