It hasn’t been quite a year yet, but it’s been a while since I left behind the tiny apartment, the green hills, and the campus with two pubs.
Coming back from abroad is never easy. Credits don’t transfer the way you thought they would. The stuff left behind has to be sorted through. You have to reintegrate into your home culture. But most of all, you have to answer the famous question: “How was Ireland?”
Of course the question comes from a good place, but that doesn’t make it easy to answer. How do you answer how your year was, how your journey abroad was, how the flights were, the apartment was, the adapters, the adapting, the classes, the views, the buses, the cars, the drivers driving on the “wrong side” of the street? How does one explain in a sentence or two what it feels like being so far from home and still feeling so at home? How do you describe the sensation of returning home and realizing you’ll never get all the way home?
Maybe you describe it with pictures?
To show when family visited–
Or the holidays spent with new family–
Do you try to tell stories? Write poems? Do you have people listen to the music you heard? Drink the beers you drank?
How do you answer the question: “How was Ireland?”
I think after the last few months here in Montana I’ve finally found the best way to answer…
How was Ireland? You’ll have to find out for yourself. Tickets are cheap on Student Universe. Studying Abroad is a great way to get there. Or to France. Or to Germany. Or China. But get there. Live there. And when you get home, you can find your own way to answer the question…
“How was the trip?”
Danielle Smith is finishing her last year at the University of Montana studying English – Creative Writing. She is also a fellow of the Global Leadership Initiative and a University Scholar of the Davidson Honor College. She has a passion for language and culture, and she is studying Irish and French. In the 2013-2014 academic year, Danielle studied abroad in Cork, Ireland. Before coming to the university, she grew up in the Rocky Mountains in Eureka, Montana.