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Hi! My name is Molly Fitzgerald. This summer I was blessed with the trip of a lifetime through the Irish Life Experience. I would assume, if you are reading this that you are interested in the program, or I would also (Safely.) assume that some of you are taking a trip down memory lane. Either way, I hope to provide some insight into the true opportunity that the ILE is.

The Irish Life Experience not only provided information that was both interesting and valuable (Like asking for a “lift” rather than a “ride.”), but it also gave me the chance to learn about other people, another culture, and about myself. I will not lie…, the nights leading up to the trip were filled with uncertainty and nerves. I did not know how many teens were going on the trip, did not know who who was going on the trip, and did not know any of the teachers! A big difference from my tight knit school where everybody knows everyone, and I could always generally know what I was getting myself into. “What did I get myself into now?!,” I thought. This question was soon answered: A life changing summer!

On this trip I made, in a few short weeks, some of the best friends I have ever had; I learned how to see beyond the surface and make friends out of strangers, which is going to be very useful in college this fall; and I realized that it is okay to be 100% truly YOU! Everyone on the trip, staff included, loved each individual for who they are. That is one of the most special qualities of the trip. Everyone got along and formed a support group for each other. One of the most special memories for me was watching even the most quiet members of the group comfortably put on skits or perform in the talent show! I still cannot figure how a group of teens could become so close in so little time.

This trip is so special in that you are never bored, but yet you are never worn thin! From discos to workshops to sliding down a rock in the Burren, Taryn and the team keep you smiling and laughing and bonding with friends the whole trip. I had so much fun that when I returned home, I could not fathom the rest of the summer without my fellow ILE’ers. Don’t worry, I made it through the rest of summer. I still talk to some of my closest friends from the trip daily and miss them dearly. We have crossed each other’s paths and are linked forever by an unforgettable summer.

I have spent many summers busy with marching band and the like. However, when I stumbled upon the opportunity to study and experience Ireland for a month, I knew that it was perfect for me. I knew from reading and speaking to a friend who went on the Irish Life Experience that this would be an amazing summer. I could not, however, have anticipated the extent of this “amazing-ness.” The ILE has touched my heart, opened my mind, and provided the most memorable experience in my life thus far!

-Molly F.-Tinley, IL-Student 2011

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Ireland High School & College Trips To Ireland

Reviewed 09/30/11