Name: Courtney Uhlenhake
Majors: Agricultural Business and International Agriculture
Program/Location: Exchange to University College Dublin (UCD) in Dublin, Ireland
• While it can be really exciting to discover a new culture, some students are nervous about spending a whole semester abroad. What made you decide to “take the plunge?”
Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine. I have talked to many individuals about their study abroad experience, and I have only heard great things. I believe taking the opportunity to spend four months in a different culture will provide exponential growth for personal, academic, and professional development. I also believe communicating with peers from various backgrounds provides knowledge in cultural understanding that one may not be able to obtain from a regular university experience. Along with my studies, I have the chance to visit other countries, something I have always wanted to do! Ireland has a very active agriculture community; having the opportunity to learn from the agriculture advocates and professionals here will be new and exciting! For me, it was a no-brainer to take advantage of the study abroad experience in exchange for a little homesickness.
• Describe a quick highlight or favorite new experience so far (or something you have learned):
In Ireland, sheep are EVERYWHERE. In the first week of adventure, we were followed by about 50 sheep when driving down the road!
• How do you think your experience is impacting you personally and professionally? Or, what is something that has surprised you so far?
I have only been here for a short while, and I can already feel personal and professional development. In this program, I will learn from agriculture and economic professionals in Ireland. This will grant a new perspective on my future career and planning. By the interactions I have and will have with the local community and others that have traveled around the world to be here, I will gain many perspectives on different doings of life, which I assume will have a major personal impact. (I am surprised by the fact that nobody here wakes up before 9 am, it is a very relaxed environment)
• Tell me something you are excited about for the rest of the semester:
I am most excited to meet new people and travel around Europe!