Preparing for a New Semester Abroad

Submitted by Zeppelin Evans on the 2023 spring semester program in Rome, Italy…

Preparing for a new semester is always stressful: choosing classes, making schedules, getting a first look at a new workload, meeting new teachers and classmates, and so much more. A new semester abroad is even more stressful, since all the normal stressors are there, but also being in a new country and culture. This spring semester has been particularly difficult for me– I was not able to get a “perfect” schedule, I have two internships to juggle along with schoolwork, and I still want to travel and explore Rome.

Getting into classes at John Cabot can be difficult, as everyone registers at the same time and class sizes are small (though I do prefer smaller classes). When registration opened, the site kept crashing, and I was not able to begin picking classes until the next morning. At this point, many classes were already full. I was able to get two classes I was really interested in– one on ancient Roman portraiture and the other on Greek art and archaeology. More than anything, I wanted to take the class dedicated to Shakespeare. I kept checking throughout winter break and the first week of classes to see if anyone dropped it, so I could get a spot, but to no avail. I ended up dropping a number of classes before the end of the add/drop period, including Italian cinema and French. In the end, I have four classes that I will enjoy – Introduction to Literature, Introduction to Cinema, and the two art history classes. However, not knowing or having my schedule up in the air until the last minute was really stressful.

Planning for course registration at John Cabot

In addition to classes, I am continuing a remote internship that I began last year in Delaware and completing a new internship here in Italy. The former is enjoyable and takes up about seven hours of my week. The latter, however, will occupy about fifteen hours of my week. Juggling the intense workload of four John Cabot classes alongside the twenty-plus hours of internship work has been difficult to keep up with and manage. Time management has always been one of my strengths, but I have had to completely rethink how I usually organize my time and work. This has been a big change, but I believe that it will help me be more flexible in the future in museum work, which generally carries long and irregular hours.

One of the biggest reasons that students study abroad is to explore a new city and travel. Many students even go to a different city or country every weekend. Not only is this an unrealistic goal for many due to budgets, but also because of the amount of work that is expected of John Cabot students. Adding to those, having two internships makes it nearly impossible to travel that much. I have set aside time to enjoy myself and explore the city, but I was hoping to get to see Verona, Venice, Pompeii, and Sicily. Understanding that those trips may not be possible with my schedule has been difficult as well. 

While the classes at John Cabot are enjoyable and fulfilling, they can be hard to get into and throw a lot of work at students; if those students are also completing internships it can be difficult to manage time and keep up with the expectations of studying abroad. At the same time, this experience is good practice in coping with change, time management, and setting realistic goals. (Submitted January 20, 2023)

Last Weeks in London

Submitted by Leopold Pullella on the 2023 spring semester program in London, England…

Visiting the Natural History Museum

Above is a photo of me walking to the store at night near my flat. This photo depicts the simple and peaceful life around my home. Not only that, it also points out that I feel that London, at least the area I live in, is much safer than some parts of my hometown in America. It’s especially blissful to be out in London at night because there aren’t usually a lot of people around, offering a unique nightly experience to anyone who visits London. (Submitted during Week 11)

Today, I went to the Natural History Museum in London with Simone and Cassy. The museum was surprisingly small but offered a lot of interesting content, as you can see from the numerous people that were there with us. I was particularly impressed by this large skeleton of a dinosaur. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of this enormous creature, but I do know that I was fascinated by the size comparison to myself. I plan on exploring more museums during my time here in London. (Submitted during Week 12)

Once again, I was with Cassy and Simone and we went to Chinatown to eat at a place called “Beijing Dumplings” which my orchestra maestro Dr. Allen Anderson suggested we go to. I am so thankful for Dr. Anderson’s recommendation because the food was delicious! They gave us the most savory meat dishes, the tastiest fried rice, and some of the best dumplings I have ever had. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who visits London! (Submitted during Week 13)

Visiting Chinatown and “Beijing Dumplings”

