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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Missy in Ireland

Missy Dieckman-Meyer ’20, a double major in Sociology/Anthropology and Communication with a minor in Legal Studies, is studying in Cork, Ireland.

Hello! My name is Missy Dieckman-Meyer. I am currently a junior at Lake Forest College and am a double major in Sociology/Anthropology and Communications, with a minor in Legal Studies. This fall, I am studying abroad in Cork, Ireland and only have about a month and a half left in my time here. I can honestly say that I have loved every single moment of my time abroad, which is going to make going home a bitter-sweet moment. So to take you through my semester so far, in the beginning I had to make quite a few adjustments; such as the schooling, the language, and the driving. These adjustments are small but important. As the schooling in Ireland is quite different from that of the United States with their grading, class structure, and extra-curricular activities; which were all piled on top of having to adjust to being at a big college with almost 20,000 students. While I was adjusting to the schooling, I was also adjusting to the language, even though they speak English. As the Irish tend to use different words while also talking a lot faster than we do back in the states, sometimes leaving me confused on what was being communicated. And finally my last adjustment was to their driving. Since, the Irish drive on the opposite side of the road, which was surprisingly difficult to adjust too, as in the beginning I would commonly look the opposite direction when crossing the road… yeah I know bad idea, right. So, while these adjustments were minor they were still an important part of the greater process of my emergence into Irish society during my time abroad. As these adjustments are common and completely normal to have to make when studying abroad. 


Now that I have told you about the adjustments I had to make, let me tell you about the more exciting stuff that comes along with studying abroad like traveling and classes. Since I have been in Ireland for almost three months now, I can tell you that it is very easy to travel within the country and fairly easy to travel within Europe. As I have been all over Cork and gone to Cobh, Dublin, Belfast and Giants Causeway, Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher, Inis Oirr of the Aran Islands, the Blarney Castle (yes I did kiss the famous stone), Killarney, Galway and Connemara, and Kinsale in Ireland. I have also visited Vienna, Austria; Interlake, Lucerne, and Zurich, Switzerland; and Amsterdam! And for my future travels I will be visiting London, Scotland, Germany, and Paris; as well as some other parts of Ireland in my time left. I am very excited to do go on these trips and experience these culturally diverse places, in my last few weeks abroad. As for academics, I am taking several classes on Irish history, culture, and tradition; with a science class thrown in to fulfill a GEC. These classes are all fairly interesting and have indirectly helped me learn more about Ireland and myself, by broadening and altering my previous point of view.


So to conclude, the opportunity to study abroad has taught me so many things so far, and I’m not even done yet! I have learned how to be more independent and how to step out of my comfort zone, in order to put myself out there and make new friends from all around the world. This immersive experience has been one of a lifetime, and I am forever thankful that I have been given the opportunity to study abroad!