By: dylan helstien, ’17 // Professional writing
Since Champlain College opened its abroad campus in Dublin, in 2008, over 700 students studied with Champlain Abroad in Ireland for a semester. We decided to track some of them down for interviews about their experience in Dublin, and the impact that study abroad has had on their lives.
Rachel Paz, Champlain College, Marketing’14
My name is Rachel Paz and I am part of the Champlain College Class of 2014 and originally from New Jersey. I’ve always wanted to travel and explore other parts of the world, which was a major factor for me when choosing a college. At Champlain I studied marketing with the hopes of going into advertising.
After spending the Fall of 2012 studying abroad in Dublin I decided I wanted to move abroad and live in Europe for a few years to work in digital and social media. Since graduating two years ago I have started a one-year intensive masters program at the Hult International Business School. Hult has five campuses located all around the world and currently I’m at their Boston campus.
A part of my Master of International Marketing program allows students to travel to the other campuses, so I will be going to London in May and graduating there in August. Going to school with so many international students at Hult and going back to Europe has only inspired me more to move there and pursue my career in social media.
Connect with Rachel! Twitter: @Rachel_Paz14 & Instagram: @rach_paz14.
Q: What did studying abroad mean to you when you now have had a few years to reflect.
Julia Smith, Rachel Paz and Victoria Richards in Carrick-A-Rede, Northern Ireland during their Champlain Abroad semester in Ireland, Fall 2012. Photo credit: Lilly Johnsson
A: Studying abroad meant everything to me, it was one of the main components I was looking for when choosing a college and Champlain had the best program of all the schools I was looking at. My time abroad really opened my eyes to new cultures and experiences. I was fascinated by how different everything was from what I was used to in America.
Q: What lessons did you learn while abroad?
A: I think the biggest lesson I learned was being independent and self-sufficient. It was really nice to realize I didn’t need to rely on my parents to do things for me anymore.
Q: If you could, what would you now say to yourself, just about to get on that plane to Ireland?
A: One thing I would tell myself is not to be so nervous before getting on the plane. I was really scared and wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle being abroad alone without the support of my family. After a few days though I realized I wouldn’t have any issues adjusting to life in Dublin because people there are so friendly and welcoming.
Q: How do you feel you grew while in Dublin?
A: I think I really grew up and matured during my time in Dublin. I had to learn how to figure things out for myself and not rely on my parents to do everything for me. Especially when it came to travelling in other countries, dealing with language barriers, and being able to navigate around foreign cities. Even when things went wrong or my friends and I would get lost we wouldn’t panic, we’d just figure it out. Continue reading