Kathryn studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland.
Where do you go to school?
University of Wisconsin-Madison
When and where did you study abroad?
Dublin, Ireland Spring 2011 through CEA Global Campus
What was the BEST part about studying abroad?
The best part of studying abroad for me was seeing so much of Europe that I had never seen before. I traveled a ton, and got to see some amazing and beautiful countries. Never again in my life will I have the freedom and ability to travel like I did, so that was definitely the best part.
What did you learn about the rest of the world from studying abroad? What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
I learned a lot about the Irish culture and actually the French culture as well because I took all of my classes with French students. However, I felt I learned a lot about the U.S. from a different perspective. The way that the rest of the world views us, the stereotypes, and the assumptions others have was interesting to learn and then try to change.
What was your BIGGEST challenge while studying abroad and how did you manage to handle it?
My biggest challenge was that I went alone! I didn’t know anyone in all of Ireland, and that made me nervous. I ended up meeting one of my best friends though and loved every second of being abroad with her, and even though she lives across the U.S. from me now, we talk almost every day.
How did studying abroad change your life?
Studying abroad definitely changed my life. It gave me a sense of independence that I didn’t know I had. Going at it alone was so freeing, I got to make all my own plans and do exactly what I wanted to do. I learned a ton about myself. I also feel like my view and knowledge of the world is so much more enhanced now. Knowing about other cultures and parts of the world allows me to be more in tune to differences among people and more sensitive to that.
What are your future plans?
I am still a student, but I am graduating in May. I’ll be working at General Mills in Minneapolis after graduation.
What’s your BEST piece of advice for someone who is thinking about studying abroad?
My best piece of advice is to just do it. Even if you don’t have anyone to go with or think it’s not for you, take some time to go abroad. It was the most amazing experience. And once you are there, do everything possible in your host country and travel!