Abby Moncus is a student at Virginia Wesleyan College and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Dublin, Ireland.
As I leave for Ireland a week from today, I have found myself going over every detail in my head several times. I have lists written out to make sure I know exactly what I need to do before I leave. When talking to friends and family about my upcoming trip, I have been asked lots of questions about Ireland and my time abroad. Since they are questions I have gone over several times, I thought I’d answer some of them for you all!
1. What is the weather like over there? How do you know what to pack?
When I started packing, I made sure I downloaded some weather apps on my phone that would give me the most up-to-date information. I also found a few that did not require wi-fi, just in case I was in a situation where I would not have that connection. I looked up information on the average temperature throughout the time I would be in Ireland and packed accordingly. I already know that I will be cold and will need more layers to stay warm. Layers are the best option when going somewhere with an unstable climate like Ireland. I wanted to pack things that would keep me warm and dry just in case the temperatures got a little crazy like they were when I was in Ireland last summer. You also want to pay attention to luggage fees on the airline you use, as you want to avoid insane fees by going over weight limits.
2. How will I travel?
After being in Ireland last summer, but not having an opportunity to travel outside of the country, I went into this trip knowing I wanted to see more of Europe. I planned my trip so that I would have an extra three weeks to explore after my program in Dublin was over. I looked into my options about travel including the rail system and the cheaper airlines that run throughout Europe. Considering my plans involve traveling as far south as Italy to visit a friend, I decided that taking the Eurorail was my best option. Ireland is included as an option, which will allow me to take a ferry to England and then travel to the rest of Europe.
3. How is Ireland culturally different?
After speaking to other people about my time abroad, many wondered about the differences between American and Irish life and if I was nervous about it at all. I am really fortunate to be returning to Ireland this fall after spending five weeks there last summer as an ISA Galway student. I feel really comfortable with the Irish culture and with the Irish people. I love the slower pace of life and cannot wait to return to it. It is normal to be nervous about being in a different culture, but in my experience, it is best to go with the flow of things. It takes a little getting used to, but in the long run, it’s the easiest way to get acclimated to your new surroundings!
Want to read more posts about Ireland? Read “What to Do in Your First Week in Galway!”