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Jun 22, 2012
Staying Local in Ann Arbor Makes for the Best Summer
She had dreams of studying in Ireland. Instead, this writer wound up visiting three states – and having an unforgettable college summer right at home.
One of my best summers ever started off as if it was going to be the worst.
I was accepted to the Ireland study abroad program at my college, which would take me to Dublin for six weeks. All that remained was waiting for the financial-aid numbers to be cranked out, so I could see how many scholarships I would be getting as well as how many loans. I had already talked to a financial advisor, and she had advised me that Ireland was one of the best choices financially; therefore, I was confident that my school would come up with a good financial-aid package for me.
When the numbers came in, I was crushed. The trip would cost $13,000, including tuition for both my college and the Dublin university, and they were only offering me about $4,000 – all of which was in loans. I desperately wanted to go to Ireland and study abroad, but I knew that it wouldn't be worth it for me to be paying back loans years after the trip, either.
I decided to stay in Ann Arbor that summer and work instead – and I got to travel to D.C. for the first time and NYC for a few days. I also went to Rhode Island, where my relatives live, for a week and a half, and disconnected by not having Internet during that time – which was actually rather nice.
Most of my friends had chosen to stay in A2 that summer too; we stayed up until 2 a.m. on the weekends playing Texas Hold'em poker (using candy for betting), watching DVDs and attending the annual Ann Arbor Art Fair in July. I didn't get to travel to Ireland that summer, but I did travel to London one summer later, and Paris this past April. Ireland is still on my "countries to visit" list; however, and I have faith that one day I will get there.