Standing at the edge of the dramatic 700-foot drop, you can really get the feeling why people believed that it was the end of the world and nothing laid beyond the horizon forged from sky and sea. When I visited Rome … the number of absolutely breath-taking sights in such a small vicinity was overwhelmingly exciting. I just felt proud to be a human being, you know?
Zachary Ennes ’12
Hometown: Wrenthem, MA
Program: Electrical Engineering
I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland and stayed for about five months. I chose to study there because I come from a community that has heavy Irish influences and I had always been curious of the culture and people of the “Emerald Isle.” I also was drawn to choose Ireland because it was the only international program that offered engineering courses in English.
a lesson in humility and pride
When traveling about Ireland and all over Europe, I found myself repeatedly astounded with the natural and man-made wonders. I visited the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland three times and the experience never lost any of its original marvel. Standing at the edge of the dramatic 700-foot drop, you can really get the feeling why people believed that it was the end of the world and nothing laid beyond the horizon forged from sky and sea. When I visited Rome, I believe the words I used to describe my experience there were “perpetually astonished.” The number of absolutely breath-taking sights in such a small vicinity was overwhelmingly exciting. I just felt proud to be a human being, you know? Seeing the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Parthenon and all the rest was like I was literally walking through a living textbook. To be a part of the species that constructed such spectacles is truly humbling and a reward all on its own.
I feel like it’s so trite to say, but the international study experience definitely changed my outlook on life, totally. You learn that the world is a very huge, but also very small place. I carry the Irish warm, outgoingness stereotype wherever I go. Also, although it may be too late to change my major in accordance to it, I’ve rediscovered my appreciation for creative writing and music through maintaining a regular travel blog and attending traditional Irish music sessions in pubs that carried on late into the night. Although finding out these passions this late in the college process may seem scary to some, I do not view them as such. When you are plopped in a random corner of the world, where people are noticeably different than you, I think who you are and who you’ve come to be become more obvious. Through these realizations, I have been able to more accurately identify who I am and work to make that definition the absolute best person I can imagine. I can attribute every one of these gains to my experience studying abroad.
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