SMC students return from study abroad

first_imgFrom the streets of Seville, Spain; Rome, Italy; and Ifrane, Morocco, a wave of Belles have returned home to Saint Mary’s this week. Despite the snow and ice, many Belles say they are happy to be back.Sophomore Cassidy Miller said she always knew she wanted to study abroad, but it was not until she heard from a Belle who had spent a semester in Italy that she knew she wanted to go to Rome.She said the hardest part about coming back to campus was the overcast and frigid temperatures.Besides the language barrier, Miller said the hardest part about studying abroad in Rome was doing her homework.“It’s a lot busier, because there’s a lot of people in the city — not that they’re always in a rush or anything, but there’s always things to do, a lot of shops and restaurants,” she said. “It was a different experience for me to try and finish schoolwork while still trying to experience and see everything in the city. When you’re here [at Saint Mary’s], you do your schoolwork and then go back to your room. There, I was sitting in my room until I realized that I should be out exploring things.”The best part about studying in Rome was her proximity to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, Miller said, and that there was always something to do in Rome. However, coming back to campus has been difficult because she has to find more ways to keep herself occupied, she said.“Living in Rome, there’s something new to do everyday,” Miller said. “Here, I’ve been trying to find some things to do in order to keep myself busy so I don’t have so much downtime that I start to miss it.”Junior Sophia McDevitt, who studied in Ireland last semester, said sharing her study abroad experience with her friends was difficult at first.“The most obvious challenge to me was that all my friends had met all these new people and so many relationships had subtly shifted and I had missed it,” she said. “I suddenly showed back up and had to figure out everything that had and hadn’t happened, while also digesting what I had just experienced.”McDevitt said opening up to fellow Belles who did not or will not study abroad was also challenging.“I knew a lot of my friends had wanted to study abroad, but because of their scholarships or their majors they couldn’t,” she said. “So, I wanted to make sure it didn’t sound like I was bragging when I talked about the Spanish friends I made at dinner in Alicante or how beautiful the Swiss Alps were or how I loved sitting around and talking with my European friends from all different countries. Instead of talking, I found myself holding it all in.”But McDevitt said once she started sharing her experiences abroad, she found students were interested and encouraged her to open up more.“Once I started sharing, I was reminded that those who care about me cared about hearing what was on my mind,” she said. “Now, I find myself sharing random tidbits more often as things pop back into my head.”Although the weather may be dismal, the friendships may have shifted and the days may be monotonous, Miller said the best thing about being back on campus is reuniting with her fellow Belles.“Coming back can be a little bit scary because you do get so accustomed to the culture over there, but as long as you keep yourself busy and have supportive friends, that makes the transition back to campus a lot easier,” she said. “There’s comfort in the sisterhood here.”Tags: Saint Mary’s study abroad, SMC study abroad, winter breaklast_img read more

Grieving Keane may not feature

first_img The manager said: “It was obviously very bad news this morning, so he’s not feeling great, I must admit. Obviously he feels for the family and he is quite down at the moment. “I’m hoping that he’ll come round, but if he feels he wants to participate in the game tomorrow, it will be entirely his decision. “I don’t think you could ever question his professionalism, it’s how he’s feeling within himself, really, as much as anything else. “But as I say, it was obviously bad news this morning. He’s not great.” Defender John O’Shea, who stood in for Keane, expressed the players’ support for the LA Galaxy frontman and his family. O’Shea said: “Ah look, it’s one of those things. As the manager said, it’s very sad news and I echo the sentiments of the manager. Our thoughts are with the family. “But look, there’s obviously a good morale around him. We will look after Robbie, and if he needs whatever support, it will be there for him. “He’s a very good professional, but obviously sometimes football does take a back step when something like that happens.” Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill will leave record scorer Robbie Keane to decide if he is mentally ready to play in Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland after his family suffered a second tragedy. The 34-year-old, whose cousin Alan Harris died on Wednesday after being overcome by toxic fumes while working in a sewer in Portmarnock, learned on Friday morning that Alan’s brother Stephen, who was left fighting for his life after the incident, had lost his own battle. Keane trained, but did not attend the Republic’s pre-match press conference at Dublin Airport, and O’Neill revealed he had been deeply affected by the news. Keane missed the 1-0 defeat by Scotland in Glasgow in November when he was left out of the team for the first time in 13 years, and was touch and go to start at the Aviva Stadium after playing just one full game since the beginning of April because of a groin injury. However, the uncertainty over his presence is only one issue threatening to disrupt O’Neill’s preparations for a potentially crucial game. Paisley-born winger Aiden McGeady, who has been struggling with groin and back injuries in recent months, sat out training at Gannon Park on Friday morning, and O’Neill admitted he too would have the final say on whether or not he can play. The 63-year-old said: “He sat out training today. He’s a bit sore from a few things that he was doing. He felt not so bad on Sunday but he’s a little bit sore and we’ll see, we’ll see how he is. But he sat out today as a precaution as much as anything else.” Asked whether he would be prepared to take a gamble on McGeady, given it is the final game of the season, O’Neill added: “Taking the gamble would really be very much with Aiden, if that’s the case. “If he feels that he is ready to go and start a game, that’s something that we would look at, obviously. If he feels he can participate in some of the match, again because he has been a very important player for us in this qualifying campaign, I’ll give him as much time as he needs.” Should McGeady miss out, O’Neill at least has a ready-made replacement in the shape of Wigan winger James McClean, who he believes has matured into a genuine international player since he first surged to prominence under previous manager Giovanni Trapattoni during the run-up to the Euro 2012 finals. He said: “I know James very well indeed and he is a great character. He treats training sessions just like football matches themselves. “I think he has settled down a little bit, he has matured. It was all very new to him when he came into the side. “I think he felt at that time that maybe in Poland, maybe he thought he should be playing. I think he has re-thought that since then and he is absolutely fine.” Ireland would leapfrog the Scots, who currently sit in third place in Group D, with victory but defeat would represent a massive blow to their hopes of qualification. However, O’Neill rejected a suggestion that the campaign has rather stalled since the defeat at Celtic Park. He said: “We were beaten by Scotland with a goal scored in the 75th minute and we drew with Poland, and the game before that we drew with Germany in Germany. “They are world champions and they had won that about three months earlier, and we had won the first two games, one of which was away from home. “Do you know, I’m not so sure it’s been a real stalling.” Press Associationlast_img read more