This past semester I participated in the Dublin Management Internship study abroad program. I had the chance to spend five months studying at University College Dublin and interning at Esave Corporation. My experience taught me that there are many benefits and challenges that come from studying and working in a different country.
The benefits and advantages of studying abroad are far-reaching and extensive.
- New culture: Experiencing and learning about a new culture is the most enriching aspect of your time in a different country. Before I began my semester, I thought the Irish led very Americanized lifestyles and were not too different from the English. I was very wrong. The Irish have a very unique culture that can includes, among other things, friendly people, beer, potatoes, and step dancing. This cultural experience was one of the best aspects of study abroad. Immersing myself in the Irish culture gave me a chance to experience something different and unique and allowed me to learn new things, explore, and get out of my comfort zone.
- Classes: Taking business classes outside of SMG provides a new perspective on the education we receive at BU. In this study abroad program, I was able to take my concentration (Marketing and MIS) classes at UCD. Through attending these classes, I was able to learn different teaching styles and gain an understanding of the global nature of business. For example, no matter where you go in the world, you will always learn about the 4 P’s of Marketing. My classes at UCD were that much more interesting because I could see myself learning the same content in SMG. My business teams at UCD gave me a chance to work with Irish students on projects. Teamwork and collaboration is very different in Ireland than it is in America, which was an interesting aspect of business to understand.
- Traveling: Having an entire semester to travel around Ireland and Europe is an opportunity that I won’t have again. Going abroad gives you the chance to explore without having to worry about time and other considerations you will have as an adult. On my weekends, I would travel throughout Europe in cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Zurich, London, and many more. Going on tours, eating new food, and sightseeing beautiful places are all experiences that are fun and worthwhile.
- Learn more about yourself: As a study abroad student, I learned a lot about myself from the different challenges that I had to deal with. Whether it’s getting lost in a new city or doing everyday tasks, being in a different country gives you the chance to grow independently and to get out of your comfort zone. Plus, you will also gain an appreciation for things back home that you didn’t consider before.
- Fun: The abroad experience is a fun time for students because you can meet new people and travel to different places. While classes and studying are important, it is fun to be learning in a different city.
I had a great time in Dublin and would recommend it to anyone that is considering going abroad. It’s an experience that you won’t regret.