Maggie Moriarty - 2015 Program Participant

Sunset over Santorini, Greece


Why did you decide to apply for an international program?

For the longest time, my mother would always tell me that she regretted not studying abroad while she was in college. I knew that when I got to college that studying abroad would be a necessity for me. After being at UMass for two and a half years, I just felt like I needed a change and wanted to be completely out of my comfort zone. I applied to an international program to do something different than what I have been used to and to explore the world.

Why did you choose CAPA International Education?

Prior to choosing CAPA, I had not done any internship. CAPA stuck out to me because not only did it allow the chance to study and travel abroad, but it guaranteed students an internship, something I felt I could not pass up.

What was your favorite part about Dublin?

Dublin is an amazing city in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Every single day I was amazed that I had the chance to walk the streets of a place with such history and charm. My favorite part of Dublin was simply the people. They are the friendliest people I have ever encountered, and although I was a foreigner, they still made me feel like I was home.

Walking the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher

In your opinion, what makes CAPA’s programs unique?

CAPA is unique mainly because of the internship. I think it's so amazing that I had the chance to work in Dublin with 40-something-year old professionals and had the chance to share my input. CAPA Dublin specifically is also unique because the home university, Griffith College, has a huge international student base. Unlike a lot of other study abroad programs, I was taking classes with students from not only Ireland but also the UK, China, and India.

CAPA Dublin thrives off of international experience and I learned so much due to that.

How did local staff support you throughout your program?

The CAPA advisor, Susanne Bach, is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met in my life. She made all of us feel so comfortable upon our arrival and I think we all considered her to be our abroad “mother”. Whenever I had a question, Susanne was willing to sit down with me and answer any and everything. I'm so lucky that Susanne was there because she truly cared about all of us as individuals.

Celebrating St. Patricks Day in Dublin, Ireland

St Paddy's Day

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?

I wish that I focused on traveling around Ireland more than traveling out of Ireland. I think a lot of students who study abroad focus on traveling to the most countries that they get caught up and forget to explore their own. I saw so much of Ireland, but there is so much that I still need to go back and see!

Describe an average day in the life of a CAPA Dublin participant.

An average day in CAPA Dublin involved me waking up around 9 a.m. and heading to my two classes. After my classes I would head to my internship at the Irish Innocence Project, which luckily happened to be on the Griffith College campus. After about five hours of work, I would head back to my dorm and catch up on homework and communicate with friends and family from home. A few nights a week I would also go out with CAPA friends and get dinner and sometimes catch an Irish Trad session (Irish Traditional Music Session) and engulf in the culture!

What did you enjoy doing on your free time?

I loved just walking the streets of Dublin. By walking I got to learn the city quickly, and see Irish people first hand and felt like I belonged. I also loved when I went to Irish Step and Irish Music sessions because it allowed me to immerse in the culture. If I wasn't in Dublin, then I was exploring other countries with friends!

What type of accommodation did you have? What did you like best about it?

I lived in a suite at Griffith College with three other roommates. I liked being so close to my classes and my internship. I also felt really safe being in a dorm-like campus because I felt protected and not out in the middle of the city. Being so close with all my CAPA peers was also great for socializing and getting together.

Girl holding the Irish flag at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

With Irish tricolour at the Cliffs of Moher

Now that you're home, how has your program in Dublin impacted your life?

I learned so much about myself while abroad. I learned that I can truly accomplish anything that I put my mind to. I went abroad completely by myself not knowing anyone, and because of that I was able to be me and do what I wanted to do. I learned to stress and worry less because everything is going to be ok. If I can plan a weekend trip and fly to an airport in Rome by myself, then I think I can do anything that comes my way!