Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rachel T - Dublin, Ireland - Fall 2014

I am currently studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland at the University College of Dublin. The car ride to the airport was a silent and awkward one filled with anxiousness, fright, doubt, you name it! But when I landed and got on the bus to campus, my first thought was that Ireland wasn’t very different than the US. They speak English and a lot of the buildings are pretty new and modern. I feel comfortable here and I’m looking forward to all the new experiences I will have in the near future.
It has been about a month since I’ve landed here and I already feel comfortable navigating the streets of Dublin’s City Centre. 
In front of Temple Bar, a place I typically gravitate to at any time of the day because of the liveliness and music. There are tons of great restaurants in this area too!

Ireland as a whole is a beautiful country and there are plenty of tours and weekend trips you can take part in. My advice for anyone going abroad would be to take advantage of the trips that the University offers; they plan tours, activities, lodging, etc. Sometimes trips are free and other times they are at a great discounted price. I have already had the opportunity to hike the gorgeous Wicklow Mountains in Glendalough! Additionally, I am looking forward to traveling to Donegal, Ireland for a weekend of adventure which includes kayaking, rock climbing, and sailing. The weekend after I will be traveling to Northern Ireland to visit Belfast, Giants Causeway, and Dunluce Castle! The Fota Wildlife Park in Cork was amazing, Blarney Castle was a sight to see, and I’m still waiting to see Trinity College’s library! The point is, you will find plenty of things to do in your host country. You will learn so much about the country’s history and culture if you just explore!
The river running between the Wicklow Mountains. This place is one of the most beautiful I have seen in my life! 

There are so many opportunities to travel and meet new people while you are out here. Try to keep an open mind and it’s not so bad to have a casual conversation with a native at a pub or even in a cab. One night, while taking a cab, a friend and I had a friendly chat with the cab driver. Turns out he was a firefighter for Dublin’s Fire Brigade! He invited us to the firehouse the next day and he gave us a tour of the trucks and even let us spray the hose! You really never know who you will meet when you are out here!

I hope all of you are excited as you plan your study abroad experiences! Get ready for the time of your life! If anyone has any questions feel free to respond to this Blog!  


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