Thank you, Ireland!

During our last full day in Ireland, we went to Microsoft for our final site visit for our study abroad trip. Their headquarters has a modern open concept design. The employee population is very young and diverse which makes the work environment extremely interesting and fun. Overall, I have loved my time studying abroad in Ireland for the past two weeks. The shared experiences with my fellow classmates will stay with me for the rest of my life. I enjoyed visiting many different innovative and technologically based companies; each had their own uniqueness so I was never bored during our time abroad. Another aspect I really loved was the day trip excursions. We visited Galway and the Cliffs of Moher on Saturday, Howth on Sunday, and the Kilkenny and the Wicklow Mountains on Wednesday. It was nice to travel through the Irish countryside and see the rural areas of Ireland.

Five years from now, I will remember lots of different events from this trip. The first event I will recall was our unexpected stay in Charlotte for three days. Even though our trip started off poorly, this experience brought our group closer together. Charlotte is an up-and-coming banking urban center with a diverse population. I am grateful to Bank of America for showing us their HQ on short notice and Hyatt for taking us in when we were desperate. To accommodate 17 people after our flight was canceled was a Godsend. The employees were so friendly and I am so appreciative for their actions.

When we finally arrived in Ireland it was raining- shocker. But after the first two days, we had a stretch of five days of sunshine and beautiful weather. The site visits I will remember the most are FoodCloud and Eaton. I am interested in possibly working for a company similar to FoodCloud that helps people in need. Touring their facility was also cool because we were able to see their operations. Eaton was awesome because instead of a presentation we were asked to complete a case study. Fortunately, my team left Eaton victorious so it felt good to be recognized for our innovative ideas. We also got a chance to speak with the CTO of Eaton and he gave a wonderful speech about his role with the company.  In addition to these two visits, I will remember Google and Microsoft because of their global prestige. It was unreal to see these two global giants European headquarters and witness the everyday lives of their employees.

Socially, I will remember a ton from this trip. Before we departed Pittsburgh, I barely knew anyone traveling to Ireland with me. Our group got along really well and I now have new friends because of it. The Cliffs of Moher was surreal and outstanding. Even though I dislike heights, specifically edges, it was such a photogenic place. My favorite day trip was our visit to Kilkenny and the Wicklow Mountains. The history of Kilkenny was amazing and living in a city with so many castles must be so cool. During our time in the Wicklow Mountains, we hiked up the mountain. I enjoy spending time with nature and the views we observed were fantastic.

In the future, I want to return to Ireland. I loved spending so much time in Dublin but I would like to spend more time in the countryside and also visit Cork. One aspect of this trip I recommend for the future is spending more time in Galway and Kilkenny. Maybe even spending an overnight and traveling back to Dublin the following morning. These cities were so interesting and spending only two hours exploring does not cut it.

Overall, I am so glad I chose to study abroad in Ireland for two weeks. I will remember so many different aspects of this trip for the rest of my life. Thank you for reading my blog post and following along with my adventures in Ireland.



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