Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better first week abroad. The city is beautiful and alive with an inspiring energy. Thanks to all the program staff, adjustment has been very smooth and I’m already beginning to feel like a real Dubliner.
It is true what they say, generally Irish people are very friendly, making the transition even more painless. Also, its a very exciting time to be here as Ireland just recently voted to legalize abortion. Its a major political and social development for the island that is usually believed to hold on to traditional values. Already in my limited experience, as seen by the “Yes” vote and clear visual support, the thoughts and attitudes of the Irish are evolving. Beliefs seem to be much more secular now.
In addition, I have been lucky enough (or actually probably unlucky) to discuss the US current political system with many locals. No matter what the subject of the conversation may be, once they realize I’m American, discussions about Trump enter the picture. In these discussions, most people assume that we all support the current president. I therefore feel like an ambassador of sorts when I explain that not everyone supports the current president and that people have different opinions. However, I do not blame people for generalizing our political climate because it is only natural when someone is trying to understand the political landscape of a foreign nation.
Regardless of what the conversation topic may be, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to have these conversations and can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring.