Speaking Abroadly

Join us as we follow one of our own Her Campus members, Morgan Davis, during her journey abroad! Though Morgan is located in Dublin, Ireland, she has taken full advantage of European travel and wants to share her experiences with all of our readers!

 

Are you abroad with anybody else from Colgate?

"I am! One of my sorority sisters and close friend, Sara Corry. She actually convinced me to study at University College of Dublin in the first place!"

How is your living and roommate situation?

"I live on University College of Dublin's campus, which is about a 15-minute drive from Dublin's city center.  The dorms are flat-styled apartments with a common living/kitchen area and four single rooms within.  Its really nice to be living in a quad where Sara also lives, and then the addition of two roommates from different universities.  One of my roommates is from Washington State and another from New Zealand so we're definitely getting to know each other's cultures, while also acclimating to Irish life."

Do you think Colgate prepared you well for the workload abroad?

"Absolutely!  While I take six modules (their name for classes) instead of the four course workload at Colgate, the curriculum and time management aspect of learning is the same.  While classes at Colgate are mostly twice a week or three days, here I can take a majority of my modules once a week and have extra time on the other weekdays to catch up on my readings or to travel!  The most insane part is the size of the classes at University College of Dublin.  I'm so used to discussion-based classes where everyone is commenting on the material, but now I'm just another face in a lecture hall.  Definitely an adjustment, but the modules are so interesting and new that its hard to complain.  I'm currently taking a class called "Talking Animals" where we read old Irish folklore and apply the morals to contemporary culture."

Have you traveled anywhere else? If so, where?

"Most recently I've been exploring Ireland with trips to the west coast and in and around Dublin.  Galway is home to the infamous Cliffs of Moher, which has been one of the most spectacular views I've seen since abroad.  I've definitely been enjoying my time along the coastlines of Ireland, whose inhabitants cook up some of the most fresh and delicious seafood.  I don't think I've gone a day or two without seafood chowder.  At the end of January I flew to Florence, Italy and got to experience the panoramic views atop the Duomo.  I probably ate my weight in gelato, paninis, and pasta that weekend as well."

What has been your favorite part about studying abroad so far?

"Studying abroad teaches you to be extremely grateful.  Sometimes you get caught up in taking the dopest selfie atop the Cliffs of Moher or the Duomo, or you get aggravated with travel complications, but then you stop and take a breath and you realize just how amazing these experiences are.  This experience (not to be overly cliche) is once in a lifetime.  I get to attend classes amidst Irish natives and abroad students alike, then pack my backpack, and hop on a flight to Paris or Florence or Barcelona.  Honestly, how can it get better than that?  Well, I'll tell you.  Sharing these moments with your best friends tops the greatest sights and landscapes you'll find abroad.  That is truly my favorite part."

How has the adjustment process been for you?

"There is definitely a honeymoon phase in the beginning of your travels.  You become so caught up in visiting the sights and immersing yourself in the culture that you forget to phone home, don't have time to check snapchat or instagram, and become disconnected.  Then its about a week since you've landed across the pond and school's orientation is over, your bank account is alarming, and you finally see all those snapchats and instagrams and get homesick.  It's overwhelming when you actually realize you're in a foreign country and don't have a set routine.  But you adjust and find spots around town that make you feel at home.  My second week in I found a cafe run by the cutest elderly couple.  They have huge comfy couches, bottomless cups of coffee, pastries, and free wifi (which is a godsend) -- and I fell in love.  I go in three or four times a week now.  The couple knows my order and knows my favorite couch and its details like this that definitely help the adjustment.  I wouldn't trade this experience for anything, because what I get to do over here is nothing short of amazing."

Do you have any advice or tips for readers who may want to study abroad?

"Ask yourself what you want your experience to entail.  Do you want to learn a new language? A home stay in Florence might be for you.  Do you want to be able to really get to the know the natives?  An English speaking country may be more your speed.  I know that I love traveling to various countries, but am always comforted when I arrive in Dublin's airport, hop in a taxi, and can converse with my driver about his life, my life, what pubs are great, where to get the cheapest pint, etc.  Take loads of pictures and write everything down.  You'll never want to forget a single moment, even the five-hour layovers that make you want to scream sometimes. I would highly recommend studying abroad; it is an opportunity you'll regret not taking."

Is there any way for us to follow your abroad experience?

"You can follow all my travels and advice for studying abroad on my website www.speakingabroadly.com  -- I have blog posts, photo galleries, and an up-to-date calendar of past and future travels!  You can also follow the site's instagram handle @speaking_abroadly where I give glimpses into future posts and live updates on my travels. Hope you enjoy it!