I tried churros for the first time in the Greenwich market! Cassy, Simone, and I had been planning to go to this market as we started to approach the end of the semester. As I mentioned before, I love to try new foods and this market was a great opportunity for that. My favorite food was from the Greek stand. The people there were so friendly and the makers of all of the jewelry and other products were so talented. I want to try to find a market like this one back in America! (Submitted during Week 14)

Our time at CAPA is drawing to a close and this will be my last blog post. As many people know, this is the famous Elizabeth Clock that houses the beautiful tones of Big Ben. On this day, Cassy, Simone, and I decided to explore more areas of London in Westminster. While there, we decided to get some lunch at half past 1 pm as a final get-together before we go back to our home towns. Cassy and Simone were kind enough to let me stay until 2 pm to hear the iconic sound of Big Ben. I was so excited to be quite literally hearing history. My time at CAPA has helped me build friendships I expect to last a lifetime as well as ignite my interest in exploring other cultures in many different areas of the world. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to study abroad in London. (Submitted during Week 15)

Last goodbyes to Big Ben and London

Transcontinental Travels through Europe

Submitted by Sierra Crisp on the 2023 spring semester program in Limerick, Ireland…

A street view of Amsterdam in the Netherlands

Week 8 was amazing. I went to Amsterdam and had a blast. It’s so nice to be so close to such a awesome areas. Amsterdam is truly an amazing city and I wouldn’t have been able to see it without this opportunity. I went on a canal ride, toured the city, and even went to a cheese museum. I’m so psyched to visit more areas in Europe and expand my world view. (Submitted on March 15, 2023)

This week was Saint Patrick’s Day!!! It was great fun. We went to the parade in Cork and went to a St Patrick’s Day festival with acrobatics and sweets. It was an amazing time. Full of Craic. I went with new friends I made from Ireland and people from UDEL. (Submitted during March 20, 2023)

Week 10 was a really great one! It was my girlfriends birthday and we had a great time celebrating. We went to Dublin and went roller skating with friends. It was truly a great time and we had loads of fun. Ireland has been amazing!! (Submitted during Week 10)

Week 11 has been amazing. On Tuesday we went on the beginning of a weeklong trip to Greece and Ireland. Studying abroad in Ireland gives us the opportunity to see new sites and explore countries we never thought possible. Greece has been utterly amazing. We went to an Island called Corfu and are currently in Athens. Athens is an amazing city with loads of culture and Beauty. (Submitted during Week 11)

Visiting the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Week 12 has been awesome! We’ve left Greece and are now in Italy. Our plan is to go from Rome to Venice to Milan and then fly out back to Ireland. Rome is amazing! We’ve seen the Colosseum and Hadrians temple. Such an amazing time in an amazing city. (Submitted on April 5, 2023)

Sadly this week has probably been one of the most stressful weeks at UL. There’s so much assignments coming up, and it’s getting to a point where I really just want to be done. I’m afraid of grades, as I don’t understand UL’s grading system. And more then anything I want to just relax on a beach and enjoy the rest of my time here. But this is school, not a vacation so I’ll tough it out and hopefully everything will be okay. (Submitted on April 22, 2023)

Arriving in Limerick

Exploring Dublin

Submitted by Sierra Crisp on the 2023 spring semester program in Limerick, Ireland…

This marks week 1 of my study abroad journey. So far I’m really loving Ireland. There is so much to see and do. The campus is incredibly beautiful and is full of natural beauty. It is surrounded by nature and the buildings are a true work of architecture. My favorite place so far has been the grass pasture right beside my dorm. It’s a place that holds many activities and there is always a nice face lounging about. (Submitted on January 20, 2023)

Week 2 of my study abroad experience was even better than the first. I’m getting more comfortable at the University of Limerick. I’ve made more friends and now know my way around campus. Classes are hard, however the teachers are extremely talented and I feel like I’m learning a ton. This week I went on a trip to Blarney Castle and visited a beautiful cathedral in Cork. It was loads of fun, and I can’t wait to go back!! (Submitted on January 31, 2023)

