Kate O'Donnell - “A Day in the Life of an International Undergrad Student”


Kate O'Donnell

I'm from St. Louis, Missouri, and I am a full-time BA student at Maynooth University. I originally came to Maynooth as a study abroad student during my first year of college in 2016, and decided to continue the rest of my degree as a student at Maynooth studying Geography and International Development.

The question I get asked most often from both Irish and American friends is how my daily life is different in Ireland compared to the United States. A typical day for me living in Ireland is drastically different than in the United States. To be honest, I’d say that the biggest difference would be my eating habits.


While living in Ireland, I can’t indulge myself with Taco Bell (my favorite American fast food) or even hit up a drive-through because I also can’t drive here. While the privilege of not driving and having my own car has been frustrating at times, I have realized that walking everywhere and eating much less fast food has been really beneficial to my health.

I buy my own groceries about once a week and I have to cook for myself, which has also been quite challenging. Of course, I have college during the week as well, which is also different compared to the US in many ways. The schedule is different in that lectures start later in the year and there are breaks before exams twice a year.