Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Every goodbye makes the next hello closer."

The SIT Spring 2013 Group during Orientation

I don’t know why I have such a problem with goodbyes. I’ve only noticed this about myself in the past few years. That urge to push the thought out of your mind until the last possible moment when it sneaks up on you. You feel it slowly bubbling in your stomach then all of a sudden it smacks you hard in the face when you begin to realize that you are not only saying goodbye to people, but also an experience.

I knew my experience of studying abroad would be amazing wherever I ended up. But I ended up in Ireland and for four months, that was my world. I saw incredible sites from the cliffs of the Aryan Islands to forests of Glendalough to the beaches of Donegal. I learned more than I could ever imagine about Irish history, the Northern Ireland conflict, and myself. I met some amazing people along the way: my Dublin host mother Carmel, the Lyttles – my host family in Derry, my academic director Aeveen, and many experts and lecturers who challenged us to look deeper into everything we studied.

But this is not just MY experience. I shared it with seven other students and this will forever be OUR experience. As John Donne said, “No man is an island, entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” In my mind, it is impossible to separate these people from Ireland because it was with them that I experienced it. When I think of Ireland, I will always think of each and every one of them and remember how we all progressed through this journey together. So Arnela, Katie, Sean, Tyler, Holden, Danny, and Mike, I want to thank you for some of the best few months of my life. I hope that our group hug in the streets of Galway was not our last. We must remember, “Every goodbye makes the next hello closer.”

The group the day before we went our separate ways.
Picture was taken on Innismore, Aran Islands in front
of a fort built in 2nd century BC


  1. Elena, Thank you for sharing your experiences. I enjoy reading them and I learn from them.

  2. Elena,
    You are so wise! Good for you for opening yourself up to these types of challenges. It's not that you are fearless; but rather your willingness to make yourself vulnerable, that provides these types of life-changing experiences! You have now had this new, amazing adventure, with its many unknowns and emotions - all of which have left their mark on you. You are now a different person because of this semester in Ireland and your relationships with the many amazing people you have met along the way. Smart girl for putting yourself out there - and for taking it all in! AND, we can't wait to have you back home again!