Eye-opening experiences in Limerick, Ireland

Sophia DiBattista’s explorations abroad

Sophia DiBattista

sodibattista@ursinus.edu

If you can study abroad, do it. The satisfaction of being in a new place opened my eyes to so many opportunities. I am studying at University of Limerick (UL) in Limerick, Ireland. My experience so far has been so rewarding, warming, and awe inducing. It seems like my every moment has been filled, and I owe it all to the people I have met here.

People in Ireland are the kindest individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and as a newbie to the area, their welcoming atmosphere is much appreciated. At the university, I am a member of the Drama Society, the Drama Society’s Writers Group, and I’m also currently starring in
a student-written production called “Cider & Sand.” These activities have been the best part of Ireland for me. While the scenery and travel locations are amazing to visit, the people I have met top the picturesque spots. They are the best, most eccentric people, and I fit
right in with them. I honestly feel like I’m a part of a family despite being from another country.

However, since I’m involved with student organizations, I have had less free-time. Time has also been scarce because I go grocery shopping every week and cook my own meals. When I first chose to study abroad, I had other options that included picking a meal plan, but I decided against having one. I felt that this could boost my independence, and
it has so far. I need to plan out what to buy, how to budget, and when to do all my shopping. Once I got a routine down, I started living on my own with ease. Now I feel more comfortable with my surroundings, going to the Limerick City Centre on my own, and being an international student.

Coming to Ireland, I was excited rather than scared about being an international student. I knew it wouldn’t be the easiest life, especially since I am unfamiliar with the area. Someone who wants to study abroad should not let this stop them. The experience that I am having at UL could not be traded for anything. The people, the activities, the change of pace, and the various types of classes make this journey “good craic,” as the Irish would say.

If any student is debating whether to study abroad or not, I say to go for it! The opportunity is made available to anyone, so take advantage of it. You won’t regret it.