Ireland study abroad provides student with both professional and personal growth
Written By: Nicolas Kiep
Sarah Tucker (Commodity Marketing; Mentone, IN) decided that she wanted a different experience outside of Indiana and chose to take on a study abroad. She felt that a study abroad was a perfect opportunity to leave the US while still having some guidance on how to handle living abroad. She really felt that the semester-long was the perfect amount of time in order to get an understanding of the country’s culture and be able to explore as much as possible. She ended up deciding to go to Dublin, Ireland, and studied at the University College of Dublin. She had been to Ireland before but after she left, she always wanted to go back for a longer period to truly see everything about Ireland. She mentioned how many people suggested she do this specific program because there was a very good agriculture program with a lot of international students that had enjoyed their time there.
Sarah described how she had done a lot of research into the country, the college, and the experiences that she had heard about the country to be prepared for anything. However, as she mentioned before she had visited Ireland once, so Sarah felt as if she prepared but saw that it was going to be a lot different because of the different covid regulations. She explained how she needed a lot of preparation and talked to her advisor at UDC to make sure she was prepared for classes and orientation.
Some of her most memorable and surprising moments in Dublin was how the classes were extremely exam heavy and she did not have a lot of assignments, which was very different from Purdue. The Covid rules were also extremely different, and she had to get used to having her vaccination card and wearing a mask at almost any place that she went to which again was a lot stricter than back home. Being able to travel around Europe was one of her favorite moments as she was with another AGEC student they traveled to Portugal, England, and other countries throughout their time there. With her international roommates some from Ireland and one from Puerto Rico she was able to bond and find passions that they all shared and were able to have a great time together.
Sarah had an amazing time and she said: “I am so glad that I didn’t let Covid stop me from going out and exploring a different part of the world while I have the time to do so”. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and Sarah described how she has grown personally and professionally so much after living a semester outside of the USA. The new experiences within the mountainous areas of being able to hike were something she had never experienced before, and it was a way of really understanding the culture of the country and learning more about their history. She was able to learn so much about Ireland and the agricultural differences in such an exciting way that she said she would not have traded the experience she had with anything different.