Victoria Collins, Ireland

March 29, 2017

"Say yes to everything," says Victoria, "Don’t let your fear hold you back and get out of your comfort zone."
Where did you go?  Galway, Ireland

What was the most culturally shocking thing you experienced or observed?  While traveling in Florence, Italy with a friend, I tried to communicate with the locals in Italian while my friend only spoke in English. When I asked them about studying abroad and what experiences they wanted to gain they replied with “I’m only here to see things.” Their American entitlement is what really shocked me about being abroad.

What was the most rewarding part of studying abroad?  One of the most rewarding parts about studying abroad was staying in a homestay and building a relationship with my host. My host mother was a cultural anthropologist who worked in Zimbabwe. I was really intrigued by her large collection of eggs, feathers, and other cool stuff she had collected throughout her life. Throughout the four months I was there she made me feel at home and we still keep in contact.

How was being an anthropology major prepare you or help you while being abroad?  Being an anthropology major made me more aware of my surroundings and more observant of the people around me. I noticed things I probably would not have noticed like the different teaching styles of professors from Ireland vs. professors from Italy. I also noticed how diverse the student body was.

What are your plans for the future?  In the future I hope to be working in forensics or going to the police academy. After college I will probably take a year off.

What do you think other anthropology students should know before going abroad?  Say yes to everything! Don’t let your fear hold you back and get out of your comfort zone. Also, learn how to budget!

How did your experiences traveling abroad change your expectations for travelling in the US?  Traveling in Europe can sometimes be more spontaneous, so use that here in the U.S. Go on more adventures even if you don’t have a plan, you’ll figure it out along the way.