Kate O'Donnell - “The beginning of my life in Ireland: how I got here”


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 journey that got me to Maynooth is quite interesting. When I was applying for college, I never would have imagined studying abroad in Ireland, or even becoming a full-time student here. It originally began with my application to the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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I always knew that I wanted to attend college far away from my hometown in St. Louis, Missouri. When I was accepted into UNCW, I was given the option to study abroad at Maynooth University for the first semester. I had never considered studying abroad, so I was so excited to take on the experience. I was so nervous at first because I had never been out of the US, and I didn’t know any of the other students in the program.

When I finally arrived in Ireland, I instantly fell in love. The different culture, the beautiful new landscape and some of the friendliest people I had ever met replaced my nervousness with a sense of adventure. Although I was only in Ireland for one semester, I had the opportunity to travel all around the country and even to a few other countries in Europe like France, Spain, and Denmark. That first semester I grew and learned so much. I gained a new sense of independence and exploration and I was learning new things about myself.