I have been in Ireland for four full weeks and I cannot imaging having spent my summer any other way. Every day brings along a new adventure be it during work or on the weekend. Sometimes, however the adventures I have gone on have managed to bring along a few issues that I have had to overcome. Since studying abroad is all about learning new things and facing obstacles head on, I have not let any of these issues get in my way of having an amazing time abroad!
The cultural differences I have noticed during my interactions with people who live here pretty small. For example, when I call someone at work, the conversation always starts with a genuine hello and how are you followed by asking how my day has been or what I did over the weekend. People here are very social and like to strike up conversations before getting onto the actual topic. People in Ireland like to avoid conflict at all costs. For example, if there is something at work that my coworkers would prefer I don’t do, they basically say “well you can, but I don’t know if that’s best is all.” Thankfully I have learned to translate that to “please don’t.” Everyone in Ireland is generally late. Originally my boss told me to get to the office at 9 each morning however, I would get there at 9 and she wouldn’t until about 9:15 so then to correct this, she changed my time so I start at 9:30 so I don’t get to the office first. Irish people really like Americans so I have only had pleasant experiences while chatting with locals which has been really nice.
The main difference that I see in regards to political differences here in Ireland is that everyone is open to discussing their beliefs. I have had many conversations about American politics here and most of the revolve about how they cannot believe who our president is and then they ask how I feel about our second amendment right. Irish people do not have the right to bear arms and with that they can say that there has never once been a mass shooting and everyone here is extremely proud of how safe it is here. Everyone I have met in the past few weeks have been really great and have enjoyed getting to know more about me and America. I rarely feel that people are annoyed by Americans unless it is when there are 30 of us all being excessively loud on the bus, but sometimes that just happens.
To catch you up on may last few days, aka the fun part of my week, I had a few fun adventures! Saturday morning I was lucky to go with Summer at UCD (the amazing program put on for international students during the summer while they are living abroad) to the Airfield Estate and take a private tour of the estate. We were led through the house and then through the grounds which is actually a working farm with a bunch of different animals. It was a great trip out of the city and I loved walking around the green space and seeing all of the animals – I even held a chicken! Saturday night was just as incredible as I attended the Billy Joel concert!! As he is from Long Island, like me, it was a nice taste of home as he had a few stories about the empire start that accompanied his music. Sunday morning then came and I went with a few friends to the EPIC Museum which is all about Irish Immigration. The museum was mostly focused on the accomplishments made by Irish immigrants around the wold and was extremely interactive and modern – my type of museum. I had a great weekend and look forward to sharing my adventures tomorrow at work with my coworkers.