Studying abroad; spectacular year in America

By Paul Lilly
April 24, 2008

One of Nelly Furtado’s songs is titled “All good things come to an end.” And so it appears true, as I prepare to close the Cabrini chapter of my life with mixed emotions.

Landing in the States on Aug. 22, 2007 I had no idea of what I was in for. A totally new country, new people, new climate and new lifestyle all awaited me.

Settling in was not a problem. Usually I can make friends pretty easily and at Cabrini this was especially the case. The novelty of an Irishman was great for some people.

I must confess playing the “Irish card” was something I enjoyed. Being the only Irishman on campus did indeed often bring benefits.

The professors at Cabrini I found to be great. No where else would you find such fine academics striking up such close personal bonds with their students.

Dr. Jerry Zurek is a fine example of this. He welcomed me to his class, which was already full almost three weeks late. He introduced me to the world of communications and for this I can be forever grateful. I must thank personally all my professors and teachers.

Everyone at Cabrini seems to illustrate the true spirit of Mother Cabrini in one way or another. Whether it is Father Michael in the chapel or my international adviser Jen Gold, they all have helped me when I needed it. Public Safety and Residence Life too have been kind to me.Sue Kramer, my area coordinator, is truly a woman of legendary status.

From the beginning, I felt right at home here at Cabrini. From The Loquitur to the lacrosse team, I can truly say that I have made friends right across campus. From working in the admissions office as a student ambassador, to enjoying a few “light ales” at “Conshy” on a Saturday night, the memories surely will last a lifetime. Meeting John McCain and getting to ask him a question, perhaps being the highlight of the “American experience.”

During my time in America I have had the opportunity to travel a little. I made it to Philly, New York and Chicago of course, as well as spending part of winter break snowboarding in Canada. I hit up Florida for spring break and spent most of my other free time at my friend Max’s house in lovely Maryland. Add into this two trips home and that’s a decent amount of traveling! I intend to see California before I return to the Emerald Isle.

I feel honored to have come to Cabrini during Dr. Iadarola’s final year. Never before have I seen a college president so in touch with the students and dedicating so much time to serving their needs. Her legacy will live long after her departure.

So when I roll out of the gates of Cabrini for the last time I will no doubt shed a tear. Yet I can be happy with all the great friends and great memories I have made. They will last long beyond this year. Goodbye but not farewell!

Paul Lilly

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