Study Abroad Experiences Inspire Alumni to Pursue Master’s Degrees in Ireland
Two recent graduates of the University’s forensic science program found remarkable opportunities to continue their education overseas, enabling them to explore a new culture and country while stepping out of their comfort zones.
September 23, 2019
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Chueiri had such a great experience in Ireland that when she began applying to master’s degree programs, she decided to look at programs there.
"The study abroad experience opened my eyes to the possibility of broadening my horizons and gave me the courage to reach beyond my comfort zone," said Chueiri , who is pursuing a master’s degree in biomedical science at the National University of Ireland Galway. "I wanted the opportunity to experience a completely different culture while also working towards my master’s degree."
Jamie McGuinness ’18, a fellow forensic science major, had a similar experience. While spending a semester at the University’s campus in Prato, Italy, in 2016, she visited seven different countries, strengthening her sense of independence, self-reliance, and confidence, and sparking a desire to travel.
"The study abroad experience opened my eyes to the possibility of broadening my horizons and gave me the courage to reach beyond my comfort zone."Alexandra Chueiri ’18
When applying to medical schools, McGuinness remembers a conversation she had with Dr. Glynn that enabled her to expand her vision to include considering schools in Ireland.
"When I told her I was applying to medical schools, she suggested I look into applying to Irish schools," said McGuinness, who hopes to become a medical examiner. "She is a professor I admire very much, and I trusted her suggestion and submitted my application."
McGuinness was accepted into two of the most prestigious medical schools in Ireland: University College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, where she ultimately enrolled. Although she had only been to Ireland once, she felt confident about her decision.
"What I like best about Ireland is the beauty of the country itself and the laid-back environment."Jamie McGuinness ’18
"The country is beautiful, and I am looking forward to exploring it more over the next four years of medical school," said McGuinness, who also has family throughout Ireland. "I am currently planning to move back to the United States after graduation, but I am open to a change of plans."
Chueiri, meanwhile, is now working on her thesis, which focuses on developing a diagnostic technique that will facilitate a faster and more accurate diagnosis of infectious disease. She plans to pursue a career as a DNA analyst with Ireland’s national laboratory.
"I like that forensic science combines my passion for science and the ability to help people find closure and justice," said Chueiri, who expects to graduate in November. "What I like best about Ireland is the beauty of the country itself and the laid-back environment. It enables you to appreciate the little things."