I’m really enjoying Ireland! We went on our first weekend trip and that really was a stunner. Dublin was really a place to be. We did so many things from go on a bus tour to checking out museums and markets. I went with a great group of friends that I’ve met who all live across the globe! It’s nice to meet so many people of different paths. (Submitted during Week 3)

This week may have been the best yet. I got to try out a whole new sport that I’ve never even heard of called Wind Surfing. Which is basically a fusion of many types of water sports. It was challenging and quite scary at first but soon I conquered my fear. Through this I learned how to persevere. It was loads of fun and I can’t wait to go on the water sometime again. (Submitted on February 12, 2023)

This week was a pretty uneventful week. It’s been a great time, but I’m starting to feel a bit homesick. Despite this, I realize that there are so many more exciting things to come. Me and my friend are planning a trip to Greece during spring break! It’s amazing to get a time to travel and explore Europe. I’ve never been outside the country until now, and now I’m going across the globe! (Submitted on February 28, 2023)

The Uni Limerick Aquatic Center, which is used for windsurfing!

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations!

Submitted by Audrey Berry on the 2023 spring semester program in Limerick, Ireland…

Coffee and flowers in Limerick City

Not much happened this week in particular. Although, the school was certainly very busy! This week was something known as RAG week – this is a week where students participate in a selfless activity that helps the community. However, it also means you skip your classes and go out and party! It was definitely a new experience for me. A lot of the clubs in the city had a theme each night to entice students to attend. Personally,  I chose to relax more this week although I did participate on Tuesday. I also went to the little market in town on Saturday. The daffodils are in bloom and they had a wonderful bouquet! I also got a nice coffee and some kebabs- I would’ve never guessed kebabs would be so popular in Ireland! Next week we are going to Amsterdam! I am so excited and cannot wait to update. (Submitted during Week 7)

This last week was absolutely fantastic! My girlfriend and I took a trip to Amsterdam over the weekend! Oh my goodness, it was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to – the architecture is a mixture of modern and royal and the people are consistently kind despite the high number of tourists. We also got to experience the range of weather (sun, rain, and snow), which is expected in early March. We stayed in a little hotel room in the center of the city, and it surprised me how inexpensive it was for it being so close. We experienced many things; a boat ride, an interactive light show, the cheese museum, etc. But the most shocking part was definitely the red light district – I see why it’s internationally known, definitely…. unusual. Overall, this was a lovely trip and I sincerely hope to visit again. (Submitted during Week 8)

This week was Saint Patrick’s day, and being in Ireland it was certainly a big deal. On the day itself me and my friends went to cork city. We saw a parade and went to a festival! I was surprised at how many things didn’t occur on the day itself but rather the next day, which unfortunately we did not realize until we got to Cork. That was okay though because the next day we went to Limerick City and had a ball! We went to a festival, rode on a ferris wheel, and then went out that night. I was speaking to an Irish person and apparently, this holiday is far more important for foreigners than for the Irish themselves! Who would’ve guessed? (Submitted during Week 9)

Limerick City Market

Living and Learning Swedish Culture

Submitted by Alison Giffen on the 2023 DIS spring semester program in Stockholm, Sweden …

Visiting sustainable communities in Stockholm

This week classes are back to normal! I figured I would use this week’s blog post to talk about the unique opportunity DIS gives us each Wednesday. Every Wednesday we don’t have standard classes, instead we go on field studies to foster learning outside the classroom. The main principle behind this idea is applying what we are learning in the classroom to real life scenarios. This Wednesday, my neurodegenerative diseases class went on our first field study to a neurology clinic. At the clinic we got to meet a patient with Parkinson’s Disease. Additionally, we got to watch a full clinical examination of both the patient’s symptoms and mental health status. It was really cool to see what we have been learning about in class done in real life. Not only did we learn more about Parkinson’s but the patient we met with also asked us questions. It was a really unique opportunity for both parties to learn more about a currently incurable disease. Unfortunately we could not take pictures in the clinic for confidentiality, so I included pictures from a field study I went on a few weeks ago with my Swedish Language and Culture class. We visited the Royal Seaport which is a suburb community that has a focus on sustainability and building affordable housing without sacrificing the environment. (Submitted during Week 5)

