You are here

Home For Christmas: The Aftermath of an Incredible Semester Abroad

26 Dec 2017

I’ve been home for a week and it still hasn’t set in that I will not be returning to Trinity College next semester or that I’ll walk back to my apartment building and have dinner with all my friends again. It’s a bitter sweet feeling to know that chapter has ended and another one is about to begin.

Just six days after returning home to New York it was time to celebrate Christmas with my family. Everyone was so excited to ask about my travels, studies, and new friends. Through my conversations with family members, I realized how truly fortunate I was to have the experience of studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. People repeatedly reminded me of how lucky I was to travel around Europe, study at such a prestigious institution, and thrive in a new culture. Of course, I knew I was fortunate along the way, but it wasn’t until I was home and surrounded by familiar faces that I truly understood the magnitude of my experience.

IMG_7927.JPG

Studying abroad is such a unique time in your life: you’re in your early twenties with the opportunity to make new friends, study in a new place, and travel. Even though you’re studying, you’re experiencing life through a new lens. Every day is suddenly so much more exciting than the last and the opportunities are endless.

Now that I’m settled back to my “normal life” there are a few things that I miss dearly: seeing my friends every day, walking from my apartment on Bonham Street to Trinity College for classes, having coffee at Costa, eating dinner at the Old Storehouse, and walking through the vibrant streets of the city. While all those things seemed so minute and typical from August to December, I now realize how special they were. As I spend a month home for Winter Break and head back to Gettysburg College in mid-January, I will more intentionally think about the little things along the way. A semester abroad seems like a long time in the beginning, but by the end of the four months, you’ll be wishing you could stay for another one. Utilize your break as a time to reflect on all that you have learned, accomplishment, and experienced.

Here are my final words of wisdom: Start your semester with an open mind and heart, live enthusiastically throughout each day, and look back gratefully when it’s over.

IMG_7928.JPG

From Our Blogs

Jan 19 3:23am

Top 10 Study Abroad Instagram Photos from December 2017 & January 2018

by Natasha Brower

During the past two months, our students (both past and present) have been reflecting on their incredible experiences while studying abroad.

Learn more
Jan 17 1:12pm

What does prepping look like?

by Adaoma Ogbonnaya

Preparing to leave the country for a semester can be hard and stressful. We all deal with that stress in different ways. What to pack is always a tough question because you're not only packing physical things like clothes and products, but also prior knowledge.

Learn more
Jan 16 5:27pm

Here's Good Luck & Away We Go

by Hannah Geller

A sense of familiarity before inevitable uncertainty.

Learn more
Jan 16 3:12pm

Exploring Ireland from East to West

by Madison Weaver

There are two things that I underestimated when I arrived in Ireland: just how much tea the Irish drink, and just how easy it is to travel around the country!

Learn more
Jan 16 2:43pm

So Many Sights In So Little Time

by Peyton

It’s been a little over a week since I first arrived in Quito, and there have already been too many sights and experiences to count. Every Ecuadorian I’ve met so far has been incredibly kind and welcoming, and I can already feel myself falling in love with the culture.

Learn more
Jan 16 10:23am

Research and Passports and Visas, oh my!

by Sarah Craig

Tips and hints about how to approach researching programs, getting a passport, and applying for a visa without your parent's help!

Learn more