Study Abroad- Ireland
- My STEP Signature Project involved a two-week study abroad trip to Ireland from December 27th, 2015 to January 10th, 2016. While there, I studied the behavior of human and animal interactions.
- My views of the world and myself have completely changed after this two-week experience. Not only did I learn a lot about a subject that I had no idea existed, but I enjoyed it. My background is business and this whole entire trip had to do with animals in a foreign nation. I became much more educated in the topic and not only that, but I learned a lot about myself. I did not know a single person when this trip first began. I learned that I can actually make friends quite easily and to be more outgoing. Some of the people on the trip made me realize how narrow-minded I have been. Now most of them are my very good friends, some I would even consider great friends. The world is a much bigger and more beautiful place than I ever imagined. I am so small compared to everything that this Earth has to offer: from the food to the people to the land. This whole entire experience has changed my understanding of life and it was for the better.
- A lot of the change and transformation that developed over this trip has to be retraced to two relationships I made, a couple of events, and the place that I traveled. I owe everything that I gained from that trip to those 3 broad categories. As mentioned before, this was a trip of a lifetime.
Before the trip, I knew not a single person, but after I came out with 48 friends. There are two relationships in particular that really helped me develop and learn each and every day. I met two girls, named Kelly McCurry and Allison Hernandez, and they both really taught me a lot. Each of them has an animal based background and me being an accounting major had a lot to learn. Any time I had a question or needed help with something, these two were always there. I honestly consider them a couple of my best friends now and will continue to see them as time goes on. Without them, I wouldn’t have transformed as much as I possibly could have.
Two events stick out in particular that really opened up my eyes to see the world in a totally new way. While abroad, we visited the Giant’s Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher. These are two of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my entire life and I will always remember them. It was a different kind of beauty, something I had never witnessed before. The world is a giant place and these places reminded me how much I have yet to see. It was humbling to see such enormous landmarks and inspiring because now I want to see everything.
I think the thing that changed me most of all was Ireland itself. My heritage is Irish and it was beyond interesting to go back to my roots. I got to learn about things first hand. Without STEP providing this funding and OSU providing an opportunity, I would have never had such quality access to my history. There is something about learning from a textbook and there is something about learning in person. I could actually see and take in the sites that I was learning about instead of just reading about them. The experiences and knowledge that Ireland gave to me is something that can never be taken back.
- This transformation is priceless. The trip to Ireland is something I could never put a value on. I will take it with me for the rest of my life and tell my kids and their kids about how traveling abroad was the best choice I have ever made in my 21 years of existence. I do not have one negative outcome from it. I have grown as a person and realized there is a lot more out there for me to learn. I have met a lot of new people that eventually could even be useful in the business world. My background has just expanded and for my future plans, I want it to expand as much as possible.