Help me get to Ireland!

Mercy Acosta Start Date: Mar 2, 2018 - End Date: Jun 29, 2018
  • Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Konstanz, Germany

My Travel Story

by: Mercy Acosta Start Date: Mar 2, 2018 - End Date: Jun 29, 2018
I am a Visual Communication major at Northern Arizona University, and my emphasis is in Graphic Design. I am a five-year student and will be graduating May of 2019. This study abroad program would fulfill general elective courses for me to graduate with the number of credits required. Not only that, the trip to Ireland would fulfill a lifelong dream of mine to visit the country of my ancestors, which I have never had the opportunity to do before.

I am so hopeful that I can travel to Ireland; I have always been captivated with Celtic culture. In addition to this fascination, I also have a strong familial connection to the land, as mentioned before. I love so many things of Irish society; the art and architecture, tradition, linguistics, music, food, the stunning landscapes, and multicultural people. The aspect of the culture I love the most is the language, something I’ve had a continual affinity for learning. The past has always been interesting to me, and I have always thought of Ireland and the United States as being similar. Ireland is a young nation, as is our America, but I think both our people have a great appreciation of their history and nature, as they had to establish countries from the bottom up. Breaking from oppressive leaders and establishing our own independence.

My own family, the Kelly’s, hailed from both Mayo County and County Cork. I hope to visit both should I go to Ireland. My great-great-great-great grandfather, James O’Kelly, grew up in Mayo County. Unbelievably, he became overzealous in his efforts for the Irish National Land League, causing his deportation to England where he changed our surname from O’Kelly to simply Kelly. Once there, James took a position at Newcastle University where he met my great-great-great-great grandmother, Mary Ann Daniel of Scotland. They eventually moved to the U.S. and our family has been here ever since. Papa Jim, my mom’s dad, recently passed in June of 2017. With grief so close and the search to know more about our family, I realized my love of our home country was more relevant to me than it ever has been before.  

Any trip to Dublin would be incredible, but this program will be perfect in terms of my major since I have potential to learn business practices critical to the graphic design field. The first course I would like to take, ‘Mobile and Social Journalism’, seems vital to me as a designer to know the ins and outs of their potential marketing platforms. The second course I would be thrilled to take is ‘Ireland: Politics, Society and Culture’, as I will not only learn the historical context of modern Ireland, but also delve into the society in which my ancestors lived.

Of the trying misfortunes my ancestors endured, and my own personal hardships, I believe a trip like this could have me return as a changed individual. I don’t say this lightly, as I know I can easily claim a triumph before it’s come to pass, but with my strong heritage and love of reflecting the past through the present, I see the DCUISS program helping me achieve a characteristic transformation. It will be my first adventure outside of the States, and naturally it comes with a bit of worry, but it is heavily outweighed by my excitement. Whatever challenges may come, I believe I can take them in stride, and the mere completion of the program would bring me to a place of academic achievement as well as personal growth, in a place I’ve longed to go for so long.

  • Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Konstanz, Germany


  • Thank You!

    Thank you to my sister for her contribution, and to Vanessa Hemmer! You both are a blessing!
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