Dia duit ó Éirinn ! This was one of the first phrases I heard when I touched down in Ireland. It means “Hello from Ireland”. Saying it is always funny because naturally I have a Boston Accent. Nevertheless wherever I go, and when I use it I am always greeted with a warm welcome. Moving to Ireland with four of my friends from Westfield State was easily on of the best decisions I have ever made. So far my time abroad has been nothing short of a very interesting adventure. Between getting lost my first couple weeks in Dublin, to random train rides just to see a scenic view everything that I have seen so far has been beautiful.
Dublin is the capital of Ireland, making it the central hub for nightlife and cuisines and a tourist destination. Food in Dublin can be a challenge sometimes; you quickly realize that American food is very processed. So the first couple days were a little bit of and adjustment. Now, however, I find myself loving the food. I can’t imagine what I would do without Kokoro (best sushi place for college students after 8:00pm). They helped with my adjustment!
The first couple weeks felt like walking around a museum. I was constantly impressed and in “awe” of anything and everything. From walking the streets of Temple Bar to walking down to St. Stephen’s Green. In my time here so far, we have realized that traveling to other parts of Ireland and Europe are very easy. Trains in Dublin are a very common way to get around; we have made weekend trips to Howth, Glendalough, Rathdrum, Galway, Aran Islands, Connemara, Blackrock, and The Burren. The weather makes trips, a bit chilly, as some of the prettiest places in Ireland are rather high up in elevation. Our first mountain trip was to Glendalough, which is where we visited Wicklow National Park. That was a day trip where we got to see beautiful mountains and the first edition of Ulysses, which was my favorite part. That was just one of the amazing places that we have gone, but everywhere we have gone has been just as breathtaking.
Besides all the sites, one of the great things are the people you meet. They quickly become your family here. I was lucky enough to live with 4 other Westfield students and one student from Pennsylvania, and we have all become so close. There is a certain sense of family when you are 3,000 miles away from home, and the 5 people surrounding you quickly become the people you do everything with. Much of my spare time is spent getting to know the people I live with and the friends we have met in our classes.
Studying abroad is a scary thing to think about. I know that I was nervous but it makes you learn a lot about yourself. Getting away from home really makes you grow and learn in a way that college could not teach. This experience so far has been something I don’t think I could ever forget, and I document it as much as I can. In the next couple weeks I am traveling to London, Amsterdam, Rome, and Paris. I can’t imagine another way to knock these off my bucket-list. If you want to study abroad I really encourage you to go for it, I don’t think it will be a decision that you will ever regret or forget.