Written by: Alexandra Dellostrito
Hi everyone! I’m currently taking a break from my e-board responsibilities while abroad in Dublin, Ireland. If you’ve forgotten who I am, my name is Alex and I am a junior concentrating in finance. I was previously herNetwork’s VP of Community Outreach, but will be the VP of Finance next semester when I’m back in Boston.
At the moment though, I’m sitting in my apartment on the University College Dublin’s campus sipping a takeaway Americano from our business school’s Starbucks (old habits die hard). I’m one of nine BU students taking part in Questrom’s Dublin Management Internship program. The academic program runs from January to the end of April, followed by a full-time internship from May to mid-June. Given that timeline, I’m approaching the part of the semester where actual studying becomes a bigger part of study abroad.
That said, the school system here in Ireland is more relaxed than at BU. You have one or two assignments throughout the course of the year, but little else. So one great thing about being abroad in Ireland is that you have a lot more free time. You can pick up a new hobby, join a club or just relax and enjoy your time away. I’ve chosen the latter route and have spent most of my free time exploring the city or planning trips to other parts of Europe.
When I came to Dublin, I didn’t have an exact list of places I wanted to visit. I thought of a few countries that would be cool to see, but I wasn’t attached to any place in particular. By keeping my options open, I went to cities that never would have crossed my mind, like Vienna or Budapest. I knew that I wanted to see Spain at some point, but was unsure which city would be the best to visit. Ultimately, it came down to price. After a very inexpensive flight courtesy of Ryanair, I was off to Barcelona last weekend. Highlights from this trip include ordering a cappuccino in Spanish, eating an €0.80 baguette and exploring Park Güell with minor interruptions from pigeons.
While studying abroad in an English speaking country like Ireland doesn’t feel that different from studying back home, you can experience culture shock if you travel to non-English speaking countries. This is something I would absolutely recommend. Not being able to read maps or signs makes you think differently. I think I’ll be coming back home with a new set of skills developed entirely through traveling. Studying outside of the US was something I always wanted to do, but something I never thought would actually happen. It’s scary! Maybe it’s the finance major in me, but if I’ve learned anything it’s that you have to take risks. This one was definitely worth it.