This was an extremely new experience for me having never been on a plane before! Leading up to this, anytime my family took a family vacation we simply drove to the beach, up the coast, or visited a new city. My dad flew a lot for his job, so this was always a nice break for him. It was a huge personal challenge for me flying on a plane, doing it by myself, going to an entirely new country, and being there for 11 weeks. I was so excited for Ireland and this experience I refused to let my fear of flying keep me away from it. I was so excited to experience Ireland and travel explore around a new city. I had a decent amount of knowledge because I knew I wanted to go to Ireland for over a year and had multiple friends study here, so I asked a lot of questions and made sure I was aware of the differences but also similarities in culture.
This week was a whirlwind of emotions, new experiences, and growth. And it’s only the first week! Sunday was a sad day saying goodbye to my parents and facing my fears of flying. The flight went really well (still not my favorite thing) but I had a great first experience. After landing in 4:30am, not sleeping on the plane, and having to drag my luggage through campus, it was very hard to stay awake. I allowed myself to take a short nap and then the fun began! EUSA led a neighborhood tour through the campus and then some of us from Pitt decided to try and navigate the bus system. It was definitely different from Pitt’s, but I can confidentially say that five days later, I already feel like I have a decently solid handle on it. Tuesday, we had orientation in the morning and then I went for a meet and greet at my internship. It’s in Dun Laoghaire Harbor and when you get off the bus you can see the ocean which is really cool. Everyone at the company was very nice and it was cool to see the office space. After the other intern and I finished meeting everyone we walked around and got to know each other.
During my interview my friends had gone to city centre to explore so I met them there and we had a great time exploring the city. It is absolutely gorgeous. We got dinner and then headed back home. Wednesday we with EUSA to learn how to play Ireland’s national sports hurling, Gaelic football, and handball. It was exhausting but so much fun. I think my favorite was Gaelic football because it wasn’t incredibly difficult, so I could really enjoy learning the sport and having fun. Thursday, I went to Trinity College Dublin to pick up my student Leap Card (bus pass) and then explored on my own. I walked down Grafton Street, through St. Steven Greens, and then a little bit over the city. It turned out I ended up walking about halfway back to campus but still ended up getting on a bus. Friday was an absolute blast. EUSA took us on a bus tour through Powerscourt Gardens, Wicklow National Mountains, and Glendalough. All locations were stunning. I cannot wait to keep exploring this beautiful country.