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Off-Campus Study

Notes from Abroad: Raul in Northern Ireland

Raul Andrade ’19 is a major in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy who is studying in Northern Ireland.

This is the first time I’ve studied abroad; this experience has been very unexpected. I was very unprepared for traveling to new a country, hard to do so when you don’t know what to expect, but that comes with the adventure. Living in Northern Ireland is so vastly different than what I’m used to back home in Chicago, everyone is so friendly, the landscapes breath-taking, the education system is the most different of all. The classes are longer and are once a week, compared to my everyday schedule back home. I miss having closer relationships with my professors, the class roster is much larger than I’m used to. At first, it was a little difficult and a little scary adapting to the changes, but I would do it all over again. Having just a few classes each week has its perks, I’ve been able to visit a handful of places, each as beautiful as the last. Derry/Londonderry is a quaint little town with a big personality, I love walking the streets, looking into all the shops, especially the bakeries. I am incredibly grateful towards the G. Dale Smith and Ruth Peterson Smith family for their generosity in allowing me this amazing opportunity. Though, I probably should have learned how to budget better before I came out this far. Then again, that’s generally a good life skill.

I have much more to learn and lots more to experience. My stay here may just be a semester, but I plan on making the most of these next few months, more places to see, more people to meet. It’s scary how much I don’t miss home, but rather how much I’m going to miss being here in the future. Who knows, maybe I’ll come back another day.