I recently embarked on a trip of a lifetime. I spent two weeks in Ireland on an agriculture-based, specifically the equine industry, study abroad trip. The trip consisted of two weeks touring farms all over the island and of course seeing all of the sights. Incredible does not even begin to explain the things I was able to experience on this trip.
As an equine science major, I feared that I would not get the opportunity to study abroad because the programs wouldn’t pertain to my major. Studying abroad has always been a goal of mine, but it’s expensive and can be time consuming. As soon as I was presented with the opportunity to travel to Ireland to tour the equine industry, I immediately jumped on the idea.
With this trip we toured dairy farms on islands, water buffalo dairy farms, pony trekking on the beach, visiting a donkey sanctuary, cattle marts, horse farms, agriculture fairs, horse races and so much more. I feel I got to experience true Ireland with the farm tours and see how agriculture plays such a large role for the country. Along with farm tours we went to the Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, and the city of Dublin.
We got to see a good chunk of the beautiful island and pick up bits and pieces of the Irish culture. The sights, tours, and relationships developed were beyond anything I could have dreamt of.
Studying abroad can be a scary and foreign thing and there are a million and one reasons not to, whether it be the cost, the time commitment, or not knowing anyone. BUT there are so many reasons to go abroad! There are many different programs that you can choose from and many different ways to pay for these trips. It’s all about using your resources and taking a step out of your comfort zone.
The experiences are once in a lifetime. There is no way I could have ever galloped horse-back across the Irish beaches or cuddled donkeys in a donkey sanctuary or experienced the Irish culture AND still received college credit without this trip.
There are excuses not to go abroad, but none of them could ever outweigh the amazing adventures you will have.