by Page Austin, Harvest Lifestyle Manager
Have you ever studied abroad? At Mississippi State University—my alma mater— study abroad programs were optional and mainly geared to help you learn a foreign language. Since my major required four semesters of a foreign language, I decided to study abroad for a summer. I spent the summer of 2000 in Puebla, Mexico. I remember being so nervous about living in another country and being that far away from family. It was definitely out of my comfort zone, however, it was a life-changing experience. Learning another language and culture helped me grow as a person. It gave me a new perspective on life and opened my eyes to things that I would have never seen if I didn’t go abroad.
We have several Harvest students that have studied abroad. Grant Weitzer, a junior at Texas Tech University, studied in Ireland this summer. I was able to interview him before he headed back to Lubbock about his experience.
What is your major? I am majoring in electrical engineering at Texas Tech University.
Where did you study this summer? I studied at Maynooth University in Ireland. I took two classes towards my major, Circuits 2 and Medieval Culture of Ireland.
Why Ireland? Texas Tech has several affiliates all around the world, but for my major the affiliate in Ireland was the only option.
Have you ever been overseas before? No, this was my first experience. My major requires a study abroad program, which I am glad it did. I was a little nervous about going overseas.
What surprised you? I would say how much people used public transportation and walked everywhere. Also, the drinking age was 18. It was common to meet up with the professor at a pub for a beer and have a discussion about class. The professors in Ireland are very relaxed. The teaching style was laid back and open compared to Texas Tech. I feel like the professors at Tech are restricted and have to be politically correct all the time.
Where you able to explore Ireland? Yes! In fact, one of my classes included tours around Ireland of the monuments and castles. Also, the exchange program that I was with took us on tours so we could experience Ireland.
What did you think about the accents? Did you learn new lingo? The people I met at the university didn’t have really thick accents. When you start exploring and going around Ireland that’s when the accents got thick. It was really hard to understand them and they were speaking English. I did learn some Irish slang. People say “lads” a lot. People also say “what’s the craic” or “that was so much craic.” Craic means “what’s good” or “that was so fun.” Another word people used a lot was “gaff” which means house. For example, “I’m throwing a gaffer tonight you should come” which just means he is throwing a house party.
Would you recommend studying abroad to other students? Yes, I would highly recommend studying abroad. It really gives you a new perspective and opens your eyes to see the world in a new way. I am so glad my major required studying abroad. I was nervous to go, especially since I haven’t been overseas before, but it was really a great experience and I learned a lot. I would tell people if they are nervous or scared to study abroad to go over the summer. It’s less intimidating than going a whole semester.
Any plans to go back overseas? I would love to go back. I am considering getting my masters in Germany.
Thank you Grant for sharing your experience with us! We are so glad you had a great experience. Have a great junior year at Tech! #wreckem