My Montana Experience

Every year, the School of BEES selects 4 students to gain a degree in International Field Geosciences (IFG). However, during the year I applied, the number of students chosen was six – three females and three males. I was part of the three girls’ chosen, writes Mojibola Aramide

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On the 25th of August, at about 10:00 am Irish time or so, I left my family and friends to embark on one of the greatest experiences of my life. I finally arrived in America on the 26th of August. It was a surreal feeling landing state side. The journey to Missoula, Montana itself was overwhelming. By the time I landed in Montana I was beyond tired, I had grown to resent airports and planes. Luckily the University Of Montana sent over a fellow student to pick me up at the airport and drop me at my accommodation. The first thing I noticed when I got out of the airport was the intensity of the sun, the brightness and the heat.

College in America was very different from what we were used to in Ireland. My colleagues (the other 5 IFGs) and I were used to working hard but also taking college not so serious. Over in America, the majority of students are very serious! As a result of this, my colleagues and I began to adopt this attitude of seriousness to try to fit but also more importantly to try and stay afloat in this tidal wave of early morning’s and late night’s continues assessment, unknown education system and maintaining good grade average in an education system which was drastically different from what we were used to. It was very difficult at first to keep up with everything but I adjusted and in the end I felt like I learned a lot about geology at the University of Montana to add to what I learned at UCC.

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All these new adjustments were made bearable – thanks to the glorious sunshine, the great people of Montana and the charming landscape. Montana truly is a beautiful country with huge mountains as the landscape’s backdrop, stunning sun rise and sunset and sparkling rivers and great food at the Iron Horse, one of the local town restaurants. Also, I met some great international people, from Canada, Germany, Norway, America, Brazil and Africa. Meeting these people has taught me so much about life and myself.

Some of the greatest experiences Montana taught me was you achieve a lot when you work hard and never give up, you also learn to love your else and for that I will always love that great and beautiful state. The negative aspect of travelling to Montana is the financial aspect and I would advise anyone willing to take this course to save as much money as they can before going. I always tell myself that you can’t put a price on education. If you are reading this and trying to decide if you should do this degree programme, my advice would be yes as you will learn so much about geology and yourself but be prepare for a lot of hard work!

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