Katherine Dwire is a student at Indiana University/Purdue University at Ft. Wayne and is an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Dublin, Ireland.
- Before I even thought about studying abroad or traveling to Ireland, I remember hearing about how nice the Irish people are. Well, from my experience so far I can say that that is true, and it is one of the main reasons you should study abroad in Ireland. A few minutes after I stepped off the plane someone helped me with my bags. Our driver to the UCD campus, Paddy, couldn’t have been friendlier. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve asked for help or directions so far. I have yet to find anyone who is rude or refused to help.
- Look at one picture of Ireland and you have to admit that it’s a beautiful place. I look at pictures I’ve taken and still can’t believe I’ve seen some of the places with my own eyes. Not only is there the natural beauty of the landscape, there are churches and architectural landmarks that are equally stunning. It’s nice being in Dublin because you get the feel of being in a vibrant city with a lot to do, but you’re also not far from getting to the green hills of Ireland and the more rural settings that I’m used to seeing images of back home.
- So far, being in Ireland hasn’t been too much of a culture shock. There hasn’t been a time here where I’ve felt completely lost or uncomfortable about a situation. Ireland has struck a nice balance for me between experiencing a new culture and new things in that culture (for instance I watched a hurling match for the first time today) without throwing me in an environment where I’m always having to worry about cultural differences. Maybe Ireland would be a great place to study abroad for someone who is worried about language or about things being too different than what they are used to in the States. Of course these differences are what I’m here to discover and learn about! It has been interesting trying to do my hair in a bathroom without plugs and trying all the traditional Irish food.
- Ireland is also not that big of a country, so getting around it doesn’t take as long or take as much money to get across as the United States. There are buses, trains, and tour groups that can easily take you for a day trip to see something incredibly beautiful like the Cliffs of Moher. Yesterday my ISA friends and a few others took a bus to a coastal town and it didn’t take long at all. There we were looking at the sea in 20 minutes! If you play your cards right, it can also be cheap to travel to other countries, since Ireland is so close to continental Europe. But if you want to stay in Ireland there’s plenty to do and see!
Want to read more about Ireland? Check out “3 Questions to Ask Before Studying Abroad in Ireland”