Stephanie Meinert

Ireland

Fall 2013

Major:

History

Minor:

Leadership

Hometown:

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Other activities:

Women’s Crew, McDonough Scholar, Member of Phi Alpha Theta and Alpha Lambda Delta

How did you choose the location of your Education Abroad experience?

When I first began searching for a study abroad location, I was interested in studying in London, England. However, as I looked at various programs, I decided that London was not the right fit for me. So, I instead turned my attention on Ireland, and chose to study in Limerick because it was a bit smaller and less touristy than the other three universities and cities available in Ireland. I also considered the excursions and courses offered through my program to determine which seemed to offer me the most.

How has your time in another country impacted your view of the world and your future goals?

My time abroad has helped me to understand the impact that history has on a culture. Through the various Irish focused courses that I was enrolled in, I learned how Irish English continues to be influenced by the native Irish language. I also learned what it means to be Irish, and how that has expanded to include the generations of Irish who have moved around the world, especially in the wake of the Potato Famine in 1845. I also had access to Ancestry.com through my university’s library, and I was able to use that to trace some of my family back to Ireland, which was so exciting. Now, I’m looking into possible jobs and internships focusing on genealogical work.

What was your best/worst meal while abroad?

I cannot think of one best meal that I had while abroad, but I loved being able to try new foods. And, of course the fish and chips were always a delicious option when we went out to eat. I also really liked how everything was always so fresh and tasted more natural, especially since it was also often inexpensive. I don’t know if I would call it my worst meal abroad, but I did try black and white pudding while I was there, and I must say that I am not particularly a fan of either one.

If you ever visit your host country again, what will be on your list of things to do?

If I ever go back to Ireland again, I would like to revisit County Kerry, which is the southernmost county in Ireland. It’s beautiful, enchanted green hills all looked the same, but I loved how I never knew what was going to be over the next hill or around the next bend, even though it was usually more sheep and the occasional house. I would also like to visit more of the small towns that I did not get the chance to visit during my four months in Ireland.

What advice can you give fellow students who are considering the Education Abroad program?

If you are considering studying abroad, I would highly recommend it. I had a great time living and learning in another country. I got to experience another culture first hand, I made new friends, and this opportunity provided me with many chances to step outside of my comfort zone and test my ability to adapt to new situations. When you are searching for a location, choose somewhere that interests you, and be open to the possibility that it may not be what you expect at first. Regardless of where you choose, the experiences that you have and everything you learn will be useful and applicable to your future, regardless of what career you plan on pursuing. Take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity and learn all that you can during your time in country and even after you return home.

Program:

APIwww.apistudyabroad.com