Why are you packing four jackets? Also, the amount of shoes is a tad excessive. As you pack frantically at the last minute, and your heart is racing, sit down and take a deep breath. You don’t know this yet, but this is going to be the best four months of your life.
Things you don’t know:
-You’ll walk about 30 minutes to get to school. At first this will be kind of annoying, but eventually will become some of the most valuable minutes of your day. It will be the time to declutter and re-organize your brain.
-You will realize Champlain Dublin campus is actually not a campus. Instead, it is so much better. Tiny and crowded, Champlain Dublin is a cozy home. Literally, it was once a house. You will spend lots of time curled up on the giant bean bag chairs upstairs as well as sticking your head in the office to pester the faculty.
-Speaking of the faculty, they start to feel like family. Always willing to lend a hand, crack a joke or just listen, these people will become quite special to you and many others.
-Guinness is literally the most delicious beverage on this planet and you are quite certain that when you leave you will have a persistent and demanding craving for it which will undoubtedly encourage your return.
-Nights out in Dublin will be the most hilarious, ridiculous, weird, MAGICAL and memorable nights. You will try and fail miserably to jig at almost every sound of a fiddle playing. You will find yourself surrounded by the most random people but feel so at home you won’t understand how you are in a different country.
-The people you spend these nights out with will be a large reason of why they were so magical and you will always cherish the memories you have made with them.
-You won’t want to leave. This semester will fly by. Honestly, I can’t express this enough. It is inconceivable how fast time goes by when you are abroad. TAKE IT ALL IN.
You’re fairly certain you will grow as person abroad. I mean, everyone says that all the time. Traveling is when you find yourself and become independent. You can’t grasp the extent of this until you do it. Your experience in Ireland will be one you will never forget. Traveling and living in a new place teaches you the amazing potential you can reach outside your comfort zone. This will be your most challenging semester and because of this, the best. You will never feel as connected to Champlain College as you do abroad.
As you prepare for your summer internship in Shanghai, you will have such conflicting feelings. You will be so incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and looking forward to beginning a new adventure, but at the same time, you are already homesick for Ireland.
The last thing I want to tell you is to savor every single moment of this adventure. There will be times you are so stressed you literally feel like you might explode, you will curse yourself for spending so much money that night at the pub, and find yourself dwelling about things back home. But this is part of it. Because you’ll also see the sunset over the Liffey, you’ll laugh so hard with friends that you can’t breathe, and you’ll feel so incredibly proud of yourself for overcoming any fears you once had. This will be the best four months of your life.