I have been home for a couple weeks now, after my semester abroad and then a month long trip through southern Europe. It was a long trip back home, and one that was filled with mixed feelings. I was excited to be making my way home to my family and friends, but sad to be leaving Europe, my friends abroad and the life I had for 6 months. When they tell you at the beginning of your study abroad experience that you will go through various waves of culture shock, that is so true. I think I have had a harder time adjusting back to life in Kansas City, than I had in Cork. The food is different than what I had become accustomed to, as well as the lifestyle. I became dependent on public transportation while abroad, and although we have public transportation in KC, it is not an equivalent to the transportation abroad. As someone who doesn’t have a car, that has been a very big adjustment. I am glad to be home, and glad that I lived abroad, but I now know that I will always have a second home in Ireland. I am so grateful for the experience I had abroad, and can say with confidence that I learned more in my semester abroad than in any semester of college thus far. Whenever I talk to anyone about my experience abroad, I make sure to encourage them to study abroad because it was such an amazing experience. I know it will take some more adjusting to get back into my normal routine at home, but with time time that will happen. Regardless, I will always look back on my time abroad and cherish it.
Erin Kelly is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Political Science. Erin spent the spring semester in Ireland with the University College Cork exchange program.
Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.