“The goal of studying abroad,” says senior John Schofield, “is to experience reverse culture shock.” And in the spring of 2014, he did just that.
Schofield is a senior studying business management with a minor in economics who spent the spring of his sophomore year studying in Ireland at the Dublin Business School. Through the direct enrollment program, he had the chance to immerse himself into Irish culture, take a variety of classes to further his business career, and complete a project, which led to his decision to pursue Human Resources as a career path.
While in Dublin, Schofield had the opportunity to complete a project in Human Resource Management. While the work was rigorous, resulting in a 23-page paper and was “the most comprehensive assignment” he has had to complete for any class, this project gave Schofield the opportunity to interview the President and CEO of Fidelity Investments of Ireland, teaching him about leadership theory and the practice of leadership, tools that he has brought back to the WSU campus.
Schofield also had a lot to say about the knowledge he gained on the Irish culture out of the classroom. He enforced the hard work that he witnessed, saying that, despite our perception of the typical jolly Irish folk, the residents “tend to be hard working, self-driven individuals.” He went on to explain the rising unemployment rates in Ireland, a factor that “pushes students of our age to succeed in classes, in order to give themselves a good shot at the job market.”
As Schofield continued to explain the information about the Ireland Direct Enrollment Program—which can only be understood through experience—he told me about the hidden hotspots that Ireland had to offer, specifically, a small take out restaurant called Sorrento. As it was just a 30-second walk from his apartment, Schofield says, “I came to know the owner and his wife very well.” They became familiar faces and good friends of Schofield and he claims, “never having the chance to say bye to them is one of my biggest regrets in life so far.”
The experience that Ireland has offered Schofield is one that has forever changed his future goals and perspective on life and different cultures; and he encourages other students to take advantage of the opportunities that he had. By studying abroad, you broaden your horizons and views of the world. Says Schofield, “you begin to notice that the way you perceive the world is only your way and is not the only way.”