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Looking forward...

Every time I look at my calendar, I have to blink. It says that I only have 6 more weeks in Northern Ireland, but I could have sworn it was more. I have been here since January 17th which is hard to believe, but it is the truth. I have yet to come to terms with leaving this country, but alas, I must starting figuring out what I'm going to be doing this summer and how I am going to make back all the money I have been spending over here.

Some may say that 6 weeks is a really long time and before I studied abroad, I would have said the same thing, but if there is one lesson that I have learned since I've been here it is that time is precious and with a blink of an eye, it can pass you by.

I have so many things that I need to do before I leave, however. This week I have a presentations due, then I'm off to Scotland for the weekend. Next week, I have a piece of coursework due, then I am off to Normandy and Paris, France for 4 days, then it's the beginning of May. In the month of May, I only have one week of revision class, then three exams to study for and hopefully pass with flying colors. After that, May 30th will be coming up very quickly and I will be headed to Dublin to catch my flight back to the US. Although I really love it here, I'm excited to head home.

I have missed a few things from back home. My parents, mostly, followed very closely by my family away from family...the CLA Ambassadors. I've also missed having a Chipotle and a Starbucks at my fingertips. I can't wait to get back to work and see everyone in the CLA offices, but mostly I can't wait to get back to Minneapolis. The city was one of the biggest reasons that I choose to study at the University of Minnesota. I am really going to miss some thing from here, though.

I'm going to miss the people. The friends I've made here are some of the most amazing people that I have ever met. I'm going to miss drinking tea socially, the beautiful coastline, and the weather. As cliche as it sounds, I owe my study abroad experience a lot. I have learned very valuable lessons since I've been away and I've not only studied and learned at a great University, I've learned a lot about myself as well.

I remember talking to a good friend of mine last semester and he asked me why I am studying abroad. I told him that I wasn't really sure besides the facts that I love to travel and I really needed to get away and know that I could live on my own for a change. I'm sure he could tell that I was scared to go away, but he and I both knew it was something that I needed to do. I look back on that moment last semester and realize that studying abroad has helped me grow so much and I will not be returning to the US the same person, but someone who has a broader view of the world and is more understanding of my surroundings.

As I look forward to this summer and all of the activities that are being planned, I can't help but to look back on my experience abroad. Like I said, I still have 6 weeks left, but those will fly by so quickly and I will be thankful that I've had a wee bit of time to reminisce on studying abroad.

I hope the Minnesota weather is clearing up and there is no more snow coming your way. I'm sure you are sick of it as much as I am of the rain here!

Wish me luck as I'll be stuck in a whirlwind these next few weeks. I promise I will get out alive to tell about it!

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