This past week consisted of one of the biggest Swedish traditions: Semla day! This year it was on February 21st, but that can change each year as the day, Fat Tuesday, is more important than the date. Semla day, or Semmeldagen as they say in Swedish, is when you eat as many semlas throughout the day as you can and then you “give them up for lent.” Semla is a bun that has cream and almond paste in the middle. For my Semmeldagen, I went to a cafe called Vette Katten with two of my friends from my floor, Skylar and Carter. I found out that I do not share the same love for semlas as most here in Sweden do, but I was still really proud to take part in this Swedish tradition. Later that night, my floor did a group potluck where we all brought different foods to share for dinner. I, of course, made pasta. It was really nice to be able to sit down with everyone and catch up, as it feels like everyone is always super busy. And you guessed it, the desserts brought were semlas! Overally, my first Semmeldagen was one to remember. (Submitted during Week 6)

Celebrating Semmeldagen with semlas!

Week 07 came with a very rare surprise in Stockholm: the Northern Lights! Normally in order to see the Northern Lights you have to travel to Swedish Lappland, which is much farther North than Stockholm. However, when the weather is just right, the lights can be seen from Stockholm! This past Monday the sky was super clear and so I went with some friends to one of the highest points in Stockholm, Skinnarviksberget, which also only happens to be a 10 minute walk from my building! We all got bundled up and headed out around 10 because the weather report said they should be visible from 10 to 11 o’clock. We brought towels to sit on and we all watched and waited to see if we could see the lights. The Northern Lights decided to come and show off in Stockholm and it was super cool to see. They definitely weren’t as good as the lights you see in pictures from Iceland or anywhere else in the Arctic Circle but they were enough to be able to see the green hinge in the sky. We all stayed a while and watched the lights dance across the sky. It was definitely the highlight of my week. (Submitted during Week 7)

Exploring Dublin and Dingle in Ireland

Submitted by Audrey Berry on the 2023 spring semester program in Limerick, Ireland…

Visiting the Botanical Gardens in Dublin

This past week, me and my friends coordinated a trip to Dublin. All 8 of us stayed in a hotel that really was more of a hostel – they crammed 8 beds in one room! The city itself was absolutely beautiful. Irish cities in general seem to be much more clean and pedestrian friendly than most American cities. And the history is breathtaking – old buildings mixed with new give a very interesting look to each street. We went to a market and on a bus tour (my idea haha, my friends weren’t quite as fond). The next day, me and my girlfriend broke off – we went to the national botanical gardens, the museum, and the zoo! I also had some of the best Indian food of my life. Overall, the folks were nice and most things were fairly affordable – the hotel was only 35 euro a person! I was surprised to find that the garden and museum were free as well – I had no idea how many flowers grow in the winter nor how many Irish painters there were. It was a beautiful trip and I can’t wait to return. The rest of the week was more mundane; the usual, classes and lunch or the occasional outing. I did go to the movies with some of my psychology friends though – cheaper than the US! Overall, it was a good week and I look forward to the next one. (Submitted during Week 4)

This past week has been rather relaxed. I have mostly been hanging out with friends and doing schoolwork. Me and my girlfriend (who is also here) are planning our spring break trip! We are planning on going to Italy and Greece – I am surprised by how easy and cheap it is to get around Europe! I also officially had my immigration appointment – the only issue I have found is how inconsistent the buses are. It makes me miss my car haha! Looking forward to another beautiful week in Ireland. (Submitted during Week 5)

This week was absolutely wonderful! My girlfriend and I took a delayed valentines day trip to the coastal town of Dingle. The entire town was beautiful – covered in flowers, perfectly clean streets, and the most colorful buildings lining each street. We stayed in the most darling hotel (with a fantastic shower – I have missed the shower pressure) and ate out way too much. What was really the most (positive) shocking thing I realized is the pure kindness that is ingrained in Irish culture , especially in the smaller towns. The best example of this is when my girlfriend planned a horseback riding trek down by the coast (breathtaking, by the way) but we couldn’t find any way to get there. We asked our hotel receptionist for help finding a taxi, but instead this sweet woman offered to drive us there herself! Then, after accepting our fate of walking back from the horseback riding location, a different woman offered to drive us back again! Such genuine displays of kindness, even to foreign people. I had a lovely, relaxing weekend and have continued to fall more in love with this country. (Submitted during Week 6)

Horseback riding in Dingle!

