After doing backpacking around Europe to London, Paris, Rome, and Amsterdam in the span of about three weeks previous to the program, seeing a bed which was not flanked by 9 others full of sweaty travelers was a welcome view. Although I had worries about having roommates for the first time, I met them in the first few minutes of arriving, and those feelings dissipated. We immediately hit it off and spent the week meeting others in the program, exploring city center, and going on the excursion to visit gardens and Wicklow Mountains.
So far the experience of living in another country hasn’t been jarring at all, and I haven’t (yet) had that moment of culture shock you hear about. The bus system is fairly simple, people speak English, and besides the Irish accent and dialect, there Isn’t anything that has stood out to me as a difficulty. Thats not to say I haven’t gotten a taste of Irish culture. The people are fantastically warm and welcoming, I’ve already received about six “welcome to Ireland”s! (A welcome change from the attitude of Parisians.) I was walking around Trinity University to get my student LEAP card, saw that they had a theatre festival, and got to see a free play! The next day I went to Forbidden Fruit music festival when learned that Glass Animals was on the lineup. There was an Irish band stage that I ended up staying at for way longer than I anticipated seeing some fantastic bands! (I’ll give the performative lead singer from King Bones a shout-out.) I ended up making friends with two fantastic guys that I spent the day with and introduced me to their group. So far I’ve had a fantastic first week and am looking forward to the following ones!