Study Abroad Experience – Lydia in Ireland4 min read

Who doesn’t love all the girls who aren’t afraid to dream a little bigger? The girls who go out and experience the world to its fullest. They inspire me to accomplish those things for myself. And I’m glad that some of them share their experiences with us! In this feauture Women Collecting Memories I’m presenting you interviews with some supercool young women who choose to study abroad and travel the world on their own. What do you think we can learn from them? We’re going to start the first one with Lydia, who has been to Ireland for her study abroad experience.

ABOUT LYDIA

I want to start this series with Lydia, age 21, who went on Exchange to Maynooth University in Maynooth, Ireland.

She tells us about what inspired her to go to Ireland, how the time helped her to become more independend and confident and how she ended up in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Lydia is now back in Canada, but was abroad for nearly six months. You can read more about her adventures on her personal blog travelthinkdiscover.

lydia-in-ireland-during-her-study-abroad-experience

LYDIA'S STUDY ABROAD ADVENTURE

Why did you choose to go to Ireland, Lydia?

I chose to go to Ireland because Why wouldn’t you!? You see pictures of Ireland or Ireland as a backdrop for movies and you can’t help but be stunned and have every urge to go there, as well as the fact that I have heard only good, positive things from those who have lived and visited. But also I had read a number of books by one of my favourite authors Maeve Binchy who sets the backdrop of some of her characters or stories in Ireland, and it really attracted me to the country.

Has the time abroad changed you?

It is difficult to put into words how my time abroad has changed me, because it is a multitude of feelings that I have difficulty translating into words. I will do my best, and say that it has given me a unique, wider arary of perspectives, it has really pushed me out of my shell. It definitely expanded my independence and confidence and made me realize I am capable of a lot more than I think I am. It also really made me learn about other cultures and what that means for the people living in them. But mostly, it just made me realize how amazing people from all over the world are.

Did you visit other countries during that time?

I also visited England, France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and I lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a month working at a hostel.

I worked in a hostel in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I had no idea what I was getting into. If I hadn’t studied abroad, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn about a country I unfortunately knew nothing about. This was a whole other experience that I felt left me with so much meaning. I met some of the nicest people among the locals and met new people from around the world every single day coming in and out of the hostel. It really was an amazing experience, and besides Bosnia and Herzegovina being incredibly stunning, the people and the culture are my biggest takeaways.

Lydia worked in Mostar after her time in Ireland came to an end.

Lydia worked in Mostar after her time in Ireland came to an end.

What travel experience are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my first travel experience traveling solo. This broke me out of my shell to a whole other degree. I traveled for a week throughout central Europe, stayed in hostels, saw cool places and met incredible people. It was like all my worries about traveling alone vanished completely and I had never felt more assured or more proud of myself in my life. I really noticed that my abilities reach far beyond the limits I create for myself.

If you could plan a trip anywhere in the world for yourself (with money not playing a role) where would you like to go?

If I could plan a trip anywhere in the world for myself without money playing a role it would be to India. I have a huge desire to visit India, because of the people, the food, culture, architecture, landscapes and the overall adventure.


Did your study abroad experience also boost your confidence? How has travelling changed your thoughts? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!


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Women Collecting Memories is a feature about young women studying abroad and traveling alone. This time I talked to Lydia, who went on Exchange to Ireland.           Women Collecting Memories is a feature about young women studying abroad and traveling alone. This time I talked to Lydia, who went on Exchange to Ireland.

 

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