Tips and Tricks for Study Abroad in Europe

Submitted by Elliana Olivo on the 2023 spring semester program in Rome, Italy…

Preparing for study abroad was definitely stressful but in more ways than one it is just like packing for a normal semester. With some exceptions of course, with weather and what you plan to do during your travels. For me, I would recommend bringing basic clothes that you can layer, so you will have different items for each season you will be away. You can always purchase more abroad and for less most of the time! As for clothing I would say to bring one pair of good walking shoes, interchangeable pants for any occasion as well as a winter coat/winter accessories. A portable charger, international plug converter, filtered water bottle and your favorite toiletries are a must bring. The European items are different from those in the United States and it is difficult to find the translation of items while in store. Unfortunately, Amazon Prime doesn’t exist here as well which was a huge culture shock to me! I definitely overpacked and recommend to anyone going abroad to leave room in their suitcase because you will at least buy a few things you want to bring home! (Submitted during Week 4)

Visiting Venice for Carnevale

This past weekend has been such a whirlwind of events traveling from Rome to Venice for the celebration of Carnevale. Carnevale is the last celebration before Lent with the freedom of masks, dance, food and drinks. My friends and I all purchased masks from street vendors, participated in the cultural dance and were able to learn about the historical events from tour guides, gondoliers and local Italians. In St. Lucia where we stayed, people were dressed in full masquerade costumes, masks and participated in shows on the street for the tourists. It was so refreshing to see so many people enjoy themselves and not care what they wore or how they acted in celebration. What was really interesting was the culture in Venice was completely different to that in Rome. Venice was really relaxed, flexible and celebratory compared to the typical city atmosphere of the Roman lifestyle. We embraced this feeling by going on a gondola ride, sunset boat ride to Burano and having no itinerary for the weekend just figuring it out as we went! (Submitted on February 13, 2023)

As I start packing for spring break, I have realized that as an American, I do not have the correct clothes to live in Europe without getting stares that I do not fit in. European culture is much more formal in regards to how they dress from day to day. Unlike in the US, Europeans do not wear sweatshirts, sweatpants or athletic clothing outside of the gym. That being said, we have been accommodating to the new culture shock wearing our “nicer” clothes everyday to class that we usually wouldn’t wear back home until a nicer occasion was brought up. In my opinion, I actually like this new way of living because I can actually wear the nice clothes that I have more often and I feel more put together throughout the day. I hope that I make a habit out of it and continue to dress similarly when I come back to the States. (Submitted on March 4, 2023)

Everyone says traveling around Europe is cheap, unfortunately that is not the case. Yes it is “cheaper” because you are already in Europe rather than going from the United States, however the flights are not twenty euro as you see on Instagram and TikTok. Travel and housing alone for each weekend trip I have been on are all well over two hundred dollars at least. European airlines also differ from those in America; the bag sizes are tremendously smaller and for a fee. A unique aspect about Europe though are the fast trains, they are around the same prices as a flight but easier to manage and cut the travel time from a regular train in half! A recommendation I have for traveling abroad for the semester is picking a country you want to travel the most in since international flights are more expensive as well as, when booking flights on Google use the map icon to show all flights from your country to see the cheapest destination for that weekend. Fortunately in most European countries hostels are available for a lower cost and the food cost is nothing compared to major cities in the United States. (Submitted on March 12, 2023)

