By: OSI EDGE Member Erin McGrath
In recent years I have become known as the “Frequent flyer” in my family. Ever since I was a kid I have always loved planes and the idea of travel. The nineteen years of my existence, I have been traveling back and forth between Chicago and Minnesota whether I was by myself or with others, while also traveling to Disneyworld numerous amounts of times.
While traveling basically all over the country and also to Mexico, I have always had dreams about going over seas to places like Italy, Spain, England, Australia, and even Ireland. For myself the biggest dream of travel I have had is to go to Ireland. Even though I am of Irish ancestry I have always had a dying obsession for the culture, music and especially the accents!
So you could say I have been to every Irish festival near my home in Minnesota and every Saint. Patrick’s Day Parade, but have yet to go to the one here in Chicago. Thankfully… I will be able to go this year, now that I reside in Chicago! I can finally go and I am ecstatic about it, to give you an idea of how excited I am I currently have a countdown going. Which if your wondering is at 59 more days!
I’m even more excited because I have been chosen to be a finalist in the running to become the next St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen. So overall I am very Irish obsessed girl.
In regards to my obsession I have just begun my winter quarter here at DePaul and as a freshman we are required to take “Learning Studies Programs” or also known as “LSP” classes, which get us, acclimated to DePaul, Chicago, and the classroom. This quarter I decided after my application was accepted, to take a First Year Study program LSP class that is actually a study abroad program to Ireland, while learning about travel literature.
You could say that all my dreams came true when I found out about my acceptance and also the itinerary telling me that I would be staying at a “Bread and Breakfast” in a Castle!
Now that my Ireland obsession is about to be fulfilled in just about 66 days, I am nervous yet very excited. I mainly am nervous about the idea that I am not allowed to bring along a suitcase and that all my clothes have to fit in a backpack. You may say I’m being rather dramatic but for a girl that always goes over the weight limit by about twenty pounds, my packing is going to be the definition of difficulty.
Once I had found out that I was in the class my excitement ran through my veins over our 6-week long break, but quickly I had realized it was going to be much more than a leisurely vacation. At the beginning of the course we went through our syllabus and it is all becoming very real. While going on this vacation, we also go over different types of travel pieces like journals that are written during ones vacations and also problems that are going on in different countries, mainly Ireland. This class also has made me realize that I’m not very informed with problems in other countries, which made me begin research into what is going on in Ireland. While also learning about issues in other countries we observe why we travel.
I always thought we traveled just to get away or to visit others like loved ones, but after further analysis through articles we have read travel really opens up our minds. Which now when I look at it is very true because we come to do the same thing everyday and do the same old boring routines, so sometimes we need to just get away to cleanse ourselves in a way.
That brings in one of my favorite quotes, “Traveling- it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” –Ibn Batutta
Even though I am only two weeks into the course, I am overly excited that college or for that DePaul is able to give it’s students the opportunity to travel abroad, especially as a first year student.
I have always wanted to go out of the country but this day in age economically it can be very brutal on a college budget and who knows when I would be able to do such a thing once I am out of college. Which is why I’m grateful for being able to go as a first year student, because being a Health Science student it can be hard for us to go during most students ideal time (Junior year) because we are finally settling into our studies and there are not many health programs offered in other countries. As I progress through my course work I become more and more excited for what I am going to learn, while also my vacation and my obsession for Ireland to be fulfilled.
…Erin McGrath is a current freshman at DePaul studying Health Science. Erin is also a member of Delta Gamma Eta Pi Fraternity! Erin’s favorite movie is Bridesmaids because she is a huge Kirsten Wiig and Melissa McCarthy fan and she can quote basically every line in the movie!