Monday, September 29, 2014

Alex M – Limerick, Ireland – Fall 2014

Hello from Ireland!  I can’t believe that I’ve only been here for about three weeks so far. I already feel as though I’ve done so much! I’m studying abroad through IFSA-Butler, so as a part of my study abroad experience all of the students studying abroad in Ireland through IFSA-Butler met up in Dublin a couple days early for a few brief orientation sessions. We spent two nights in Dublin before heading off to our respective Irish universities, and doing so was an amazing way to start off my time in Ireland. I got to meet a group of other student who were also studying abroad at the University of Limerick, and we all got to know each other pretty well by the end of the weekend! Dublin was a beautiful city; while we were there we were able to visit some of its most famous attractions like the Guinness Storehouse and Temple Bar, while the experience also served as a great way to introduce us all to life in Ireland before heading off to our schools!

The University of Limerick is located just outside of the City of Limerick. Buses regularly travel between the campus and the city center, making transportation between the two really simple! I have heard many people say that the University of Limerick’s campus is the most beautiful campus in Ireland, and I can see why! From the building designs to the pieces of art located all over campus - not to mention to amazing view of the surrounding landscape – the University of Limerick is gorgeous. That being said, one of the first things I noticed was how friendly everyone was. Every person I met - be it another student or someone working in a shop in the city - was genuinely friendly and helpful. Making friends wasn’t difficult.  I live in apartment-style housing on campus in a flat shared with five other people: a guy and a girl from the United States, a girl form Canada, a girl from Belgium, and a girl form Ireland. In the short amount of time that we’ve been here, we’ve all gotten to become really close friends.
I joined a club on campus called the Outdoor Pursuits Club (OPC), through which I’ve been able to do a whole range of great activities like rock climbing in The Burren and hiking in the Ring of Kerry. Additionally, through the International Society on campus I’ve been able to achieve my life-long dream of visiting the Cliffs of Moher. So far my trip has already been unbelievable, and it’s still only the first few weeks.

So far I haven’t had any huge moments of culture shock. While at times the accent can be hard to understand, I really haven’t had much trouble with it, and the words/phrases that they say differently here haven’t been too difficult to pick up on! Not to say that the culture over here isn’t completely different from that of the United States, but I like the differences and actually feel like I can often relate to the way of life over here than I can back at home. This so far has been an invaluable experience, and I already feel like I’ve made what will become life-long friends from all over the world. I could write for hours about my experience so far, but I think I’ll leave it at this for now.  If there’s any question in your mind of whether you should study abroad or not, just do it. You’ll never regret it. 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Alex, I hope your study abroad experience is every thing you thought it would be. Im a little curious about what you noticed in terms of cultural differences between the United States and Ireland in your experiences so far? Has the transition been easy?

Aditya Sharma.

12:07 PM  

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