Name: Carina Kroff
Program: Tulane Summer in Dublin
Fields of Study: International Relations and Dance
How did studying abroad affect your academic and/or professional career?
I am an International Relations major and my goal in the summer abroad program was to figure out if I truly loved what that career entailed. Through the Dublin Summer abroad program, I confirmed that I loved learning about new places and being immersed in new cultures while analyzing politics. My intent of becoming an ambassador is something that I still want as a future career, and it was energized through studying abroad.
How did you explore your hobbies, interests, and passions abroad?
While abroad, I took two history courses. One that focused on the culture and society of Ireland and the other analyzed the independence of Ireland and the social and political dilemmas that it resulted in. I have always loved analyzing the effects of history on present day realities and I could truly see and experience it during my time in Dublin. I am also a dancer, so I loved going to see live music and dancing with the Irish.
Why would you recommend your respective abroad program or location?
Summer abroad in Dublin is a great introduction to traveling by yourself or out of the country for the first time. It’s only a month which will make one less homesick, and because Ireland is an English-speaking country, there is not an overwhelming language barrier. Additionally, Dublin has an incredibly unique culture and history with so much vivacity. The people are passionate, soulful, and the city is filled with joy.
What should students consider when applying and preparing for their time abroad?
If you are considering a summer abroad program, remember that it is one semester in a month. The program is hard work, but incredibly rewarding. You will never learn as much about the country any other way.
Share a story about a time you experienced cultural immersion.
One night I was coming back from dinner with my friend during our four-day field trip and we began a conversation about what we had been learning in our political history class with a worker in the hotel where we were staying. He recited the entire history of the Easter Rising of 1916, Ireland’s fight for independence, and Michael Collins. We had learned a few days prior that most Irish men could recite the political history of Ireland’s independence and we saw and experienced it in real time. He had so much passion for the country’s history, and we were all so engaged in the conversation. Everything he told me has stuck with me to this day.
Did your identity impact your study abroad experience?
While I was in Ireland, the news about Roe v. Wade being overturned broke. Being in a country that had fought so hard to legalize abortion recently and had so much more respect for women truly inspired me to be more active at home. I was in a country where women’s rights were advancing and at home in the United States they were being taken away. This really gave me a new perspective on my own country and the need to be even more politically and civically engaged as one’s rights can be taken away at any moment.