Studying aboard in Ireland has been an amazing experience. It has changed me in many ways. While in Ireland I was amazed by how friendly and welcoming everyone was. I hope to incorporate this into my own life. Another thing I liked about the Irish culture was their relaxed and laid back approach to life. I never felt pressured or rushed during my time in Ireland. The Irish do not obsess over deadlines or over work themselves. I think this something I want to try to bring into my life. Working hard is important but I also want to enjoy my life to the fullest.
The major change that this experience has had on my professional goals is that I never want to become preoccupied with status. While working in any hospital in America you are easily able to tell who are the doctors, nurses and aids. Hearing a nurse say to a patient “That’s not my job, an aid will help you.” Is a very common occurrence. During my time in Ireland it was not as easy to tell who were the nurses and who were the aids because they all helped the patients equally. There was never a discussion of who was a nurse and everyone’s focus was completely on the best interest of the patients. I think that it is easy to lose this after years of work and become more focused on simply getting the job done. I hope to never loss what this experience has taught me and how it will make me a better nurse.
What surprised me the most about myself during this experience was how much I enjoyed working with people with special needs. This was my first experience working with this population and I was apprehensive at first. I felt very unprepared, however after the first day I realized how much I enjoyed it. It is a very rewarding population if you open yourself up to them.
I went into this study aboard experience with an open mind. This allowed me to avoid feeling homesick or judging my surroundings. I opened myself up the new world I was exploring and attempted to take in as much as a possibly could. Since I avoided making judgments about Ireland I think it was very easy for this experience to impact my view of the world. I was able to see how completely different yet similar a different country can be. I learned so many important things while in Ireland but the most important thing I learned was to be confident in myself. This experience was able to show me so many things about myself that I had never know before. This feeling is something that I would take with me forever and it is hard to describe how amazing it feels.
To anyone who is interested in studying aboard I would recommend that you go into the experience with an open mind. It is unrealistic to expect a different country to be the same as what you know. I would also recommend for you to avoid become obsessed with trying to contact loved ones at home because that can take away from the experience and make you miss what is right in front of you. Studying aboard was an amazing experience and I am already planning where I can go next!