USA native and Arts student Elanor McDevitt answers the common question of “Why Ireland?”

Choosing Ireland

One of the questions I get asked the most is, “Why did you choose Ireland?” — It is an unavoidable question, really. It’s not typical for an eighteen year old to decide to move to another continent for their undergraduate degree, and it makes sense that people would be curious as to why I chose to take this journey.

However, this is also a very difficult question for me to answer. I sometimes wish I had a clear answer — like I had gone to Ireland for a holiday one year and couldn’t get enough and just had to go back. But that isn’t true — Moving to Ireland was one of my first experiences out of my home country. So, why Ireland? Why Mary Immaculate College?

The factors

I’m not sure I have one single reason, or even a coherent one. There were many factors, including the fact that my mom and her parents grew up travelling the world, and I wanted my chance too. The college I thought my heart was set on didn’t offer me a place. After my senior year of high school, I felt like moving far away from my hometown and Europe was far away.

Also, the cost of my entire undergraduate degree is about equal to one year at a school in the States (and yes, that includes flights home on breaks). At Mary Immaculate College, I could also get a dual honours bachelor’s degree in just three years, and I could go straight into modules relating to my degree, with no prerequisite classes to sit through. Lastly, Ireland looks (and is!) gorgeous.

The right decision

Admittedly, I can’t say moving to Ireland was a decision that I thought about meticulously, but it is definitely not one that I regret. Moving to Ireland has changed my life — Mary Immaculate College has brought me some of my greatest friends, new career aspirations and a happier life overall. I’m able to travel a lot easier and I cohost two radio stations — I’ve decided I want to go into radio after I graduate.

Ireland has been amazing, and I haven’t regretted moving yet. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to give a clear reason as to why I chose to move here, but there is an abundance of reasons as to why I never want to leave.