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Pre-Departure Series Introduction

🎶 “Who am I? Who am I? 24601!” 🎶

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God bless Twitter.

Before I explain, let me introduce myself. My name is Elena Montes. I’m 18, half American and half Spanish, and live in Houston, Texas. Well, to be fair, the suburbs of Houston. Quite different.

I attend the University of Oklahoma – I just finished my first year – and have been granted the unbelievable pleasure of becoming an exchange student at University College Cork for the whole of the next academic year.

Thanks to the lovely social network Twitter, I was welcomed into the UCC family early (and followed by the university’s official Twitter – ahh!) and introduced to Caela Provost, UCC’s U.S. Representative. We began to tweet each other, then turned to more sophisticated communication channels (Gmail) to continue our conversation.

To my delight, she invited me to become an international student ambassador for UCC. So, as part of that venture, I will be sharing my experiences before, during, and after my time in Cork on the beautiful landscape of the Internet. I will do this in a very forward-thinking, multimedia fashion, using writing, images, video, and perhaps even podcasts and radio to relay stories to all of you!

And so, it is with great excitement that I introduce you to Part One, aptly named the Pre-Departure Series. Over the next few weeks, I will share with you my excitement, fears, and freak-outs as I prepare for this international move to Ireland.

First, you should get to know me a little better. I am interested in a great many subjects, but I am currently a Creative Media Production major. However, a very recent decision means that I’ll soon be switching to Computer Science: my new-found academic love.

My other academic interests include math, creative writing, and astrophysics. My personal interests, among many, include music (making & listening), watching films and TV, reading ridiculous trivia about said films and TV, cycling, dreaming about traveling, actually traveling, reading, drinking tea and coffee (don’t make me choose), surfing the web, baking cookies, and knitting.

As for Cork, I cannot even tell you how excited I am to have decided to study in Ireland. For months, I went back and forth between several different universities – I’m horrible at decision-making. The news that I would only be allowed to apply to three exchange programs was the most devastating thing I’d heard all year. But, after much turmoil, I decided to apply to UCC and eventually to commit to it! What drew me in was the beauty of the country and its culture, the university’s fantastic academic and cultural reputation, and, partly, my own distant Irish roots (which, although distant, can still be seen in my pale skin and tendency for full-face blushing).

It’s unbelievable that in less than four months, I’ll be hopping on a flight to Ireland. In the meantime, follow my journey as I plan the next chapter of my life!

Thanks for reading.

– Elena

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