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Erica Hadad Studies Abroad In Ireland

Erica Hadad poses for a photo in front of mountains.

BEVERLY, Mass. – For the entire 2017 spring semester, Endicott women's volleyball student-athlete Erica Hadad (Salem, N.H.) studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland. It's an experience she will never forget. 

"My study abroad experience was amazing. I had the best four months of my entire life in Ireland," said Hadad. "I also made many new friends that will remain in my life forever, gained independence and the ability to travel on my own. Along with that, I learned how to be aware of my surroundings to remain safe and to read a map efficiently. Throughout my experience, I was able to talk to many Irish people and learned the culture and many fun facts about Ireland through them. I also met people from all around the world and realized that everyone spoke a little bit of English so the language barrier did not stop us from communicating." 

Over the course of her trip in Ireland, Hadad traveled to 11 countries. Her favorites throughout the trip were Krakow, Poland, and Prague, Czech Republic. She also learned plenty about the Irish culture and took all of her elective classes, all of which had to do with Ireland, while she was abroad. 

"It was amazing to hear all about the history and current events happening from my Irish professors. I learned so much about the country and I was able to take all of the information I gained out in my explorations," said Hadad. "One class that really stood out to me was Inequality in Ireland. I was able to take Inequality in America at Endicott so it was really cool to compare the two. The Irish grading system and classes are very different than in America. I had to get used to the big class sizes as well as not having any class work throughout the semester. My whole grade was based on a midterm test or essay and a final exam. I really had to study in the middle of the semester and end to get a good final grade." 

Hadad continued. 

"Also, we had to walk about a mile from University College Dublin to a big warehouse. Inside the warehouse, there were about 3,000 desks set up. This is where all of the final exams took place. It was crazy and very intimidating at first," said Hadad. "I've never had to take a test with 3,000 other people in a room before. There were many different classes taking the test at the same time. It was definitely something I had to get used to." 

Aside from getting used to the differences in test taking overseas, Hadad wondered if she'd get homesick while away. Luckily, that was never the case. 

"I have never traveled by myself and I was scared that I would become homesick while I was overseas even though my best friend and teammate Mareena Clotfelter was with me and we could lean on each other during the trip," said Hadad. "Surprisingly, I was not homesick at all and learned that I was able to travel by myself and survive by meeting amazing people and discovering the world on my own. I learned so much more about myself and gained more confidence."


"Yes, I would highly recommend studying abroad to other students. It opens up your understanding of the world and makes you realize the many different cultures," said Hadad. "It is an opportunity offered through school that you should not pass up." 


"I had many favorite experiences throughout my four months. It is impossible to just choose one! I went from looking at the beautiful landscapes of Ireland to sitting under the Eiffel Tower in Paris to exploring the Colosseum and ruins in Rome," said Hadad. "Every city and country I went to and everything that I saw could be considered my favorite experience. One experience that I could never forget was touring Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel was the most amazing thing to see. The art and painting throughout the museums and St. Peter's Basilica were sites that I will hold in my memory forever. Also, spending St. Patrick's Day in Dublin was always a dream of mine. I am glad that I am able to say that I watched the big parade on the streets of Dublin." 


"My friends and I were sitting in one of the pubs in Ireland listening to the live music and the singers picked my friends and me out of the crowd to talk to. We ended up exchanging our names and for some reason, they loved my name," said Hadad. "They eventually forced me to go up to the front and do an Irish Gig in front of the whole pub. It is safe to say that I am not the best dancer ever so it sure was a site to see. At the time I was pretty mad that I had to go dance but after seeing the video that my friend took I found it very funny. I am glad I could give every Irish person in the pub a good laugh and I met a lot of people that night."


Following the College's philosophy to "learn by doing" through experiential learning, the study abroad program & its international internships prepare students at Endicott for success by offering alternative academic understanding, social & cultural literacy and life-changing experiences. Through semester-long academic study, faculty-led trips, and/or 3-to-15 week internships abroad, students gain new confidence and self-awareness, and obtain the skills necessary for success in today's economy.

"Globalization is here to stay, and students who want to work in our interconnected global world should study or intern abroad.

Despite the inevitable increasing global competition for jobs, American graduates lack the international experience, language capabilities and cross-cultural communication skills necessary to succeed in the global economy.

Making education abroad a part of their college education is the most effective and accessible means for students to develop needed skills because it pushes a student to get out of her comfort zone to experience another culture, language, environment and education system. It teaches students to appreciate difference and diversity firsthand and enables them to recognize — and then dismiss — stereotypes they may have held about people they had never met.

Learning how to interact with people from other countries and cultures equips future leaders in all sectors to address urgent issues — from curing diseases and finding energy solutions, to fighting terrorism and hunger — shared across borders." 

(Photo Credit - Erica Hadad)

The Endicott Experience feature aims to highlight the entirety of the student-athletes' experiential learning journey throughout their academic careers. The student-athlete at Endicott is afforded the same opportunities as the general student population at the College as it relates to internships, study abroad, and postgraduate career pursuits. This philosophy mirrors the mission statement of the College which every student is encouraged to take intellectual risks, pursue scholarly and creative interests, contribute to the community, and explore diverse career paths. Read more Endicott Experience features by navigating the links below.   

INTERNSHIP: Fall 2015 | 2014-15 Internships Fall 2016 Semester-Long Gulls "Learn By Doing" On Winter Break | 442 Student-Athletes Complete Internships During 2016-17 Academic Year
STUDY ABROAD: Studying Abroad as a Student-Athlete at Endicott | James Dwyer Focuses on Opportunities Abroad in Switzerland with Les Roches Global Hospitality | Endicott Student-Athletes Study Abroad in Asia | Holly Erbe Studies Abroad in London, Paris, Amsterdam | Andrea Courtemanche Gains New Perspectives Through Study Abroad Trip | 
ACADEMICS: Emily Sharpe and Eric Owens Balance STEM and Sport at Endicott | Kendra Walters, Creating Her Own Happiness Through Art at Endicott
CAREER OUTCOMES: Internships Lead To Career Outcomes | 2015 Graduates Find Immediate Success in Job Market

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