It’s hard to put into words how I feel about my experiences in Ireland, but I will do what I’ve done every semester before this — write up a list of…
…study abroad edition 🙂
- Ireland is underrated for its beauty.
- The grass really is greener in Ireland and there really are sheep everywhere.
- Aer Lingus has delicious food.
- How to use the Dublin Bus, aka one of the least user-friendly public transportation systems in the world.
- A little bit more about booze and how to drink it. I despise Rosé and red wine; I can tolerate light beers, hard liquors, and white wine; I can only tolerate Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse; I like “baby Guinness” shots; I am not willing to pay for the amount of alcohol it takes to make me even tipsy. (#BoozeAndGrooves)
- “Slagging” is when Irish people tease you and give you a hard time, but it’s supposedly a way to break the ice when you first meet someone.
- How to share a kitchen with over ten people.
- No matter how many times you might politely ask people to wash their own dishes, there will always be those who just. don’t. get it.
- How to take charge with travel plans, directions, and public transportation.
- How to not panic when I get lost in a foreign country
- It is indeed cloudy and rainy most of the time in Ireland (although we had mild weather this year!).
- Tea breaks are a real thing in the Irish workplace.
- I love the said tea, scone, and biscuit culture.
- But Megan and I also make some great scones that we like even more than the ones at the bakery…
- What dry needling entails and what it feels like.
- How to give bomb massages.
- I LOVE HARRY POTTER. I am a Hufflepuff with Slytherin undertones.
- I don’t get that homesick, but FaceTiming friends every week also helps.
- What black pudding and haggis are and how they taste (not bad!).
- How Airbnb works.
- I can just make it through Italy with my minimal high school Italian language “skills”.
- Assisi is the best place on earth.
- Heck, all of Italy is the best place on earth.
- How to better identify when my funky mood is due to lack of sleep.
- I can get fitter in four months without a gym.
- People feel most loved when you listen to them. Truly listen. This is something that I need to work on.
- What retrocalcaneal bursitis is and how it forces you to just RELAX and stop walking so much.
- 100% recovery is possible.
- Dublin is a fantastic brunch city.
- Megan loves brunch, loves dessert, and questions the purpose of coffee and alcohol as much as I do. And she’s an awesome travel buddy 🙂
- Irish dairy and beef are superb.
- Potatoes really are served with everything in Ireland.
- How to ask more questions.
- Irish sociology, culture, healthcare ethics, and insurance.
- How to play Gaelic sports (and that I royally suck at 2/3 of them).
- Names like Colm, Caolon, and Niamh exist, and they are not phonetical whatsoever.
- I don’t get sick of overnight oats.
- I don’t know how to do bars and pubs.
- Brown bread/soda bread is one of those “this-is-like-cardboard-but-somehow-delicious” foods. It’s all in the generous spread of butter.
- How to challenge my faith and to not be afraid of doubt.
- How to live with, get along with, and love a vastly diverse group of peers.
- How to have good craic (pronounced “crack”; means “fun”).
- I can’t believe I ever disliked the idea of studying abroad.
- How to fall in love with God (whomp whomp, so Christian-girl-mushy, sue me).
- God will truly lead you to where He wills you to go. Just ask Him.
I want to thank my parents, brother, friends/family at home and abroad, and all the staff and faculty at Boston University and Dublin City University who made my study abroad one of the best experiences ever. It is you who make my experiences full.
So tell me:
If you are college student, three things you learned this semester!
If you are not in college, three things you learned this fall!