Study Abroad- Ireland

Paul Lang


Study Abroad- Ireland



  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. 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.

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