Being abroad is much harder than I had ever anticipated. There are the logistics to work out, places to adjust to, and people to meet and befriend. For me, particularly in the beginning, it was hard to become accustomed to my new environment, mostly because change is almost always difficult for me. However, now I am approaching the halfway point of my experience and I feel that I have fully adjusted to the Irish culture and thing things it has to offer. Although, some days are still difficult; I often miss my family, friends, and home institution but the things that I have seen and the people that I have met make it all worth the few struggles! Since embarking on my journey in Ireland, and having had the opportunity to see and meet new people and places, I have attained a better appreciation for home, as well as an improved insight about my own self.
There are many things I love about Cork
! The size of the city is just right, not as big as Dublin
, nor as small as Galway
. Personally I feel it is a wonderful place to wander around on a nice day and get lost for a while. Since coming from the suburbs, living in a city has been a dream of mine for quite some time; however, living in Cork
has given me a much greater appreciation for home. Back in the United States is everything that’s familiar to me, places, people, and even certain mannerisms that I most likely took advantage of before I left. Everything at home is simple and convenient. There I have my friends and family around for any needed support, I have access to a car to get me to and from anywhere I desire, and I never have to worry about figuring out silly predicaments such as the temperature in Fahrenheit, exchange rates, paying for laundry, making dinner, or differentiating the time zones. The fact is I am just more comfortable in the States, but
that does not mean I won’t miss Ireland
everyday when I am home!
Since being in Ireland I think that I have received a great appreciation for not only my culture, but for the Irish culture as well. If I had not come to Ireland I don’t think that I would be as interested in trying new things. I would normally just stick to my routine and my limited schedule at home. However, nearly every day I try to explore something new, whether that includes taking a different route home from college or meeting someone new and learning a bit of their story. And I am certain that when I go home that I will embrace new adventures more than ever before due to my experience!
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to travel throughout Ireland
and see the bits and pieces of this place that make it special. I have come to better understand the Irish
way of live. I recognize why they always talk about the weather, why the college students go home on the weekends, and the the Rubberbandits (two singing hooligans from Limerick
) are so funny! I can identify why the Irish
use hot water bottles at night, why nettles are so awful, and even why Irish
21 year olds can handle their alcohol a bit better than 21 year olds in America. I can remember first arriving and my Irish
friends would reference certain things and laugh at many things I could not understand but two months time has made a world of a difference! Now I can watch many talented Irish
comedians and know what or who they are poking fun at. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to learn more about the Irish
way of life and it quarks and I cannot wait to investigate and discover more the Ireland
in my time left here!