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When strangers became friends

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

My trip to Ireland was an amazing experience that provided me with many memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. It opened my eyes not only to the richness of Irish culture, but also to the vastness of my own country. I became close friends with people from places like Canada, Washington, and California, as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. I still keep in touch with these friends and we have had several reunions since our time in Ireland. Though we were only together there for a month, we shared experiences that bound us together forever.

I learned and saw so much throughout the trip that it is hard to pinpoint a favorite excursion, lesson, or activity. We would spend one day playing “Simon Says” in Irish and the next trekking across the
Giant’s Causeway or signing the peace wall in Belfast. We became expert scone bakers and set dancers, connoisseurs of Irish poetry, and masters of Dublin’s public transportation system. When we weren’t in the classroom studying the conflict in Northern Ireland or the War of Independence, we were in our drama groups planning skits on the lives of famous Irish personas like Michael Collins, St. Patrick, and Finn McCool.

What truly made my experience in Ireland a special one, however, were the trip leaders. When I arrived at the airport I was greeted by Taryn, who already knew the names of every group member and made us all feel so comfortable and welcome. Both Taryn and Angie did an amazing job of exposing us to different aspects of Irish culture and fostering within us a love of Ireland as great as their own.

– Laura Travers, Eastchester, NY – Student, 2006



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Comments

  1. Laura is completely correct! I have never had so much fun in my life and I even flew from Vermont to Wisconsin last January to visit one of my friends from this experience after not seeing her for 19 months, and it was like we’d never left! This experience completely globalizes you, because not only do you learn about Irish culture, you learn about places like New Jersey, Wisconsin, California, and Washington, or wherever else your travelers may be from. It helped me to grow as a person, and stepping off the plane back in Burlington, VT I knew that I wasn’t the same person as when I’d left. If there was one experience that taught me the most about myself and the world, it would not be any family vacations I went on or even first semester at college: it was this program. Hands down the best decision I (and my parents!) ever made!


    Alison O'Leary
    December 12th, 2008
  2. sounds like everything is still going well. I enjoy reading everyday all the things you guys are doing and seeing. It makes me wish I were there. Enjoy the west coast, by far the most picturesque. Tell taryn I said hello. Have fun.

    Princey from Morristown


    princey
    July 12th, 2009

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