31 March 2011
Today was my last day of lectures and Friday with mark the end of the classes for the semester at NUIG. Though there are still papers to be written and finals to be taken for many students, the educational aspect to our study abroad experience is over, leaving me with a feeling of nostalgia. I’m realizing that my time in Ireland and living abroad is almost over and though there are things that I miss about home, it is going to be hard to leave behind the life I have created here.
The last two weeks have been a little stressful because I have been trying to get most of my essays completed before the end of classes, since I will be traveling in Italy and Greece for the first two weeks of April for Spring Break. Of all the academic advice I could give for future study abroad students, it would be not to procrastinate and work on the essay topics as they are assigned. It is a simple concept, but difficult to actually do. As I mentioned before, the schooling system in Ireland is very different from what I am used to at Linfield, with only one or two assignments taken for grades out of the entire semester. Looking back, I had multiple opportunities to accomplish some of the essays that were assigned earlier in the semester, but instead I chose to do other things. I am so grateful that I took advantage of the cultural and travel opportunities, but I wish I had budgeted my time more effectively because I was not anticipating how much work I would have to do at the very end of the semester.
Last weekend, my roommate and I were able to escape some of the stress for two days and went to Amsterdam. What a great city! Though we only had a small amount of time there, it was wonderful to experience the culture and explore the town. We were able to take a walking tour the first day to learn about the history behind the city, which was quite interesting – Amsterdam was built on a swamp! I also got to see the house where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis in 1942, which was a worthwhile visit. It was a perfect way to take a “study break.”
Classes are over; now what?
Travel, Travel, Travel. (And of course finalizing the rest of the essays that I have left to complete!)
Travel is a large part of the reason I came here. On Saturday I am leaving to spend two amazing weeks in Italy and Greece. Although I have left Ireland a few times for weekend trips over the semester, this will be my first experience being gone so long. I’m kind of nervous because Europe is a big place and I don’t have the safety net of NUIG while I am away, but in the end I know everything will be fine, as always.
See you in two weeks!