Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Maddie Connelly and Zoe Rose Study Abroad in Ireland and Italy

Maddie Connelly and Zoe Rose Study Abroad in Ireland and Italy


BEVERLY, Mass. - Endicott softball rising sophomore Zoe Rose (Carlstadt, N.J.) and rising junior Maddie Connelly (Franklin, Mass.) recently studied abroad in Florence, Italy, and Cork, Ireland, respectively. Rose, who is a sport management major, and Connelly, who is an accounting and finance major, caught ECGulls up on their trips to Florence and Cork.  

ECGulls: Give us an overall description of your trip.

ROSE: I studied in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) during the fall semester from August 25 to December 13. I lived in an apartment in the center of Florence with five other Endicott students.

CONNELLY: During the fall of 2018, I studied abroad in Cork, Ireland. I stayed for one semester which ran from the beginning of September until the end of December.

ECGulls: Describe your overall study abroad experience.

ROSE: Studying abroad was hands down the best decision I have ever made. I met some of my closest friends in places I would have never imagined going to. At FUA, I was able to take a total of 18 credits which included some of my gen ed and major courses, and outside of the classroom I was able to travel to 10 other countries within Europe.

CONNELLY: My overall study abroad experience was fantastic. In Cork, I was accompanied by 17 other Endicott students. We all lived in one large apartment building in which we were split up into many different smaller dorm-like rooms of three to four people and we all shared one kitchen and common area on the first floor. Our apartment was located just a five-minute walk away from the city center which had loads of fun restaurants and stores. We attended Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) which was a college very similar to Endicott in terms of size and community. CIT was about a half hour bus ride away from the city center, so each morning that we had class we would walk down to the bus stop, swipe our prepaid card, and hop on. 

ECGulls: Why would you recommend studying abroad to other students?

ROSE: It's important for students to know that studying abroad is truly a once in a lifetime experience. In my opinion, the world is the greatest classroom out there and living in a different country teaches you so many unexpected things about yourself.

CONNELLY: I would highly recommend studying abroad to other students because it is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is very unlikely that at another point in your life you are going to get the chance to dedicate four months of your life to learning about various cultures and traveling around the world. I felt that studying abroad gave me a better idea of the world and how it varies in different areas, as well as an entire group of new friends that I may have never gotten the chance to interact with at Endicott. 

ECGulls: What was the biggest lesson you learned?

ROSE: The biggest thing I learned was to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. Being thrown into a completely new setting can be really challenging but knowing that every uncomfortable situation will lead you to grow is important. I also found myself saying yes to so many things outside of my comfort zone and that is part of what made my experience so great.

CONNELLY: I think the biggest lesson I learned was that it is sometimes good to take a big leap out of your comfort zone. If you had asked me going into my freshman year if I was planning to study abroad my answer would have been absolutely not. I felt as though living only an hour away from home I would never survive being so far away for so long. However, I am so grateful that I had a sudden change in thought and chose to submit my application to study in Ireland the day before the deadline. Before studying abroad, I had never been away from my home and family for more than a month, however, at the end of the semester, I found myself wishing I never had to leave.

ECGulls: What was your favorite experience?

ROSE: My favorite experience was probably spending our fall break in Greece. We had nine days and spent them island hopping between Mykonos and Santorini. Throughout the week we explored the islands and rode horses and ATVs. We lucked out and had some nice beach days too, so you can definitely say this was an unforgettable week. 

CONNELLY: Although I loved traveling to all of the different places around Ireland, my favorite experience was actually traveling to Switzerland. The views in Switzerland looked like they were straight out of a movie. It didn't matter if I was hiking the Alps or driving around in the middle of nowhere in a taxi, every place I went to was absolutely breathtaking. Other than the views, I also had the opportunity to go paragliding over the Swiss Alps. This experience truly brought me to the edge of my comfort zone as I was jumping off the side of a mountain with only a stranger and a parachute attached to my back. 

ECGulls: Describe the educational side of the program.

