Vocabulary (Review)

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

When I was nineteen and a rising junior in college, I had the opportunity to participate in a work-abroad program. The company that ran the program required that all participants speak the language of the country they would visit. Since I did not speak anything but English fluently, my choices were limited. I chose Ireland, partially because my grandmother's ancestors were from County Cork in Southern Ireland. I was a bit nervous, but I was fairly confident that things would be easy once I got to Dublin and was given my work assignment. To quote a cliché, boy was I wrong.
People say that natives of Southern California have no accent. Whether or not this is true, I had grown up with those "no accent" voices in my ears. When I got to Ireland, I had a difficult time. After a very nice, very frustrated woman told me for the fourth time that the youth hostel I was looking for was just past the "carriage," she finally explained that it was the place where cars were fixed. She said "garage," but it sounded like "carriage." All at once, I felt very young, very lost, and very, very stupid.
I thanked the woman when she directed me to my bus stop. I checked into the hostel, found an empty cot, and sat down to contemplate my situation. I was nineteen years old and alone in a strange country.
English or no English, everything was different. It was at that moment that I realized that this two-month period would be much more important in my life than a summer abroad. It would be a cultural immersion; a chance for me to rely entirely upon myself. I realized that I was an adult, and what I would do, learn, and experience were entirely up to me. It was by no means easy, but it was absolutely wonderful.