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My Manchester Story

Delaney Ray

by Mam Samba | Jun 06, 2019

Delaney Ray, a double-major in psychology and sociology, shares stories from her life-changing study abroad experience in Ireland.  

“When did you study abroad?”

“I studied abroad the fall semester of 2017 in Ireland. It was stellar. I had never left the country before. In fact I had never even flown before, so it was all of these new experiences at once. I had never been away from home for that long or been that far away, so it was kind of weird and crazy but fun and exciting.” 

“What advice would you give to students who want to study abroad?” 

“Do it. I know some students come into college thinking ‘I want to study abroad,’ but that was not me. I came in as a first-year thinking, ‘No way! I am not doing that.’ I started thinking about it my sophomore year, but I thought I didn’t have enough time. But Thelma Rohrer, the director for the office of study abroad, who’s the greatest person ever, just jumped into it with me. It was completely worth it. It’s literally the greatest time. Plus, everyone back home becomes kind of obsessed with you, checking in on you and asking you to post photos. I felt like I was famous!”

“What life lessons did you learn in Ireland?

“I learned how to be independent. I learned how to do things on my own like cooking – of course I still can’t cook whatsoever. I ate scrambled eggs for every meal, every day. I learned not to limit myself, because there were so many times I told myself ‘I can’t do this; I don’t know if I can go; I’ve never done anything like this before,’ but I did it and it was great. 

 “Above all, learning about a new culture. It was an adjustment to the weird driving and the strange scenery. It was a good culture shock though, and there were only a few times when someone would say a phrase that I didn’t understand. The first time I went grocery shopping, I was looking at some sausage, because I really like to eat sausages, and I was looking for a breakfast sausage. One said black pudding and one said white pudding … so I had to ask somebody what the difference was. One guy walked up, and he could tell that I wanted to ask a question, and he clearly did not want to talk to me, so I bothered him anyway. He told me to get the white pudding; the black pudding has oatmeal and weird stuff in it. Also, I got pizza quite a bit, and frequently they put corn on pizza! And I’m like, I’m from Indiana! The corn state! That’s not a thing! But it was actually good!” 

“What is your favorite memory from Ireland?”

One weekend, a group of friends and I decided to go to London. Flights in Europe are super cheap, so it’s easy to travel. We bought tickets for a futball game and I had never been to a big futball game before, so I was excited! I felt all big and bad, so I bought a hat and scarf for one of the teams, and even though I have absolutely no idea what’s happening in the futball world, I still am a huge fan and support that team. It was so much fun and a great experience! We also did those very stereotypical touristy things – we saw Platform 9 ¾ from Harry Potter, visited 221B Baker St. from Sherlock Holmes, ate fish and chips, saw Buckingham Palace – I kept waiting for one of the princes to come out and propose to me, but neither did – we saw Big Ben and a lot of cool other stuff! London is unbelievably beautiful and I’m so lucky that I was able to study abroad in a country that allowed me to travel to other places and see and experience so much more.”