International Connections


Natalie Nelson

Major: Kinesiology and Health



Year: Freshman
Hometown, State: Johnston, IA

Type of experience: Faculty-led study abroad program
Experience: Experience Kinesiology in Ireland
Experience website: http://isuabroad.iastate.edu/?go=KINIreland
Destination: Dublin, Ireland

Overall experience..
Ireland was an experience of a lifetime! When we weren't out exploring the beautiful country, we were taking a course on health, fitness, and nutrition. We were in class only eight days of the nineteen days we spent abroad. The course was taught by four different professors. Most of which were from Ireland, and even some were from Australia. Learning about health by professors from all around the world encouraged our class as a whole to see health from all different perspectives.

I learned...
I first learned about study abroad programs in Ireland at my freshman orientation. I knew then that I wanted to study abroad. During my fall semester I researched different opportunities to go abroad. It was a very easy, straight forward process. I came across a three week kinesiology trip, and I sent an email to the contact provided. I then kept getting updates on the program, I applied, and then got accepted.

An impact to my life...
This experience has undoubtedly made me into a worldlier person. It opened my eyes to how other people live, and showed me that what is normal to me, isn't necessarily someone else's normal. There were multiple occasions where I was forced to be independent, which helped me grow as a person. I think that is a very important part of studying abroad; it forces you out of your comfort zone. Academically, this was a great way to get three credits done. It was a condensed, fast, and exciting way to learn. As for the future, I have no doubt that my time abroad will help separate me from future applicants as we are all vying for spots in the same career.

I will never forget...
The entire trip was memorable, but one specific experience stands out among the rest. On one of our free days, myself and five other Iowa State students ventured off to a place called Howth Harbor. We took a train about 30 minutes out of Dublin, and spent the day at the most beautiful and calm place I have ever been. We simply walked, talked, ate, and took pictures for hours, and I couldn't have been happier with the simplicity of the day. I would go back in an instant!

Advice for others...
Even if you are a little hesitant to study abroad, do it! You will not regret it! Not only will you see the world, but you will make memories that will last a lifetime. You will meet the most wonderful people, and you'll share all your experiences with them. Look into applications early on, and talk to your advisor about what program is best for you. Also, make sure you go to the study abroad fair to learn more about all these amazing opportunities.

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