By now those of you that are currently studying abroad at UL are realizing that the semester is coming to an end. It may be the talk of finals in the air, the excitement of soon seeing friends and family or the sadness of leaving new-found friends.
This goodbye will be different than when you leave your home Universities at the end of each year because there will be no returning to UL in the Fall and for most of you there will be an ocean between you and everything/everyone you have grown so fond of here at UL. I studied abroad at UL which means I’ve had my ‘leaving UL moment’.
I thought it would be best to make a list of great ways to culminate your time at UL.
- Take a giant walk all around campus and the city centre. Go to your favorite haunts, where you have classes…even the places you rarely, if ever, go. Before you know it you will be in your home country missing all the little things about UL and Ireland that you took for granted such as a simple walk around campus. Make sure you take advantage of all the sights you know and love and have grown accustomed to while you still can.
- Say your goodbyes before you leave for the airport. Don’t wait until you are stressed with packing and overwhelmed with leaving to say goodbye to all the people you are going to miss. I suggest meeting up with as many as you can at your favorite pub and have an amazing going away. My last memories with my friends before I left UL aren’t of tears but of a goodbye with all my friends. We hung out and recounted all the fun stories from the semester. It was a great way to say goodbye!
- Buy trinkets! Don’t underestimate the value of corny tourism trinkets. I promise when you miss living abroad at UL and you look at the silly leprechaun shot glass sitting on your desk it will make you so happy! To be fair I think anything leprechaun themed would make anyone happy.
- Figure out how you are going to keep in touch with all of your study abroad friends! This is the most difficult suggestion to follow through with but you should do it anyway. Start up a group conversation on WhatsApp, Viber or Facebook. Maybe even try to figure out a reunion. That way you’ll have an excuse to travel more and a way to see all the friends that you’ll soon miss. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll decide to come back to UL for a masters degree and be excited that some of the friends you worked hard to keep in touch with will be here when you return – that’s what I did!
- It is so exciting that you decided to go on an adventure by studying abroad at UL! The adventure isn’t over but as you slowly prepare to go home keep in mind these little suggestions. Don’t let your going away creep up on you. Enjoy these last few weeks and then you can start planning your next great adventure!