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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Sophia Stephany in Northern Ireland

Sophia Stephany ’21 is a Neuroscience and Psychology major with a minor in French who is studying at Ulster University in Northern Ireland

My name is Sophia Stephany. At Lake Forest College I am majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology with a minor in French, class of 2021. I am in my third year of college and during my semester studying abroad at Ulster University in Northern Ireland I am taking classes in Business and Irish Cultural Studies. I decided to take a business course since I am planning on pursuing a graduate degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology and know that this will provide useful experience in that area of the field.


I am quite enjoying my Irish classes so far; they offer small class sizes with other international students. I have found this adds extremely interesting and insightful perspectives to class discussions; a large part of the curriculum delves into different countries’ involvements in wars throughout history, which is reliably more fascinating when the class is composed of students from those various countries.


I am especially looking forward to a field trip with our dynamic professor, exploring the Irish countryside and hearing from locals about the tragedy faced throughout the decades of conflict during the Troubles. The city of Derry/ Londonderry, where the Magee campus is located, is a cultural hotspot full of passionate characters. The people I have interacted with, whether that be at the variety of markets and fairs hosted by the city or simply at different restaurants and shops are full of warmth and excitement to share their customs with an American - as well as profuse apologies for the near constant grey skies and rain.


As I approach the middle-end of my experience here, I would like to extend my gratitude to the donors whose award has made this semester abroad possible for me and has allowed me to form connections and memories that I look forward to cherishing for a very long time to come.