Hello! I am Adriana Elizondo and I decided to study abroad in Ireland because on one of my travels while I was studying abroad in Spain, I visited Ireland and fell in love with the people and culture. I decided to take on the challenge to be the first McCombs student to go on an exchange to Ireland.
So far, my experience has been beyond unbelievable. The last week has been so exciting. So much has happened that I hadn’t even had time to sit back and write this blog.
First off, my first interaction with Ireland was the most warm and welcoming of all. On my flight from New York City to Shannon, Ireland, I met very nice Irish nationals. A sweet couple went out of their way to tell me all about Limerick and Ireland in general. They also made sure I knew exactly where I was going and gave me their contact information incase I needed anything. Then, upon my arrival, the Irish Garda (police), were so kind to me while my passport was being revised. Overall, the Irish and the foreigners here are so warm and caring. People say it is because of the Guinness!
The campus is completely gorgeous with the beautiful River Shannon cutting through it. In fact, in order to get to class, I have to cross the river every time and I get to pass by some beautiful landscapes. Behind my student apartment (located on campus) is a walking trail that leads to castle ruins. I was able to explore them and research the history of County Limerick.
The international exchange program team is beyond incredible. They have held events for the international students every night since my arrival in Ireland. I have been able to interact so much with many Irish and tons of international students. It has been so much fun going to the local pubs on campus and drinking a Guinness a day, listening to traditional Irish music, and learning steps to Ceili dancing. I also got the opportunity to see an original Irish movie and go into town to shop at the local farmers’ market.
There have been a few things that I have yet to get accustomed to. For example, the weather is so unpredictable. One minute it is windy, dark and gloomy, the next it is sunny, then it decides to rain really hard, eventually small hail starts to fall, and then its back again to windy, dark and gloomy. The key to success here is caring an umbrella all the time with a waterproof jacket. Another thing has been the driving on the “left” side of the road. It’s been a week, and I look to the wrong side of the road and I still don’t know what side of the sidewalk I am supposed to walk on. I hope this gets resolved soon! Lastly, I used to think I loved potatoes, but after eating them in almost every meal here in Ireland, I’ve come to realize that I am not much of a potato person. My first meal at the local pub consisted of fried chicken, boiled potatoes, boiled sweet potatoes, and chips (American fries). Let’s just say, I think I’m going to try to stay away from them just a bit.
This week is the first official day of class but we have the opportunity to “shop around” for classes. It is pretty nice because you get to actually go to lectures for two weeks without being penalized if you decide the class is not for you.
Ultimately, I’ve never felt more welcomed in another country like in Ireland. I have made incredible friends who I’ve shared so many experiences with already and its only been 7 days since my arrival.
Until next time readers!