I got the chance to travel to Ireland and experience a wonderful new culture. In the process, I also got to travel to multiple other European countries and gain hands on knowledge about life and people. In addition to travel, I took four classes pertaining to my majors: behavioral ecology, physical chemistry, and two psychology courses. Behavioral ecology has not been offered at our university in several years, so I was ecstatic about this opportunity. In addition, learning about these topics in another country gave me a different view as well as different information that I would have not received otherwise. For example, we spoke a lot about papers and relevant European research in my psychology courses, whereas in the US we usually talk about concepts and things related to us.
I had always wanted to study abroad, so i purposely sought a school that seemed to have a good office for that. Going abroad, I wanted to gain more independence and more knowledge about the world, which I did in spades. In addition, I stayed involved by becoming an ambassador when I came back to campus.
I learned a lot about myself. I am stronger than I thought I was, for example. I also learned I love travel and have now made that a focus in my life. There was no big challenge for me, but that is because I chose to do things that made me happy instead of trying to plan with other people. I think trying to combine many people's inerests and desires would have been difficult, but I was more on a journey for myself at that point in time.
I can connect with a lot more people more easily, I have more experience with diverse groups, and I can work in novel situations. I also know a lot about myself in general. I will also be studying abroad again, where I will work on gaining new friendships and work on communication skills to help with job seeking and graduate schools.