Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

My Posts

{photos, text, video}


Time October 14th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | 2 Comments by

I’m a big quotes person. I seriously love them. When I was perusing the internet earlier, I stumbled upon a quote that really struck a cord with me in relation to my study abroad experience.


“Comfort is the enemy of achievement.”


That can seem a little harsh, when you first read it, but I encourage you to take a step back and really think about it. Think about the times in life where you were really, truly, comfortable. And no, I don’t mean the days where you stay in sweatpants without having to worry about anything trivial, like putting on a bra. I mean the times where you were comfortable in your education. In your job. In your social circle. Did you see a lot of achievement? Because I can tell you from my personal experience, I haven’t.
Read More »


Halfway there

Time October 10th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | 1 Comment by

I firmly believe that time passes differently in different places.

When I was in Africa, my days passed rapidly. I woke up in the morning, had my cup of coffee, blinked, and then it was time for bed again. Time would fly when you spent your day in community serving others, experiencing new things at an astonishing rate.

Here in Ireland, my days also pass rapidly. While I’ve traded the dusty streets of Manzini for the bustling streets of Dublin, things are still different, and I learn or experience something new every day.

I’ve talked to many people back home who complain of time dragging. To them, the first few weeks of school felt like an eternity. I can only assume this is due to the fact that they are not experiencing new things. In the words of Charlotte Bronte, “I feel monotony and death to be almost the same.” Iowa doesn’t offer much by way of culture shock.

All of this being said, I am almost halfway through my adventure abroad. Crazy, right? I cannot believe that time has passed so quickly, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I cherish the adventures I have been on, and those still to come. I would choose a life of time passing rapidly over monotony any day.



10 things

Time September 8th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | 1 Comment by

In honor of completing my first 10 days here on the Emerald Isle, I thought I would write a blog about the 10 things they don’t tell you before you study abroad!

1.) They don’t tell you that you’re going to be lonely. You’re going to be lonely a lot. Even though I got to come to Ireland with one of my best friends by my side, I still felt lonely regularly. I reached out to so many friends at home, concerned that I had made the wrong choice in coming here because I thought I wouldn’t make any friends. “It takes time” they said, and I thought they were all wrong. After a few days with my roommates, I realized that they were right. The friends will come, but it takes time.

2.) Your new school abroad is not going to be like your school at home. I know, I know, that seems like a given, but I didn’t realize that until I got here. Drake has a mere 3,400 students wandering around campus. UCD has 27,000. That. Is. A LOT. I have no idea where I’m going most of the time, but thank God the Irish are friendly enough to point me in the right direction.

3.) Beer is expensive. Especially when euros are worth more than USD.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset img_6441 img_6501

4.) Just because the beer is expensive, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth buying. I mean, come on guys. We are in Ireland after all…

5.) That being said, it’s okay to not go out every night. I was worried, initially, because I thought if I wasn’t going out, I was going to be missing out. I realized after a couple nights in with my roommates that the best connections are formed over hastily made quesadillas and shared stories about life, about love, and about everything in between. It is 100% okay to not be going out, ESPECIALLY if you don’t want to be going out. Contrary to popular belief, studying abroad isn’t all about partying. There’s a lot to be learned that can’t be learned explicitly in the pubs.

6.) You have to go to class. Even though I technically haven’t started school yet, I looked at my class schedule and realized that this semester was actually going to happen, and that I wouldn’t be able to just travel Europe on a whim like I had foolishly thought. I’m still working through this one…

7.) IKEA is a god send, be that in America, in Ireland, or anywhere else in the world that you need to furnish an apartment.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

8.) You are going to be missing things at home. Not missing in the longing for them kind of way(even though you’ll do that too), but physically missing them. Leaving for Ireland, I hadn’t really thought about the fact that life was going to be continuing on without me in the states. Now that I’m here, and I glance at Facebook, I realize how wrong I was. I’m missing the first days of school, recruitment, events at my job, birthdays, weddings, etc. You aren’t going to be around for things. While that is okay, it’s still hard, and kind of sad.

9.) Even though this doesn’t apply to everywhere people go to study abroad, Ireland isn’t always rainy! Praise the Lamb!


10.) You’re going to want to go back to normalcy. You are going to want to go back to being comfortable. To having cars drive on the “right” side of the road. To USD. To public transit that tells you what bus stop you’re at. To American accents. To Chipotle. But while you are going to want all of this, you have to remember to take comfort in this fact: It’s still going to be there in four months. When this semester is said and done, when the adventures are over and the exams are turned in, America, in all it’s glory, is still going to be there. And as you sit on the plane that is taking you back to what you once called “normal”, you are going to be longing for chippers. For asking for a pint. For the dart. For the madness that is the city centre. For hearing things such as press, and craic, and feck in everyday conversations. You are going to want to go back. So live in the moment. Be thankful for the days you have been given, and remember that this too, will end before you know it.


We lean forward.

Time August 11th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | 1 Comment by

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” ― Jack Kerouac

Life as a 20 something seems to be filled only with goodbyes and new adventures. Goodbye to home friends when you go off to college. Goodbye to college friends when you go home at the end of the semester. And goodbye to both of them(and friends from all other walks of life) when you decide to leave the country until February.

Right now, as I plan out what I need to bring to Ireland, set aside some clothes, get rid of others, talk to my bank, cancel my phone plan, etc., I am sad. Goodbyes make me sad. Be that goodbye to a person, a place, or a way of life. I can’t help but want to hold onto the way things are. This seems silly when I write it down, however, because I have lived far from what one would call a consistent life. I’m never in one place for more than a few months. I have friends from all over the country, and all over the world for that matter. I love adventure, and I embrace change once it has happened.

So yes. I am sad. I will miss those I leave behind. But we lean forward. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies. Catch you on the flipside, America. Ireland, I’m coming for you.