Hillary S. - Dublin, Ireland - Fall 2013
Well, my time in Dublin is absolutely flying by! I honestly cannot believe I have been here for over 5 weeks; it is incredible! I thought four months would feel like a long time, yet I now want to push a magical slow-down button.
Let me start off by saying that I can already tell that deciding to study abroad has been one of the best decisions of my college experience thus far. All of my apprehensions and worries I experienced before committing to study abroad now seem insignificant. The benefits and great experiences outshine any concern I had. It is still amazing to be able to wake up every day, walk out onto my balcony with my cup of tea, look out onto the beautiful city of Dublin, see the old buildings covered in Ivy, the streets made of cobblestones, the colorful doors, and think “I live here”. When else will I have the opportunity to live in a foreign country for four months - completely immersed in another culture?
Dublin is such a great city. It is a young city (something like half the population is under 25), which means there is a TON to do here! Pretty much anything you are into, you will find it in Dublin. Interesting museums. Gorgeous art galleries. Ground breaking research exhibitions. Fun pubs. Adorable cafes. Shopping shopping shopping. Friendly, welcoming, charming people. Hilarious cab drivers. On top of all of that, it is so easy to get to other places near Dublin if you are in the mood to experience the beautiful green countryside.
I am actually having trouble deciding what experiences to share with you all! There are just so many. It’s pretty hard to remember every single thing since it all seems like a blur of excitement, so I do recommend journaling about your experiences. To give you a brief glimpse: I have hiked through the Wicklow Mountains (yes, actual mountains!), seen tara hill, stayed in a hostel in a town in southern Ireland called cork, kissed the blarney stone, danced with Irish people, went to Oktoberfest in Dublin, explored ancient castles, made friends with Swedish girls dressed up in elephant costumes, gone shopping on Grafton street, ate the most delicious food at the farmers market in temple bar, poured my own pint of Guinness at the Guinness Factory, seen a play at the abbey theater, taken a little boat to an island off the coast of Howth, and captured more pictures of “postcard perfect” scenes than I can count...and that is only some of it.