The main goals that I hope to accomplish over the course of my study abroad term in Ireland are getting to know the members of my study abroad group on a deeper level, understanding how the culture is similar or different to what I am used to in the United States and to learn more about Ireland and Northern Ireland’s history because I honestly do not know much about either. I plan to reach these goals by opening up to the students I am with early on and focus my energy on building relationships as fast as possible. Understand the culture comes with walking around the city and nation with an open eye as well as being ready to accept that people here may be totally different from what I are used to. The last goal is the easiest to accomplish. I simply must pay attention in class and do external research on The History of Ireland course being taught to us on the trip.
We are staying in a recently built or renovated apartment complex called Aparto Binary Hub, a 15 minutes’ walk from downtown Dublin. We live in single rooms and are only surrounded by students in the same program as us. This gives us a chance to spend even more time with each other than earlier anticipated. I personally enjoy the apartment style living so far because everything is modern and simple. Being a minimalist myself, it feels incredible to come back to a clean apartment with easy to use features to kick back after a long day exploring the city and learning. The picture of the apartment provided will help give a better sense of the room size and features.
When we arrived in Dublin, we were given passes to use the public bus system freely which is a HUGE bonus. The busses are kept clean, have wifi accessibility and the bus stations accurately show bus arrival times. The bus system in Dublin is by far the best way to get around and I would highly recommend using it to any other students traveling to Dublin in the future however our classes are taught at Griffiths College, a ten minute walk from the apartments therefore there really is no need for the bus when getting to class.
Of course, it is still very early in my time here in Dublin however the social pub culture and folk dancing/singing traditions have already shown themselves as being a central part of life here. It is almost impossible to walk around without running into a group of Irish locals singing away, enjoying themselves on any day of the week in the afternoon. This was something that surprised me because I did not think it would be an everyday part of life. I have not had the chance to visit many restaurants at this point in time, but my favorite so far has to be a Chipotle like restaurant called Boujum which I included a picture of. I am very much looking forward to the remainder of my time here!