'A special, once-in-a-lifetime adventure'

regan wortley

Regan Wortley on the coast of Northern Ireland by the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Because her spring semester in Dublin was a University of Rochester-sponsored program, Regan paid the normal tuition and housing fees, and all of her scholarships transferred over.  She also received the Hajim School International Experience Scholarship.

“Study abroad is a truly unique experience that I would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat,” says Regan Wortley ’17, a mechanical engineering major who spent her spring 2016 semester at Dublin City University in Ireland.

“It is an eye-opening experience that throws you into situations that force you to be independent, organized, and outgoing.  And in this process, you learn a lot about yourself, the people around you and your environment. “

Indeed, her favorite part of traveling was “getting to know the people in different cities and countries,” Regan says.  “It helped me gain an understanding for different ways of life, all the while bridging new friendships.”

Here’s Regan’s list of particularly memorable experiences during her semester abroad:

  • Going to my first Irish pub and drinking my first Guinness.
  • Coming back to my hostel one evening in Cork and spending the evening drinking. tea and talking with an Irish Innkeeper about Irish politics and culture.
  • Learning to play traditional Irish sports such as Hurling and Gaelic Football and then going to watch those sports played professionally.
  • Going to my favorite coffee shop in downtown Dublin to study.
  • Driving for 5 hours across Norway to get to a fjord and spending the day hiking and exploring.
  • Eating French pastries at 5 a.m., then heading to the Louvre to beat the crowds.

 The study abroad application process was relatively easy, Regan says. “Since I was applying through IES, the deadline for each form was very clear and I was provided with constant reminders.  Also it was easy to retrieve the needed information because I was able to work closely with the (Department of Mechanical Engineering) chair and study abroad advisor, Professor John Lambropoulos, who was very knowledgeable and helped me through the entire process.”

 Lambropoulos also helped confirm that the three engineering courses she took in Dublin would count toward her degree requirements here. She also completed a cluster requirement by taking a psychology course, and also fit in a sociology class that she wanted to “take for fun.”

Because the University or Rochester does not count lab courses taken abroad, Regan juggled her schedule here, delaying a lab course until senior year, and taking an equivalent senior year course in Dublin.

It was worth it.

“Being able to travel and experience different places, languages and cultures made for a special, once-in-a-lifetime adventure,” Regan says.

There is no shortage of castles in Ireland! Regan visited Blarney Castle, located near Cork, at left, with Katy Smith, and also Bunratty Castle in Western Ireland. at  right, with Grace Caza and Sophia Mlawer, all three of whom are also University of Rochester students who studied abroad in Europe during spring 2016.