My Year (at Notre Dame and Abroad) in Music

Author: Megan McCuen

Last winter, just before I went abroad, I decided to treat myself to Spotify Premium. Walking around big cities with music in the background and pretending my life is a movie is high on the list of my favorite things to do. I knew that Spotify Premium would be a necessary investment to my time abroad. As my year went on, I added more and more songs to my never-ending playlist “Every Jam Ever”, somehow tying each song with a specific time, place, and feeling. At the end of the year, as I look back at my playlist, I get to relive the memories of the amazing things I did this year.…

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A Semester with ND Dance Company

Author: Megan McCuen

I’ve been a member of Notre Dame Dance Company since my first semester of my freshman year. As I’ve been dancing all my life, Dance Co is one of the highlights of my time at ND. It gives me a chance to express myself, get some exercise, and take a break from studying. We work each semester to present a showcase, and this year I got to choreograph a dance in the show. What’s it like to be in the company? Take a look.…

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A Day in the Life of an Irish Intern

Author: Megan McCuen

megan_teaching_at_fighting_words

I spent my summer living, working, and learning in Dublin, Ireland as part of the Irish Internship Programme. It was one of the most jam-packed summers in my life - but also one of the most incredible. I got to intern at Fighting Words, a creative writing center for kids, which offers workshops and camps for young writers in Ireland. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world! Want to get a peek into a day of my life on the job?

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O'Connell House

Author: Megan McCuen

ireland_friendly_faces

The flight from Paris to Dublin is short, so theoretically moving from Paris to Dublin should have been a breeze. But it wasn’t. After taking a “Goodbye Paris” walk with my friends, I got back to my dorm around 11PM and realized that I still had to pack most of my things. As a result, I ended up going to sleep around 3AM, only to wake up at 4AM to catch my flight. The icing on the cake was when my duffle bag broke in the middle of the Charles De Gaulle Airport. The only solution was to use a trashbag that the baggage check people offered me. Between being half asleep and toting around a trash bag wrapped in duck tape containing my life’s possessions, my entrance to Ireland was bit less than graceful.…

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There Is Never Any Ending to Paris

Author: Megan McCuen

eiffel_tower

Five months ago, I got blurry eyed off a plane and ventured onto the RER train system for the first time with another ND student I met up with at the airport. That night my friend and I walked 12 miles across Paris looking for the perfect dinner and decided to walk all the way to the Eiffel Tower. So much has happened since that first night, and I love to see the ways that Paris has truly changed my life. It’s crazy to look back at the semester that just took place and try to sum up everything that was Paris in just a few words.…

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What’s in a Weekend?

Author: Megan McCuen

One of the perks of studying abroad is the opportunity to travel not just within your host country, but to other nearby countries as well. With cheap Ryan Air flights, fantastic student discounts on museum entries, and online accommodation sites like AirBnB,  travel for students while abroad is a doable option on weekends. Apart from my week in the UK, I spent my first three months enjoying my time in Paris and travelling locally in France. In the past few weeks however, I decided it was time to branch out and start to travel more. I decided to take on a few weekend trips.…

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On the Waitlist? So was I.

Author: Megan McCuen

Screenshot from Megan McCuen's Facebook on March 30, 2012 reads: Waitlisted

I remember March 30th of 2012 a little too well: the way my stomach churned as I parked my car in the driveway, the slow walk to the mailbox, and crippling feeling of disappointment when I fished my hand around inside and found only a small envelope. Throughout high school, everything I’d done had been in the pursuit of getting into Notre Dame. In that moment, I felt like everything I’d dreamed of was shattering around me. Disheartened, I opened the envelope, and pulled out a “waitlist” card. With tears in my eyes, I filled it out and sent it back into Notre Dame.…

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Getting Involved While Abroad

Author: Megan McCuen

Notre Dame students studying abroad pose

One of the most important things about being abroad is cultural exchange. It is not only all about learning about the country you are in, but also the importance of sharing your country’s culture with others too. I am very lucky to be in a study abroad program that is a direct enrollment- which means I am in classes just like a normal university student at the University of Paris Diderot. This means that before class I chat with my French classmates and other new friends from England, Ireland, Denmark, Greece and Germany. It is the perfect opportunity for small cultural exchanges, discussing everything from our favorite grocery stores to the differences in our education systems. These interactions are important and great, but after a while, my friends and I realized that we wanted to be more involved while in Paris. Here are some of the things we’ve done to truly get involved.....

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