2020 Global Immersion Reflections

Reflections from our Scholars

I can still feel the wind physically pushing my body to the left, the ground feeling like it was about to cave in, and I can feel the amount of happiness I was experiencing as we got closer to the top of Diamond Hill. The mountains/hills were so beautiful I could not stop taking pictures of them because I did not know when I was ever going to experience a better view. Being from Houston, I am used to seeing big buildings wherever I go because that is all there is in a big city. Moving to South Bend for college was already a shock to me because it was so different from Houston. South Bend reminds me of a small town from what I have seen which is why I have not really left campus that much. Traveling to Ireland allowed me to see what true beauty lies outside of what I saw to be normal. Fredy Tajiboy Espinoza '23

The nuns and Western Ireland as a whole, at least what I saw, seemed to emphasize local resources and sourcing, which I feel will be important in maintaining the planet’s health in the coming decades. In the United States, I hardly ever see anything that is locally sourced or produced, especially in my hometown of Tampa. Local sourcing and producing is always such a novel concept and reminds me that globalization is not a necessity. Also, even though the nuns were selling products, they were trying to reduce their use of single-use plastics. I think the nuns definitely are doing things the world can learn from. Miguel Coste '23

I am used to things being flat and far apart enough to not need a tight alley and steps. In the historic downtown area of my city, with its tightly fit together shops, there are alleys, but they are wide, don’t have doors or windows facing into them, and don’t have steps leading up and away. The steps remind me of how uneven the terrain is in Ireland compared to where I’m from in North Texas where everything is relatively flat. Also, the windows strike me as very odd and foreign. I can’t think of any other time I have seen an alley with windows. As a civil engineer, the alley also challenges my concept of urban walkways. When I think of city planning, I think alleys are just spaces between buildings. I don’t think of steps or windows or doors. I don’t think of doorways. But now, I start to imagine how much nicer alleys can look. I think of how cozy doorways and windows look in an alley and how it makes the town somehow feel more welcoming and open. Lesli Romero '23

As a cohort each student had a topic surrounding the culture and/or history of Ireland. For example, I did a presentation on the Irish Potato Famine. Once we arrived in Ireland we did a Famine Potato Walk and actually saw land where the potatoes were grown and where the poor families lived. Through our experience we were able to connect the past with the present. This explained how everything in Ireland’s history still has some effect on Ireland today. Before we left for Ireland I coined this experience as a spiritual journey. I wanted to reflect on who I was as a person, how I can better myself, and better others.  Lala Petty '23

(For more information about our Global Immersion Program and past trips, visit here.)