International Connections


Sophie Puente

Major: Dietetics/Nutritional Science


Minor/option/emphasis: Exercise Science

Year: Senior
Hometown, State: New Prague, MN

Type of experience: Faculty-led study abroad program
Experience: Experience Kinesiology in Ireland
Experience website: http://isuabroad.iastate.edu/?go=KINIreland
Destination: Dublin, Ireland

Overall experience..
The Experience Kinesiology in Ireland was an incredible three week experience that didn't fall short of expectations. Ireland is an absolutely beautiful country, and we got to experience just about all of it! Dr. Franke leads an excellence itinerary that allowed informed exploration and freedom to adventure on our own. It was the perfect amount of time to get acquainted the country and its culture. The class we took was a health, fitness, and nutrition course that discussed the definition of health and open my mind to different concepts in the health field that I didn't learn at Iowa State. I left with a new sense of adventure, a new outlook on health, and feeling satisfied with my decision to study abroad!

I learned...
The Kinesiology department in the College of Human Sciences sent out an email explaining the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland. Ireland was always been a country I was interested in visiting, and it seemed to be a perfect fit. I couldn't pass it up!

An impact to my life...
I absolutely love exploring new places and trying new things. I went in with such an open mind, and I think that really helped how much enjoyment I got out of the trip. Having an open mind also helped me try things that other people were too scared to. We got the chance to try such a variety of things, and I left feeling filled with new experiences! The class we took was very interesting and definitely tested my ability to be accepting of other people’s views on health. We discussed things that haven't been discussed in my classes at Iowa State, and I really did learn a lot. Health can be defined in several ways, so the part that was most valuable was being open about how we can define it and how I'll bring that into my future studies. Besides what we learned academically, I think the experience of studying abroad challenges someone to step out of their comfort zone. You're placed in a completely new environment, so it's up to you to decide how much you want to get out of the program. In my future career I'm going to be placed in new situations all the time, so it'll be easier if I can adapt and make the most of it. Also, it enforced by ability to push myself not to be afraid to ask for help if I need it, or take the less beaten road and try something new. It brought a sense of adventure and simplicity into my life. Sometimes you just have to look at the bigger picture and be grateful for what's in front of you, and this experience helped me develop a new form of outlook on life that I believe will benefit my future career.

I will never forget...
I think one of the best things that came out of the study abroad experience was the people I met! We had a small group of Iowa State students, but they all became new friends. It was so fun being able to explore this new country we were in and do it all together. We made so many memories that truly made the experience so much better, and they're friendship I'll hold onto forever.

Advice for others...
The best advice I could give to future participants is don't hold back on your experience! You never know when you'll be back, or if you'll ever get the chance to come back again so go there with an open mind and search for adventures! Also, read up a little about the places you'll go before you get there. We got to experience so much history, and it was nice to have a background on what it all meant! Ireland landscape is astonishing, you'll never see a place like it so take pictures! Also, food is always different in another country, so don't be afraid to test your taste buds and try something new! Just be open, don't limit your ability to have a great time! Make the most out of everything!

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