Beth Keeley, former student at DCU - Philadelphia Rose
Beth Keeley, this year's Philadelphia Rose, is a former student of Journalism and Communications at Dublin City University. Beth took part in a CIEE study abroad programme in 2006, and is now working as a web content coordinator in the US.
Read Beth's description of her time at DCU:
While I was at Temple University in Philly, I decided that I wanted to spend a semester in Ireland. I always wanted to visit Ireland - I had never been and nearly all of my ancestors are from Ireland (Up Donegal and Mayo!).
DCU came as the most recommended school in Ireland for international students to attend. DCU had a reputation of working well with international students and all of the credits and classes would transfer well back to my school in Philadelphia. DCU was also connected with CIEE, a study abroad program that I felt would really help me adjust at DCU. I signed up to attend DCU during the fall of 2006 and elected to live in the student dormitories (we were given the option of living with host families). I lived in the dorms behind the Hub.
I was enrolled as a Journalism/Communications student at DCU. Also, as a CIEE participant, I had Irish culture and history lessons, as well as school field trips to Galway, Belfast and the Aran Islands. I loved the classes I took at DCU - In fact, I still have all of the essays I wrote while at DCU saved on my computer! In my free time, I travelled to Cork, Drogheda and Donegal, as well as Scotland.
The four months I spent as a student at DCU in Ireland were the most memorable of my life. In the dormitories, I lived with two other Irish students, a German student and a Spanish student. Such culture! They introduced me to things such as Podge and Rodge, Father Ted and shrimp flavoured crisps.
DCU was very different from my home school, Temple University. It was much smaller and the students were much more close knit. It was such a change coming from one of Philadelphia's largest colleges. I signed up for the women's rugby team and all of the players welcomed me immediately. Coming from such a large school in Philadelphia, I can't say the same thing would have happened back home. I was instantly welcomed and accepted as one of the teammates. And, of course, the Hub was always the fun spot to go. I celebrated my 21st birthday at the Hub!
As soon as I arrived in Ireland and attended DCU, I immediately felt at home. I arrived in Ireland not knowing single soul. And today, nearly six years later, I still keep in touch with my former classmates. In fact, a friend of mine from DCU, Seamus Garry, attended Portloaise this past June for my on stage interview in the Rose of Tralee semi-finals! Attending DCU allowed me to live and study in Ireland, explore my Irish heritage and make friendships that will surely last a lifetime. As I come back to Ireland as a Rose of Tralee finalist, I will carry all of my DCU memories with me.