[Editor’s note: Nola Grace is a recipient of an Honors study abroad scholarship.]
On June 19, I was greeted in Dublin, Ireland by two staff members from Academic Programs International (API) and 17 other American students who were preparing for internships as well! All of the American interns and I settled into our student apartments in the heart of Dublin, and after a weekend of touring and getting acquainted with Irish culture, we dispersed throughout the city to begin our internship placements.
My placement, hand-picked for me by the wonderful API staff, is at the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) in Clontarf, Ireland––a beautiful small town on the coast of Dublin. IWA is Ireland’s leading representative organization and service provider for people with physical disabilities. On-site at their campus, they provide group exercise classes, personal one-on-one training, occupational therapy, physical therapy, wheelchair services, corporate training, outreach services, enhanced home-care services with specialized on-campus apartments, a driving school with specialized hand-controls, and sporting events with levels ranging from recreational to elite paralympic!
At the time of my writing this, I have just completed my first of eight weeks of working at this amazing facility! Each day has been very unique and has come with its own challenges and adventures! So far, I have learned so much and been able to apply a great deal of what Meredith has taught me! Thanks to my fantastic Exercise and Sports Science classes at Meredith, I have felt so capable in the tasks I have been asked to take on! Additionally, thanks to the incredible preparation provided by Meredith’s amazing Office of International Programs, I have felt so confident in my traveling abilities, whether it be in my commute to my internship each day or to explore various Irish towns and countrysides on the weekends!