CAPA Alumna Katie Berlin is back to talk about some gems from her adventurous semester abroad in Dublin. Take it from someone who's been there and done that — you'll want to know how pack adequately, engage in thought-provoking classes, make the best of your geographic location, and simply live and enjoy every second of study abroad.
Guess who’s back, back again.
Good morning and welcome to my personal story about the most exciting summer of my life. During the Summer of 2019, I got the chance to study in Dublin through the UF in Dublin program partnered with CAPA. I spent over 10 weeks in a country that I dream about moving back to each and every day. While I know you get to hear about studying abroad as only wine tasting and cheese classes, I am here today to step back into my blog light and give you a quick glimpse into the real Study Abroad world.
Chillin’ at the London Bridge.
It happens to the best of us. Before your departure date, you are immediately overwhelmed with fear:
1. Do you have everything? Can you go shopping where you are going or do you need to bring everything, including shampoo, toothpaste, detergent, etc.?
2. What happens if I get sick and my mom cannot fly out to help me?
3. Will I get robbed? Will I be safe? Will my parents let me get on this plane or will they find a way to fit into my suitcase?
These questions and so much more are so common, so you need to know you are not alone. Every student given the opportunity to study abroad will be nervous/concerned about at least one thing. Just breathe and remember you are about to embark on the most adventurous journey of your entire life.
Standing in front of a sunset in Florence, Italy.
Yes, you have them. You can, and I repeat CAN, fail your classes abroad. How can you avoid this? Simple — go to class and pay attention. You may just learn a thing or two about your host country you never knew before. Before I went to Dublin, I didn’t know anything about the UK politics or how a foreign country is run. Now, I tell my friends the most random facts about Dublin’s history that only my mom finds charming. These classes are thought-provoking, and the teachers care about you, so give them a chance.
Northern Ireland's government building in Belfast.
They are waiting for you. Flights are very affordable from literally 30 euros to fly from Dublin to London. There are hundreds of travel sites, numerous CAPA resources, and a local CAPA staff ready to answer any questions you have about planning your next journey. My advice is the travel as much and as often as you can while abroad. You are traveling over an OCEAN to go to this foreign land, why not make it worth it by traveling to places you couldn’t while you are home?
Hanging out at the real life Diagon Alley in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Because you have already taken your first steps of wanting to change your life. Studying abroad will open so many new doors for you, so enjoy every second of it. Enjoy every ice cream stop, every new food, and every new memory. Your time there will end before you know it, so live it up as much as you possibly can.
Live your best life because you deserve it and CAPA study abroad can deliver on it.
Sara and I at The Giant's Causeway.
Farewell, for now.
Katie Berlin is a CAPA alumna and student majoring in Global Management, Political Science, and French at the University of Pittsburgh. She studied abroad in Dublin during Summer 2019 and also blogged about her experience there.
See more of Katie's journey in Dublin.