Guest Post By: Paige Madrid, a Junior studying Marketing. She is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, and she studied abroad through an Early Fall Start program in Ireland.
I studied abroad for what felt like the longest but quickest three weeks of my life during Early Fall Start and loved every second of it. I chose to study in Ireland because the program looked the most entertaining to my interests and also because of how similar yet different it is to Washington State. Due to this, Ireland kind of felt like a home away from home, with tons of greenery and scenic routes. Ireland has some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and the culture surrounds being open to talking to others and having a good time. This helped me realize how open people are to talking most of the time and how we mostly just assume people don’t want to be talked to. This also helped me realize the same goes for networking and strengthening relationships. We sometimes are afraid or worried that others won’t want to be approached for a simple conversation, which just isn’t true. So many people are open to talk or help in any way they can, which made me realize that even if rejection is a possibility it can also be so slim compared to the amount of people willing to say yes.
We had around 16 company visits in just our three short weeks and were able to meet with so many diverse companies whether they were big tech or family owned businesses. A couple of my favorites were Meta, EY, and a sheep farm. At Meta we got to see their impressive benefits within just the building. They had an art studio, a workout room, and so much more. We also got to learn more about the Metaverse and what their goal for the vision is, which I found extremely interesting. At EY we heard about a specific entrepreneurship award that they host every year and got to speak to the 2021 year winner.
He was very insightful and helped us all feel inspired to start our own business one day. Then we had some smaller visits like a local sheep farm. This was one of my favorites because it was in the middle of a ton of beautiful hills with just the perfect scenery. They also gave us a herding demonstration where we saw one of their dogs herd the sheep in by the owner whistling certain ways for the dog to move right, left, or forward. It was insane to see a dog so smart and also clearly enjoy his job so much. We also got to adopt a sheep and named her Penney James, which meant a lot to us all.
This experience was truly a once in a lifetime experience that I’m so glad I got to experience with not only such a great group of people but also with one of my best friends. I already know I need to do the Early Fall Start study abroad program next year because being able to go for just a few weeks and create so many memories and broaden my experiences, was extremely worth it. I’d encourage anyone thinking about studying abroad to even just consider the Early Fall Start program because it’s the perfect amount of time to test the waters on going abroad.