1. Find the breakfast food
I am a firm believer in the concept that breakfast foods can solve all your problems. Homesick? Sausages and eggs will do the trick. Heartache? Smoothie for your troubles. Lost and Frustrated? That was me. Specifically, in Galway, Ireland I would recommend Wards Corner Store in which there is a wide array of delicacies that will at least numb your little confused, foreign heart. Or just trick your lovely new friends into bringing you coffee to shared morning classes. That works as well.
Here is a picture of a wonderful breakfast bap, and you get tea too! Big surprise.
2. Pretend like you know what the locals are saying
No matter where you are traveling there will always be a bit of slang that shocks you. For Ireland, specifically it was crack, ehm, excuse me “craic”. Their word for fun or a good time.
Many of you may have already been informed of this little fun fact, but let me tell you, nothing will prepare you for the extent in which Irish people LOVE some craic. Just nod your head and hope they mean what you don’t think they mean.
3. Join a club/society that will impress your friends back home
This is usually hit or miss depending on what kind of people you associate with. Forget the cool “grams” and just try a new hobby that you can discreetly brag about. I chose archery because NUIG offered the club and I thought it would make me seem like an old-timey heroine.
4. Do the dumb tourist activities with or without shame
Everyone probably knows you’re a tourist anyway so do whatever you want. Take the pictures in front of <insert landmark here> and only feel mildly uncomfortable. Splurge on some souvenir that you actually like and show it off. I bought a Claddagh ring and didn’t think twice. Single and ready to mingle, lads.
Here is me trying and failing to get a picture at Dun Aengus. We have the same first name so I was basically Amy Adams in Leap Year.
5. Buy everything you forgot to pack or were too cheap to get originally
Chances are you left something of value behind on your journey. Although it will cause you some internal pain to shuck out the cash for something you already own at home, do it anyway. Especially a raincoat if you are going to Ireland. That’s always a smart move.
These are my top 5 tips for holding onto your sanity while studying abroad. This should at least get you through the first month. Just be safe and have fun and everything else will fall into place!
Your Discovery. Our People… The World Awaits.