ROSE: Florence University of the Arts was a great school to study at. I was enrolled in five classes, Introduction to Marketing, Fashion Photography, Sport Event and Facility Management, Visual Communication Design, and Communicating in Italian. The variety of classes they offered was great, and every professor I had was worried about truly shaping my abroad experience and for that, I am so grateful.

CONNELLY: As I mentioned earlier, Cork Institute of Technology was a very similar school to Endicott. In terms of classes, I took four classes at CIT as well as one accounting class through Endicott in order to stay on track with my major. Also, because I had a few extra electives available, I had the chance to take a few interesting courses that were not directly related to my major. One of my favorite classes was called food operations. In this class, we got to learn how to be the perfect waitresses in an Irish-style restaurant. 

ECGulls: Were there any funny stories from your trip?

ROSE: Our second week in Italy my one roommate caught our toaster on fire and blew out the power in our whole apartment. It took us over an hour to figure out where the breaker switch was. Little did we know it was outside of our front door.

CONNELLY: I would have to say many of the funny stories from my trip actually revolved around the food operations class that I mentioned above. Because it wasn't a popular class for the Irish students at CIT, our class was filled with only 10 Endicott students. We had so much fun working together and attempting to learn all the aspects of how to run an Irish-style restaurant while also trying to understand the sometimes tricky Irish accents of the guests that came in to eat.


Following the College's philosophy to "learn by doing" through experiential learning, the study abroad program & its international internships prepare students at Endicott for success by offering alternative academic understanding, social & cultural literacy and life-changing experiences. Through semester-long academic study, faculty-led trips, and/or 3-to-15 week internships abroad, students gain new confidence and self-awareness and obtain the skills necessary for success in today's economy.

"Globalization is here to stay, and students who want to work in our interconnected global world should study or intern abroad.

Despite the inevitable increasing global competition for jobs, American graduates lack the international experience, language capabilities and cross-cultural communication skills necessary to succeed in the global economy.

Making education abroad a part of their college education is the most effective and accessible means for students to develop needed skills because it pushes a student to get out of her comfort zone to experience another culture, language, environment and education system. It teaches students to appreciate difference and diversity firsthand and enables them to recognize — and then dismiss — stereotypes they may have held about people they had never met.

Learning how to interact with people from other countries and cultures equips future leaders in all sectors to address urgent issues — from curing diseases and finding energy solutions, to fighting terrorism and hunger — shared across borders."

The Endicott Experience feature aims to highlight the entirety of the student-athletes' experiential learning journey throughout their academic careers. The student-athlete at Endicott is afforded the same opportunities as the general student population at the College as it relates to internships, study abroad, and postgraduate career pursuits. This philosophy mirrors the mission statement of the College which every student is encouraged to take intellectual risks, pursue scholarly and creative interests, contribute to the community, and explore diverse career paths. Read more Endicott Experience features by navigating the links below.   

#ThisIsEndicott: Alexandra Barmore '19 | Lauren Sheehan '18 | Abby Keim '19 | Zach DeNike '20 | Chris Lipscomb '17, M'18 | Ryan Small '17 | Nicole Manelas '17 | Nicholas Fichtner '20

STUDY ABROAD: Margot Andreasen Learns Valuable Life Lessons Abroad | Ryan Healy Studies Abroad In Europe | KK Palmerino Studies Abroad In Denmark | Balboni, Campbell Get Out Of Their Comfort Zones in Study Abroad Trip To Australia | Patrick Finocchiaro Studies Abroad In Switzerland | Bridget Cott Grasps The Power Of Self-Reliance While Abroad In New Zealand | Hannah Mason Embraces Challenges, Finds Study Abroad Trip To Ireland Rewarding | Alex Dippel Expands Horizons While Studying Abroad In Ireland

INTERNSHIP INSIGHT: Matt Bozek '19 | Ryan Healy '19 | Ellen Carter '19 | Courtney Walpole '19 | Hayley Arduini '19 | Christopher Billings '19 | KK Palmerino '19 | Justin Horine '19 | Gina Sherman '19 | Kyle Wollman '19

For the latest on Endicott Athletics, follow the Gulls on social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

(Photo Credit- Zoe Rose and Maddie Connelly)