Studying and sketching Italian architecture

Europe differs from the States, in not only the architecture but the streets themselves. The street signs are on the buildings making them less noticeable and most of them in Italy are faded, being ancient Rome and all. The streets are also cobblestone therefore you always need to watch your step and surroundings. In contrast, the style is elevated in Europe for everyday wear making heels on the cobblestone streets impractical but most women wear boots and heels daily. The United States is always improving and knocking down the old bringing in the new. Europe has kept similar styles throughout the centuries especially Rome is known for restoring and preserving what they can of Ancient Rome. Each new “Rome” is clearly shown by the elevation in which the buildings are on, the more recent the buildings higher above the water level they are. (Submitted on March 21, 2023)

Arriving in Stockholm

Submitted by Alison Giffen on the 2023 DIS spring semester program in Stockholm, Sweden…

A scenic view from the metro

What a week! Thanks to DIS, from the moment I landed in Sweden I was assisted in moving in. DIS helped me arrange transportation to my housing site where I was then met by more staff to help me move into my room. The following few days before classes started were given as time to grocery shop and attend orientation ceremonies and practice using our main source of transportation: the metro! Classes began on Thursday so we haven’t learned a lot yet but every teacher seems engaged and excited to be teaching their course. The hardest thing about the first week here in Stockholm was the adjustment to the darkness. This week the average time of sunrise is 8:10 am and sunset 3:45 pm which is around only 7.5 hours of sunlight. I highly recommend starting by taking a vitamin D supplement a few days before you arrive and continuing it to help adjust to the decreased amount of sunlight you will get in the winter months. (Submitted during Week 1)

These past two weeks have been super busy between school and trying to see more of Stockholm. Through exploring the city and meeting my visiting host family I have learned a lot more about Swedish culture. To start, in my Swedish class we had an assignment that required us to go to different locations around Stockholm. My group visited Gamla Stan which is known as Old Town. Seeing the different style of buildings and streets really showed us how far Stockholm has come. While in Gamla Stan, my group sat down to have fika. Fika is a big part of Swedish daily life. Fika is the idea of having a break throughout your day and getting coffee or, in my case, hot chocolate and a biscuit. Some workplaces even have a fika break scheduled in their workday. Fika can take 15 minutes or it can take hours if you are catching up with a friend on a weekend. This past Saturday I also had fika with my visiting host family. DIS has a program where if you are not a homestay student you can sign up for a visiting host family where you can meet with a Swedish family a few times a month. The idea of the program is that students not staying in a homestay can still be fully immersed in Swedish culture. My host family is ironically very similar to my home family, both have three kids around the same age. The mother of the host family, Sarah, was so friendly and taught me a lot about Swedish culture in just the few hours I was with her and one of her daughters, Emma. We ended up getting traditional Swedish meatballs and potatoes with Lingonberry jam. As a picky eater I was a little nervous, but keeping an open mind is very important when traveling to another country. I have made a rule to at least try everything once or twice and boy am I glad I tried one of the most traditional Swedish meals. They were delicious and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Sweden. After eating lunch, the three of us sat and had fika where I was able to try two different Swedish pastries. One was a vanilla cookie with raspberry jam in the middle. The other was a more minty and chocolate pastry, which in English, is called “a vacuum cleaner”. The name comes from the idea that the pastry is made of leftover ingredients from cooking other meals. The vacuum cleaner was not my personal favorite but I am still glad I tried it. After fika, my visiting host family and I walked around downtown Stockholm. While walking around, they told me about Melodifestivalen, a Swedish talent competition, where the winner goes on to EuroVision to represent Sweden. Overall, the past two weeks have been full of learning and sightseeing around Stockholm. This upcoming week is my core course week where we spend 3 days in Gothenburg! (Submitted during Week 2/3)

