Human Rights in Dublin
How did you live your study?
The ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin program was in many ways the perfect program for me precisely because it gave me the opportunity to live my study.
As an ILR student with aspirations to be an international labor/human rights advocate, I benefitted greatly from the exposure my time at UCD gave me to the theory and practice of international business and labor relations. Getting to study the European Social Model, including through a class visit to the European Union Parliament in Brussels, has irrevocably shaped my understanding of how countries can, as a united front, work to address humanitarian crises.
Now, more than ever, I see myself as a citizen of the world with the responsibility to fight oppression on a global scale. Such a realization would not have been possible if not for the people I had met and the knowledge I had gained during my time in Dublin.
What moment from your time abroad do you treasure the most?
I think the beauty of studying abroad is that every moment feels like something exhilarating, unique, and treasurable.
However, if I was to make a list, visiting Howth with my ILR cohort during one of our first weekends in Ireland would definitely make my top 3. Just a short DART ride away from the hustle and bustle of town, Howth—with its watchful green cliffs, fleets of small white boats, and quaint houses with brightly painted doors—was my first exposure to what I thought of as the quintessential Ireland.
As we hiked up the cliffs where William Butler Yeats spent part of his childhood or walked along the bay used to receive rifles for the Irish Volunteers, I felt awash with excitement for everything the semester would bring. Surrounded by strangers that would soon become friends and a sheep-speckled countryside that would soon feel like home, that first trip to Howth will be a moment I will cherish for decades to come.
How did these opportunities complement your Cornell education?
My time at Cornell is, albeit fully by my own volition, perennially busy. Between my full course load, my research job, and my extracurriculars, I spend more hours running around on campus —coffee in hand —than I'd care to admit.
The ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin was a much-needed hiatus from such a lifestyle: it gave me the chance to genuinely relax for what felt like the first time in my collegiate career. I spent carefree hours cooking dinner with friends and exploring new cities. My time in Dublin was both an essential complement to my hectic life at Cornell and, upon my return, a constant reminder to (at least occasionally) not move so quickly through life that I don't leave myself time to enjoy the moment.