January 17, 2014

Study Abroad - Weeks 1 & 2

What an exciting, busy, and exhausting two weeks it's been!

So, starting at the beginning. When I flew to Dublin I left from Logan Airport in Boston. My flight left Monday, January 6th at 6:15pm. It's about a six hour flight, but due to the time difference, we arrived at 5:30am.

I met up with other students in the airport and we waited for our Resident Director to show up. After collecting some more students, we all left to drive to our apartments. For the rest of the day we had orientation meetings about safety and such in Dublin. We also had lots of time to move into our apartments.

Over the next several days we met with our Resident Director several more times. We had some other meetings about Irish culture, we were shown how to get to Trinity College, & we went shopping for any items we needed at Penneys, a department store. We also registered for classes and generally got acquainted with Dublin and got to know the other students in the program.

As I briefly mentioned in my last post, all of the API students going to Trinity live at another college, which is about a 30-minute walk from campus. There are ten of us API students living here, but plenty of students live here as well. The college is roughly the same size as Saint Mike's, with about 2,000 students. Most of the other students at this college study here as well, but there are also plenty of students who, like us, simply live here and attend another college.

On Monday, January 13th, we started classes. I'm taking four classes while I'm here - two History and two English classes. My favorites so far are Twentieth Century Women's Literature & Themes of Modern American History. The first discusses works of literature by female writers and seems like a really engaging class. For the second, I have a fun, passionate professor. It's also interesting to hear about American politics from a different perspective.

We've had a bit of free time these last two weeks, so I've used the time to do some exploring. All of the API students got together to tour the Guinness Factory last week, which was really fun. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it, but the tour was really interesting. We also learned how to properly taste a Guinness & how to pour our own.

Awesome view of Dublin from the factory

On my own, I also spent some time touring the Dublin Castle & going to seeing the Book of Kells & the Old Library on Trinity Campus. The Dublin Castle was used a lot by English royalty when they ruled Ireland. Now, it's mainly used for tours but it's still used for the induction ceremony of Irish Presidents. John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, & Bill Clinton have also all attended events at the castle.

The Book of Kells is a copy of the four Gospels of the New Testament. It was creates by Celtic monks around the year 800. It's well known because it is such an old collection of documents & because it is so ornately decorated. Upstairs from the Book of Kells exhibit is the Old Library. You may have seen pictures, as this library is constantly voted one of the most beautiful in the world. It is incredible and breathtaking. It was really beautiful and I advise anyone to go and see it.

Tomorrow we have a welcome event through API. We'll have a welcome tour of the city then we'll get a cooking lesson & will have a huge dinner together. We're going to get together with students studying at University College Dublin through API, so it will be cool to meet them.

I'll blog again in the next few weeks about what I'm up to. If you have any questions, feel free to email!

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