Back in the Garden State

Well, here I am back in New Jersey. Even though we got lucky with little to no rain in Ireland, I am happy to be in the summer sun once again. 

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I found out I would be studying abroad in Ireland for two weeks. I didn’t know anyone else going, I had never traveled internationally without my family, and I never had exposure to international business. It was a completely new experience for me, yet somehow I was very at ease with the situation. Once we got to Ireland I knew it would be a great two weeks and I’m happy to say that I was right. I met a great group of people and now have a lot of amazing memories. 

Ireland has definitely been on its way to a more technology-based country. In Dublin, this could be seen when we visited the financial district. Even just by seeing how modernized the buildings were and how many tech companies were located there. It was definitely a shocker to see how different communication and the schooling system were in Ireland. I hadn’t expected there to be very many cultural differences compared to the US. They focus much more on getting to know people and forming a relationship than we do in the US. They even find Americans somewhat insincere in our interactions because of this difference. Also, their schooling system seems much more stressful than that of the US. Their grades depend on one week of exams at the end of the year. They also need a certain amount of points compiled throughout their high school years in order to pursue different majors. While we need good grades to be accepted into certain schools, they need good grades to be accepted into a major.

I think it is extremely important to understand these cultural differences, especially in business when working with different companies and clients. In order to have a successful relationship, you need to be respectful and knowledgeable about someone’s history and culture. This trip has definitely helped me in terms of my communication with new colleagues as well as people with different communication styles. I discovered that I can do a lot more than I thought and stepping out of my comfort zone leads to growth. 

This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip that I am glad I was finally able to participate in. Studying abroad has always been on my bucket list so I am thankful I can check it off.

Leave a Reply