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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Michael in Ireland

Michael McKeon ’19 is an Economics major who studied in Cork, Ireland.

Beyond experiencing a new culture and city thousands of miles away from home, one of the most interesting parts of my study abroad was getting to attend a large University of over 20,000 students, as compared to Lake Forest’s 1,500. Getting to have both of these experiences made me appreciate Lake Forest and really opened my eyes to how fortunate I am to attend LFC.

Back to the actual study abroad experience, Cork, Ireland and all of Ireland for that matter is an incredibly interesting place with a rich culture and amazing people that I recommend everyone make an effort to visit if they are interested. This study abroad was my first time out of the country, and I’m glad that I chose Ireland because while it is still an incredibly diverse and different culture, it also shares many similarities to U.S. culture so there was no real need for me to prepare for a vastly “new” culture upon arrival. I feel very fortunate to have chosen Ireland because of their relation to much of continental Europe. What I mean by this is that during my time at UCC, I had the opportunity to meet not only Irish Students, but also any number of the 3,000 other European “Erasmus” students studying at UCC. In my time abroad, I was able to meet both students and non-students from around the world and all walks-of-life.

I’m so glad to have been given this opportunity to study abroad with support from the G. Dale Smith, ’37 and Ruth Peterson Smith Endowed Scholarship Fund for International Study-Abroad Programs and the generous family donations of Ms. McGowan who helped make this whole experience possible to me. For any student considering studying abroad, I highly recommend leaving your comfort zone and immersing yourself in a brand new culture and set of experiences that will teach you so much.