What a Country!

Hi! I am nearing the end of my unbelievable study abroad experience and have so much to share.

It has been 3 weeks since I last posted, and since then, I have experienced so much of Ireland. I have been working very hard in my two classes while also balancing a great amount of fun and traveling. My classes, Irish Literature and Pop Culture, ended on Friday. Each class consisted of two essays and a final presentation. It was great to work on papers on these topics while experiencing the culture every day in Dublin.

Both classes put an emphasis on outside-the-classroom learning. Of the 15 class days, I would estimate that about 6 of them were spent touring the city and its educational and historic landmarks. My professors, Caroline and Martin, were so knowledgeable about the city and everything it had to offer.

My favorite trip we took for class was to the Abbey Theatre where we watched a performance of James Joyce’s Ulysses.  After the performance, we went out as a class, with Martin, to a local pub to discuss it. Being able to talk casually with professors is very exciting.

Last weekend, we had a 2-night trip to the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, and the Aran Islands. The coast-to-coast trip took only 2 hours to complete, which I could not believe. The west coast of Ireland is truly breathtaking. Galway was such an amazing city. My favorite part was going to the Aran Islands. I chose the option to scale the island on a bike. While going against the wind was challenging, I was able to see the country side and all of the beauty it had to offer. At the end of the island was a small cafe that served authentic Irish food. I ordered the Beef and Guinness Stew and it did NOT disappoint!

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A view from Dún Aonghasa on the Aran Islands!

Everyone here continues to validate the friendly stereotype that they are often given. My favorite part about pubs here is how often locals approach me and ask about me. It is so refreshing to meet strangers who are interested in my life and my culture.

Our program here, CEA, is filled with the friendliness staff imaginable. I have been so lucky to have access to them because they want nothing but the best for their students. I have gone to them with so many questions about the city and its attractions and they have done nothing but make my trip incredible.

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One of Galway’s friendly natives!

While this trip has been the best I’ve ever been on, I am ready to go home and look back at all the breathtaking memories that I have made. I am so excited to meet with my grandma and tell her all about my time in the motherland. I am truly so happy with my choice to come to Ireland and am enjoying every second of life here!