Hello Ireland. How are you?

My first week in Ireland has been a ton of fun. Getting to see a new culture is always a fantastic time. It is also a ton of fun finding my way around a new city and experiencing a different way of life. There are plenty of fun things that I have taken part in. These include, meeting the locals, trying new foods, traveling to the Dublin Mountains, meeting other students who are also doing an internship abroad and much much more. This week also had my interview with the company that I will be interning at. I will be interning at a college called the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI), where I will be doing basic accounting work for them. One thing that I have to keep in mind while doing the work are the different laws here in Ireland compared to the United States. During my interview I met with the two other interns i will be working with and a few of the people on staff at RCSI. It was a delightful experience to say the least. I have also been experiencing the Dublin culture and all that it has to offer. I visited the very famous and historical Trinity college. Did you know that Trinity College was established in 1592? That’s older than America! I also have to get used to people driving on the left side of the road. Every time that I see a car go by and there is no one in the front right seat, I think that the car is driving itself. Then I remember that the driver’s side is on the other side of the car, very strange. The weather here changes very quickly. Just like Pittsburgh, it rains a lot. However, almost every day there is a period of sunshine.

Another fun part about the trip was learning about Irish sports. The sports are called the Gaelic Games and they are extraordinarily popular in Ireland. The person giving the talk about the sports told us that the championship had more attendants than the Superbowl. There are three major sports here that I had never experienced before: hurling, hand ball, and Gaelic Football. Hurling is like lacrosse in that you have to use a stick to carry a ball around and put it in a goal. It is a very physical game and the men teaching us the sport were very large and seemed to fit the sport well. Unfortunately, we did not get to play this sport, we just learned the basics: the rules. passing, moving with the ball and scoring. Another game that we learned was handball which was basically racquetball without a racquet. You are placed in a cube with one other opponent and you have to return the ball before it bounces twice. The last sport we learned was Gaelic Football. This was a lot like soccer. You had to put a ball in a net, or kick it through a field goal type goal. However, you could use your hands to travel. You could either bounce the ball or kick it up to yourself. A goal was three points and a field goal was one point. We did get to play this sport a little, but my team lost 6-0. It was a ton of fun playing with the actual players who play these games competitively.

We also went on a bus tour of the Dublin Mountains where we found out that most were not mountains, they were just very tall hills. We got to see many beautiful sights. There were lakes, tall hills, tons of sheep. It was amazing to see the countryside of Ireland. We also stopped at the Powerscourt Garden, which is consistently ranked among the top most beautiful gardens in the world. It was quite astounding. They had plants imported from all over the world. The vast array of colors and smells were breathtaking. This is well worth a trip if you ever find yourself in Ireland.

After seeing many of the beautiful sights of Ireland, I can’t wait to continue exploring and see many more. But for now, I will be starting my first day of work tomorrow. I am very excited to see what they have in store for me. I am also excited to learn new tools and abilities that will help me when I enter into my first full time job once I graduate from college. Hopefully this internship will teach me everything I need to know and more. We will see!

Until next time,

Jack Marquis