Genevieve Hepworth

Genevieve (Genny) knows she wants to work as a pediatric physical therapist. When she isn’t studying she enjoys spending time outdoors, reading leisurely, and making time for close family and friends.

Genny flies off to Ireland

Genny first heard about the new Ireland study abroad for kinesiology students at the study abroad fair. She knew she wanted to go overseas, but she also didn’t want to spend an entire semester abroad. Since the Ireland program only lasted a few weeks, she decided it was perfect.

On May 25, 2016, she met up with her fellow classmates and boarded the flight to Ireland. At first she didn’t know anyone, but she realized connecting with people in a short amount of time was necessary – here and in her future physical therapy career.

“I didn’t know anyone,” she said. “We were a group of fifteen people thrown together and had to get along. I think that’s important because when you get a job, you probably won’t be with your friends. You’ll have to learn to get along with coworkers.”

The first part of the trip was spent studying at the University College Dublin. Even though she only took one course, Genny felt she learned a lot.

“We talked about nutrition, body image, and exercise,” she said. “It felt like a lot of our classes combined into one. It was really interesting.”

In addition to learning in the classroom, Genny explored various areas of the country including the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and other towns. She learned a lot about Ireland’s history and culture — which she feels was a highlight of her experience.

“Exploring a different culture and learning about their history through experiences was one of the best parts about the trip,” she said.

Between sea kayaking, hiking, and going out dancing in pubs, Genny found herself able to try new things, something she hopes future study abroad students do as well.

“Be open and try things you normally wouldn’t,” she said. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Genny said she enjoyed every minute of her experience, and hopes the department decides to continue the study abroad after this first trial.

“It’s a great program,” she said. “I hope they continue it. It’s especially great for those that don’t want to spend the full semester abroad.”