! First, the hands on, up close and personal experience gives you a totally different perspective of the industry than you would get by looking at pictures on a slide. Seeing so much of the industry in person really gives you a clearer view of it. For me, this program really solidified my previous view that I love the industry from a veterinary medicine standpoint, but other aspects of it are better for me to watch than participate in.
While I was abroad, I never wanted to waste a moment and was much more open to doing things than I am in the States, from weekend trips all around Ireland to Ceili dances every Friday night. I think that people tend to think that other countries have so much more to offer, but there's so much to do and see in Michigan and elsewhere in the States of which I have just taken for granted.
On a daily basis, I was able to indulge in Irish poetry, fiction, and playwright and then meet the authors or go to plays for a valuable first hand experience.
I found myself handling things I was previously nervous about, including traveling alone and navigating airports, asking people for directions and interacting with strangers in Dublin, becoming friends with the other members of my group, and even conquering my fear of heights after climbing around exploring the Cliffs of Moher.
The best part of my internship experience was the opportunity it provided me to integrate myself into a workplace, specifically a relatively foreign one.
Having this been my first experience abroad to a European country I was unsure of what to expect. However, if I had any expectations, Ireland surpassed them in every way possible.
This tour showed me so much about Irish history and taught me so many things that I could have never learned as thoroughly without being in Ireland.
As a result of my encounters and the new perspectives I gained while attending lectures, I have matured and expanded my outlook on the world.
Continually, the challenge of balancing course work and going out into Galway and Dublin was a great obstacle to have before starting school, because I now feel that I will be able to balance my academic and social life without focusing too much on one specific area.
The great thing about the Freshman Seminar Abroad program is that you can experience being away from your family and essentially get a college experience before you even arrive at college.
I believe that the most valuable portion of this program, academically, would have been the visits to the many different horse farms and racetracks.
This program changed my life; I now know what I want after college. That wouldn’t be possible without this program and I couldn’t be more grateful for every opportunity Michigan State has given me.
At first I was not sure what to expect, I was nervous, this would be my first encounter with a college course-load and college professors. As it turns out, the class was a great primer for college and gave me tools that would assist me enormously when I got there.
I always thought that I was an open-minded person, but it wasn’t until I walked into the facility that first day that I realized I hadn’t been as open-minded as I had thought. I’m almost embarrassed to say that when I heard that the intellectually disabled service users in Dublin did artwork, I was expecting simple paintings or drawings.
This was such a great experience for me, not only because it was somewhere that I have always wanted to go, but also because I am a first generation college student and I come from a low budget family. I had experiences that no one in my family has ever even thought about, and it excited me and every one of them to hear about them and experience the things I did through my stories.
Let me start by saying that my hometown is on the small side. My family always thought I should enroll in a small college because that’s what I was used to, but I thought differently. A big university is one thing to consider, but traveling half-way across the world brings things to a whole new level. In Goodrich I was the shy, quiet girl and the opportunity to participate in a Freshman Seminar Abroad couldn’t have come at a better time.
Some of the most important lessons are learned from hands-on training and experience, rather than textbooks and lectures. This summer, I was a participant in a unique learning experience that placed me in a work environment in a foreign country. My placement was International Service Ireland (ISI), an NGO in Dublin, Ireland that is focused on capacity-building for people with disabilities.