As a chemical engineering major, I anticipated having a very strict science and math based curriculum without much room for me to try out other classes. When I was trying to decide between universities, I paid attention to the schools that would give me the best education in my field of study, but that also allowed me to have a well-rounded education. In addition, something that I had always wanted to do was study abroad. Right away, something that stood out to me from Notre Dame was the number of students that had the opportunity to study abroad. I was very eager to explore my opportunities.
As an engineering student with no significant second language background, my options were limited. However, I was perfectly content with the options that were presented to me. The typical engineering student will choose between London, Dublin, or Perth. Only a handful of students will have sufficient language experience and completed courses to study in countries where English is not the primary language. All of the study abroad choices for engineers were very accomodating, and the faculty here at ND were very helpful in talking me through the application process if and where I wanted to go.
Notre Dame’s study abroad programs are application based and are very competitive. Several criteria have to be met in order to study abroad; one of these being alignment of classes. Coming into college, I was two courses ahead in my math requirements. This allowed me to take classes that were not offered in my study abroad program ahead of time to allow me to study abroad. Figuring out if and how I could study abroad was a long process, but I ended up applying to two programs and finally getting into the Dublin program. The course structures and teaching styles were definitely an adjustment, but I do not believe that it put me behind from my peers that stayed on campus. Studying abroad was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I am so thankful that Notre Dame gave me the opportunity to experience it.
Connemara National Park, Galway, Ireland
58 Merrion Square, Dublin, O'Connel House