Margaret Selsor '12
Margaret Selsor '12
While in Ireland she was not only able to pursue her academic interests but experience Ireland’s beautiful landscape and its culture through the help of her classmates and fellow teammates on the club field hockey team.
Why did you choose Ireland?
Initially, I was nervous about going abroad, so I wanted to be somewhere [where people] spoke English. I had been to England before, but never Ireland. I was excited to go somewhere new and attempt to survive for four months, and was looking for a place where I thought I would feel comfortable. Ireland was beautiful (it did not rain everyday!); the people were friendly, and I felt safe the whole time I was abroad.
What did you learn outside the classroom?
I learned that you literally have to bend over backwards 80 feet in the air to kiss the Blarney Stone [the stone of eloquence], so the gift of eloquence does not come easy! I also learned that you cannot approach the edge of the Cliffs of Moher, which are 400 feet high. However, Dún Aonghasa, a pre-historic stone fort on the Aran Islands is only 100 feet high and you can go right to the edge. Also, you could be driving on a major highway going 65 mph, and the road would suddenly become a two-lane road through the mountains with the same speed limit. The road would twist and turn, but it was so beautiful and I was able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Ireland--including lots of sheep!
What is the most surprising thing that happened to you there?
Another Haverford girl and I joined the club field hockey team at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Many of my fondest memories from my trip involve the hockey team and I loved playing with them. It was so much fun to getting to know the Irish girls, and seeing our similarities and differences. I experienced Irish culture, got to see their world views, and learn what mattered the most to them. While I wouldn’t say what I learned was surprising, I really appreciated being able to get to know the team, and they helped me learn a lot about myself.
What did you bring back?
I brought back some Irish slang. A lot of what they said left you feeling happy and positive. For example instead of just saying “thank you,” the Irish would say, “Cheers”" or “Thanks a million.” Add the Irish accent, and I did feel like a million bucks. If something was good it was “sound,” and if it was awesome, it was “class.” I also learned how to have the “craic,” [pronounced “crack”] which is the greatest, most wonderful time you could ever have--and you can only experience it in Ireland!