Study Abroad Profiles: Albert Shackelford in Ireland

Created: October 15, 2018  |  Last Updated: July 16, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged:

WASHINGTON, PA (Oct. 15, 2018)—We told you about a few of the benefits of studying abroad at Washington & Jefferson College (check that out here if you haven’t seen it already). Now, we want to show just how awesome the study abroad experience is in the words of W&J students who have done it.

In spring 2018, Albert Shackelford ’20 of Capitol Heights, Md., traveled to Cork, Ireland, to study at University College Cork with financial support from an award he received through W&J’s International Programs Fund. Albert experienced so much during his time abroad that it would take a full book to share it all, but he met with us to share some of the highlights.

On meeting new people:

“I met a lot of cool people and expanded my view. Whenever I had a chance to talk to someone, just a full-out conversation, especially if they weren’t from America, I just wanted to see how they view life. It’s part of the reason I am a psychology major. So, I would just talk to people and hear what they have to say about how they view the world. It really gives you a complete view and shows you how the world is bigger than Maryland, bigger than W&J, bigger than the United States. It’s kind of a warm feeling because it’s the commonness of humanity. You can feel it even miles away from home.”

On balancing football with his semester abroad:

“Originally, I was a little worried to say anything to Coach [Mike Sirianni]. I didn’t tell him until the [fall 2017] semester was almost over and I had already gotten my scholarship. But it wasn’t bad. It’s the offseason. That’s one of the nice things about going to a small, Division III school. There's some leeway in what you can do. Coach was very understanding, and when I got back, he just wanted to know how it was. All the coaches, they loved hearing about it, so it was pretty cool.”

On developing a global perspective:

“I feel like I think differently, in a way. It’s having that perspective. I’m not scared of the world anymore. I’m either going to be one of the first students to try out W&J’s new approved semester abroad program in the United Arab Emirates, or I’m going to do a Magellan this summer [in Ghana]. I’ve already started correspondence for my Magellan project. When I was [in Ireland], I didn’t want to come back. Now that I’m back, I want to go somewhere else.”

Want an experience like Albert’s? Find the international learning experience you’ve always dreamed of with personalized assistance from the Office of Study Abroad.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.