Welcome to our second post of the How To: Travel Without Quitting Your Job series! If you’re new to the series let us give you the gist: last month we introduced a series which will be posted monthly featuring one way to travel the globe while still working towards your academic/professional goals. All posts featured in this series will showcase ways to travel that have been done by us or some of our close friends.
In our first ever post in this series, we asked a close friend of ours to tell us about her recent experience living and working in Warsaw, Poland as an intern for the Canadian embassy. In this post, we’ll be featuring another study-related way to travel, this time with Katherine talking about her time as an exchange student in Ireland.
How To: Travel Without Quitting Your Job (Series, Post 2) – Study Abroad
Katherine spent the 2013 fall semester studying at the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland. She shares a little bit about her experience as an exchange student in the paragraphs below!
I left for Ireland in August 2013 from Syracuse, New York. It was the first time I was travelling on my own and I was terrified. However, once I finally said goodbye to my parents (tears may have been involved) and stepped foot onto the plane I couldn’t help but smile to myself. I was finally bringing to life one of my lifelong dreams: studying abroad. Fast forward 10 hours, 2 plane rides, 1 bus ride and 1 taxi ride and I was finally in my dorm room in Galway, Ireland at the National University of Ireland Galway (or NUIG, as referred to by the locals).
My four months in Ireland were some of the best moments of my life, a time where I was carefree, met tons of new people, discovered a new culture and just had fun! Oh, and I, uh, studied also. It’s hard to choose only one memory to sum it all up, but I’ll do my best. My favourite memory isn’t really a memory at all but rather a feeling. The thing I remember from Ireland the most is feeling free and excited. I was finally on my own to discover the world. I was finally able to travel as often as I wanted. I was finally able to take one small step towards my ultimate goal: travelling the world. During my time in Ireland I was able to travel throughout the country, visit Scotland, France, Italy and Spain! How’s that for putting a dent in your bucket list?
I loved basically every minute of my time in Ireland (and I only say basically because those times I was hungover after a night at the pub were totally brutal). It’s an experience I would highly recommend to anyone who is interested. Not only did it allow me to learn from professors with different perspectives (and about new subjects – Irish history anyone?), it also allowed me to gain invaluable life experience that I never would have gotten had I stayed in Canada.
If you’re interested in studying abroad, be sure to check out your university’s international office!
Don’t forget to check back next month for our next post in the How To: Travel Without Quitting Your Job series. Next month’s subject will feature a volunteering related opportunity, so stay tuned!
Liked this post? Check out our first post in the How To: Travel Without Quitting Your Job series – Complete an Internship Abroad.
How do you balance work/school and travel?
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