Pastries provided by ATSUB during fika break

It’s crazy that I have been here at DIS Stockholm for a month now! This week is core course week. DIS academics are based off of one, 3 credit, core course that is your main area of study. To fill up the rest of your schedule, you take electives. This week is core course week which means that you spend 3 days of the week on a short study tour somewhere in Sweden and the other 2 days in Stockholm. My core course, Forensic Psychology, spent Monday through Wednesday in Gothenburg. Each day consisted of academic visits and free time. We visited a halfway house, CLIP (Criminal, Legal, and Investigative Psychology) Research Group, and ATSUB (a support group for family members of children who have been sexually abused). Learning about how the Swedish legal system approaches reintegration of prisoners, victims that are children, etc. was so eye opening to the ways the US differs from Sweden on a legal level. Outside academics, some of my classmates and I explored the Gothenburg Museum of Art and Slottsskogen, which is a zoo in a park. We got to see different deers, moose, sheep, seals, penguins and more! On Wednesday night, we returned to Stockholm. Thursday we visited Mansjouren, an organization focused on helping men who are in crisis. As we learned in this field study, there are countless women shelters in Sweden, but only one for men. Mansjouren helps support the men throughout Stockholm who need it the most. The organization is trying to expand nationally, but is finding it challenging due to the lack of funding the government is providing. While debriefing on Friday, we all agreed how eye opening this past week has been to some of the main legal issues facing Swedish society. (Submitted during Week 4)

A scenic view of Gothenburg!

Living in Limerick City

Submitted by Audrey Berry on the 2023 spring semester program in Limerick, Ireland…

Exploring Limerick City

This post marks the end of the first week abroad! Already, the trip has been filled with lots of positive (and negative) experiences that have opened my eyes to a whole different world of travel. The trip began on a low note, as the plane ride was long – the multiple babies on the flight thought so too – and the airline lost my bag with lots of valuables in it. Unfortunately, they still have not located my bag and this has definitely caused me a lot of stress, both due to the uncertainty of if they find it as well as the struggle to replace some of the essential items. Combine that with the stress of being somewhere unfamiliar and the persistent stomach ache I’ve had since arrival and it makes for an emotional situation! All that being said, the positives completely outweigh the negatives. This country is absolutely breathtaking with beautiful lush grass or moss covering the ground, winding trees at every turn, and unique architecture all throughout the campus. The people have been no less wonderful as everybody I have met thus far have been so kind and inviting – one of my favorite interactions has been with the lovely ladies who work at the café, their beautiful accent combined with the way they call everybody “luvie” is enough to melt stone. My roommates are also really cool and I’ve already bonded with a tall blue haired person from Chicago and I’m looking forward to making many new connections throughout the semester. One of the biggest changes from the University of Delaware is the fact that they have four school owned pubs less than a 10 minute walk from my housing (even the school wifi connects!). Overall, my first week has been spectacular and filled with new people and new experiences. I can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store! (Submitted on January 20, 2023)

Visiting Blarney Castle

So far the experiences here have been unmatched! Surprisingly, it hasn’t been terribly rainy nor terribly cold (compared to DE, anyways). We had our real first week of classes and I was surprised by the structure of the grading – rather than many smaller activities, only a few assignments make up the entire final grade. As for the activities, it has certainly been quite eventful. I have met so many lovely people, lots of Americans, but I am also starting to make connections with some fellow Irish students in my psychology classes. Although some Irish folks can be quite cliquey and less keen to talk, I have also met so many inviting and kind people. So far, I have held a movie night, went into the city, and got to see Blarney castle! I even kissed the stone (as scary as it was). Overall, I cannot wait for the next few months. (Submitted during Week 2)

This week has been much more relaxed than last week. I feel now that all the students are settled in on campus people are less active. That being said, I absolutely needed a small break from meeting all these new people. This week, I spent a good amount of time selecting clubs to participate in (they are called societies here). I ended up with crafts, fashion, and outdoor pursuits. However, my new friends from my psychology classes introduced me to their whole friend group and they came over for another little movie day and then we went into the city. It was a multicultural experience; we met two Irish girls, two Polish girls, a Czech girl, and two Russian boys so I felt right at home! They also convinced me to join the drama club, which I have never done before, so I am excited to see how it goes. Me and my roommates are currently planning a trip to Dublin for Sunday evening- I’m surprised at how easy it is to travel by bus here! Another great week put behind me! (Submitted during Week 3)

Exploring Ireland with friends!