The UConn Education Abroad program allows students to gain rich experience in other cultures by immersing themselves in the educational and social life of another country. At UConn, more than 400 programs are available, spanning 54 nations. In the 2017-18 academic year, about 19 percent of the graduating class had participated in one of the programs, well above the national average of 10 percent. Here is one of them.
Name: Ashley Jacques
Education Abroad program: Dublin, Ireland, summer of 2018
About: Jacques is a native of Franklin, Massachusetts, and was attracted to UConn because of its School of Business. She was originally looking for a smaller school, but visited the Storrs campus at the encouragement of her parents, who wanted her to look at larger institutions with broader opportunities. When she graduates next year, she is interested in a career that involves corporate social responsibility.
How did you select the summer program in Dublin?
“I always knew I wanted to go abroad and study, based on recommendations. It’s one of those things that people say if you have the opportunity to do it, you should. I was not sure if I could handle something for a full semester, so I started to look at some of the summer options. The Dublin program had business classes and an internship, everything I wanted.”
What classes did you take, and who did you do an internship with?
“I took two classes at UCD (University College Dublin) – a general Ireland international business class where I learned about Irish culture and business, and a business and global development class that dealt with third world countries.
“My internship was in the Financial District with an infant tech company that created software to help small to medium businesses with foreign exchange hedging. I worked in the digital marketing department.”
What was living in Ireland like?
“I loved Ireland. It’s a completely different pace of life from what we are used to. Everyone is more intentional about the things they do, and the people really value a good work-life balance. The culture is very vibrant and there’s always something going on. I am now kicking myself that I did not do a full semester.
“I traveled a lot outside of the city and also went to London for a weekend.”
Now that it is over, would you recommend Education Abroad to others?
“Yes! [Interim associate director of Education Abroad] Laura [Hills] has me talking to other people interested in programs, and I am telling them to go for it. I have been telling students about what I did and answering questions. I want them to have the same experience I did!”