Ireland gives a sense of home across the miles
2018-04-15 11:30:47 -



Kathryn Wooldridge
Fear is the number one thing that tends to hold people back in life, especially when it comes to young adults finding their own path. I know for me, personally, I had a plethora of thoughts that consumed my mind when deciding to up and move to a foreign country. And when I took up the opportunity to interview some fellow American students within my study abroad programme, I learned that we shared many concerns about the prospect of life out of our comfort zone.
“One thing I was definitely scared of was the diversity [or the imagined lack thereof],” says Johnny Richardson. “I’m half Japanese, and being from Hawaii there’s a lot of Japanese people, so when going to Dublin I didn’t think there would be a lot of Asian people. But it surprised me because there’s a lot more diversity here than I thought.”
Like me, Griffin Rohrer is from the American South. “Many people from the south, where I’m from, never get out of their comfort zone,” she says. “So I felt like I was doing something that not many people have done, and I didn’t really have a lot of tips or advice from people around me, I think I learn new things every single day, just being away from home, being with new people and living on my own.”
Griffin was not the only one unsure about getting along in a bigger city. Becky Franta had never before lived in an urban area. “I grew up in a town with a population of 700 surrounded by corn fields and cow farms, so when I was applying to study abroad I was really nervous about the big city and just being lost and unsure of my surroundings,” Becky says. “But after being here I found that home is where the heart is, it’s what you make of it and long as you put yourself out there and believe in yourself you’re really going to have a great experience.”
Along with the other Americans I’ve travelled with to Dublin as part of the Foundation for International Education (FIE) programme, I’ve found this place to be much more of a melting pot than expected, nothing at all like the stereotypes of freckles and flaming red hair so prevalent back home. 
It’s still not the most diverse place in the world, but it has been able to provide a sense of home for us across the miles.
Kathryn Wooldridge is an intern with Metro Éireann and a student at Winthrop University in South Carolina, USA.


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