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Auggies abroad — Katie Radford in Ireland

Radford and friends at Coral Beach. Courtesy Katie Radford.

This semester, business major Katie Radford is studying at the National University of Ireland in Galway. Below she shares some highlights of her experiences so far. Read more about Katie and her adventures abroad on her blog — Katie’s Journey in Ireland.


* Memory and Cognition psych course–300 person lecture!

* Operations Strategy business course which is actually composed of Masters students, Engineering students, and undergrad business students like me.

* International Business is also a lecture course also with 300 students and a hilarious professor.

* Irish Language for Beginners: We meet twice a week because it is an advanced course and learn how to speak Irish (otherwise known as Gaelic). Irish is very hard to learn because it is NOTHING like what we are used to and doesn’t have a base language like Latin.

* Service Learning: Literacy and Learning in the Community: This is a course that has three main parts. First we have a two hour lecture once a week where we discuss factors centered around child development and learning styles. Then we volunteer two hours a week at a local homework club. I work with 9-12 year olds at Bohermore every Thursday. Volunteering has been both rewarding and challenging. The first time kids wanted to know if I had friends on tele or if I worked for the FBI but since then I’m just another volunteer trying to get them to do their homework. One 10 year old and I have worked out a great strategy though. I help him with math and he helps me with Irish. He finds great pleasure in my inability to say things correctly. 🙂 The final component is a one hour seminar on Thursdays where we debrief what happened that week at the homework club. This is my favorite class for sure! I love working with the kids and it is a nice change of pace!

Fun/exciting bits:

* I am the Vice Chair of International Students Society and organize cultural events and trips around Ireland. Last week we took 100 students to Belfast and Derry for a historical tour of the cities. It was a fascinating yet sad experience to hear and see how the conflict has literally divided the cities for centuries.

* Spent a weekend in the Gaeltacht at a homestay to practice my Irish. The weekend was full of class, pubs, a Gaelic Catholic Mass service, cailees, and me being completely confused when trying to strive up conversations with the locals!

* I was in an epic cardboard battle in front of the Quadrangle which is the administration building that pretty much looks like a castle. Just for fun here is a video of it. I am the one in a black and white flower box.

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