Dia duit! My name is Lily Rhuda. I am a junior biomedical engineering major(Class of 2023) here at Syracuse University and I was able to study abroad through the World Partner Program at the University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.
As an engineering student, people often think that it is super hard to go abroad but I’m hoping that through my experience and what I can contribute to the Ambassadors that I can help change that perspective! I was led to my program by my advising staff and one of my fav professors, shout out Dr. Yung, because while it’s not difficult to go as an engineer we do have to be careful about choosing our program.
I chose UCD because after doing a bit of research, that was my best option for going abroad as a Junior and it was in Europe, which is where I’ve always wanted to go. While sophomore year is ideal for bioeng majors I was unfortunately not able to go because of COVID. Honestly so happy that happened because I would not trade my experience in Dublin for anything!
I spent my semester living and learning at UCD which is just about the city of Dublin. I stayed in the university accommodation which was great because I was able to get much more involved with my organizations and friendships on campus. While I was there I was able to join the women’s club rugby team and the engineering society and both were great craic! The rugby team was an awesome way to meet new people because in addition to all the Irish girls there were a bunch of other international students on the team. It was so great to have the opportunity to bond with them in a team environment like that and now I’ve also got tons of connections for my future travels!
Speaking of travel, that was 100% one of my favorite things about studying abroad. I was able to travel extensively within Ireland and Northern Ireland. The UCD Study Abroad program had several weekends of day trips to famous destinations that were completely free for us, and my friends and I went on every single one of them. My favorite was probably the first weekend where we got to kayak through the Irish sea out to an island, climbed up a mountain(not a crazy hike lol) to get some panoramic views of the coastline, and finally did some cliff jumping at the local baths. In addition to those trips, I traveled with my friend and with my family when they came to visit.
Part of what I loved about traveling around Ireland was that anything could be a day trip. Which gave us so much flexibility. My absolute favorite trip of the semester was taking a long weekend and going up to Belfast with a big group of my friends. We went on a game of Thrones film location tour(One of the best days of my life) and to Giants Causeway. This will forever be one of my favorite trips and I will look back on these memories for my whole life!
I know it sounds clichébut looking back on my time in Dublin I can really say that study abroad changed my life. By traveling so extensively within the country and joining the university organizations I was able to experience so much of the culture of Ireland. I can also say that I have grown so much as a person since I stepped foot in logan airport ready to embark. I also never knew how close I would get to my friends in the short time that I was there. I’m so thankful that I was able to have this experience and I will cherish it forever.
World Partner Program: Dublin, UCD