Chances are, if you’re reading this, you know who I am, but not necessarily what I’m doing. So allow me to explain: I am spending my second year of college studying abroad in Cork, Ireland. Here are some questions I’ve been asked a few times:

Why Cork?
Because the school there has a food science program (one of my majors), which not many schools in the world have. And I’ve always wanted to go to a Celtic country, as I’ve had a lifelong fascination with the culture. Plus, it’s a good school.

What does your blog title mean?
It means I’m IJ and this is my second time I’m spending a year abroad and that it’s my second year of college, which I’m spending abroad. Heh, I knew you meant my URL. It’s based off the Scottish sing-songwriter Dougie MacLean’s song “We’ll Be Together Again,” which I know is not Irish, but it is Celtic and Celtic music is 75% of my preconceived notions about this country. Anyway, that song was my first “leaving people by whom a large geographical distance separates us” anthem.

Why are you staying a whole year? 
I spent my sophomore year of high school abroad with my family, since my dad went on sabbatical that year. It seems like the best way to immerse myself in another culture and another school. Go big or go home, y’know? Well– go big, then go home, in my case.

How do you feel?
I’m exited to do something I know will be a great experience. I’m sad to leave behind people and things I love. I’m nervous about maintaining my interests while trying some completely new things.

What are you bringing?
Some clothes (but not many), important gear like electronics and journals, shoes, items that are necessary to get me from the airport to my apartment door.

What classes are you taking?
First semester I took Food Quality and Food Legislation, as well as a drama theory class, jazz ensemble, and a history of Medieval and Renaissance Drama. Second semester, I’m taking another Food Quality class, an International Food Policy class, Socio-linguistics of Celtic languages, continuing jazz ensemble, and history of crime in Ireland.