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Study Abroad Blog

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Making My Way to Galway: Why I picked Ireland

When I first found out I had been accepted into CEA Galway, I was on my way to class. There was nothing special about the day or the time; no magic ray of light through the pouring rain of the afternoon (rain is completely normal in the city I go to school in, just north of Seattle), and no voice calling from above. In fact, I was standing in line for a bus onto campus when I decided to check my email, so it felt just like any other day. The only sign I had was a song I had been listening to by an Irish group started playing through my headphones, and suddenly I knew. Reading that message was one of the best moments of my life, because for me studying abroad wasn't just something I had stumbled upon randomly, this was a dream I had been working towards for most of my life.
 My first sight!

My family is very connected to our roots, and set in a happy tradition that we love to follow every year. Whether that is gathering for Thanksgiving dinner, taking all the cousins and dogs to get Christmas pictures with Santa, or decking our house out for St. Patrick's day surrounded by friends, it's always a part of our plan. We love to travel together and meet in new places and Ireland has always been a destination we were working for. Three generations ago, my whole family resided in Ireland, but left to move to Boston. Now that I'm here, they get to come visit! So, cue some emotional tears about finally arriving at one of my lifelong dreams (my group is calling this 'Galway Moments', and we've all had a few so far), add some complete tourist moments, and a dash of wanderlust, and here you have the beginning of my time in Galway.
 One of the buildings at NUIG

There are some fun facts about my stay as well! Galway is sister cities with my home town, Seattle, and it was commemorated with a stone monument the same year I was born, so I knew Ireland was where I would travel, but that made up my mind for Galway. There is nothing I regret about coming here, and I can't wait to see what else is in store.
 A claddagh ring with Galway Bay in the background

Carrie Stinogel is the Fall 2014 MOJO in Galway, Ireland. She is currently a junior at Western Washington University. 

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