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5 Things I Took Away From My Semester Abroad (Other Than Souvenirs)

1. International Friendships

Molly Peach-Friends
Molly Peach / Her Campus

I did not expect this one at all personally. When I was planning my semester in Ireland, I figured that I would stick with the few Americans who were there with me and the Irish students wouldn’t want anything to do with us. That couldn’t be further from the truth. By the third day, my Irish peers had taken me under their wing, and before I knew it, I had friends from all over the world! 


2. Confidence
Cameron Smith-Girl Smile Happy Colorado Travel Mountains Hiking Trees
Cameron Smith / Her Campus

I’ll be the first to say that studying abroad can be terrifying. As someone who has lacked confidence for my entire life, I had no idea how I was going to handle living in Ireland for three and a half months. However, I quickly discovered that diving into a new culture headfirst is the mother of all confidence builders. I learned so much about myself and I genuinely feel like I came back to Davenport a completely different person than I was when I left. 


3. Local Slang
Three women talking and laughing on the wooden bench next to the tulip flower field
Priscilla Du Preez

After spending so much time with Irish people, I started to pick up on the words and phrases they would say. By the end of the semester, I was doing things “just for the craic,” saying, “What’s the story” to greet my friends, only referring to fries as “chips,” and calling fast food places “chippers” just as my Irish friends did!  


4. LOTS of Pictures
Christian Wiediger
Christian Wiediger / Unsplash

I did not want to forget anything about the beautiful things I saw, so I took pictures of everything. I apologize in advance to all of my Instagram followers because I don’t think I’ll ever stop posting these pictures.


5. Memories That Will Last a Lifetime!
landscape ocean hair blowing nature travel adventure sunny
Charlotte Reader / Her Campus

My semester abroad was better than I ever could have imagined. I was able to do things that I never thought I would do and I know that I will cherish the memories I made for the rest of my life. If you are considering a semester abroad, go for it! You definitely won’t regret it.

SAU Senior Future Special Ed Teacher Iced coffee and Harry Styles enthusiast
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