Monday, 17 June 2013
First Day of Class
In addition to my internship, I am taking an Irish Cultural course through American College Dublin, and Friday was my first day of class. The Academic Dean, Rory, gave a tour and history of the Oscar Wilde House and then somewhat of a lecture on the pre-historic history of Ireland, which I found rather interesting. For the afternoon, I toured the National Museum of Ireland looking at artifacts of that time.
After class, I enjoyed a walk around Dublin and a relaxing night in to prepare for an early start Saturday morning for a daytrip to Blarney Castle, Cork, and the Rock of Cashel.
I left Dublin at 7am and returned around 7:30pm, so it made for a long, but great, day. The first stop was Blarney Castle, and as you can see below, I kissed the Blarney Stone. (I haven’t noticed that the gift of the gab has taken effect, but we’ll see!) Then it was off to Cork. Cork was a great little city to visit, and I really loved walking through the English Market. There was so much fresh produce, bread, meat and fish. From Cork, the tour went to the Rock of Cashel, where St. Patrick converted the King of Munster. The castle is surrounded by a cemetery full of Irish High Crosses (Celtic Crosses) with elaborate carvings and traditional knot artwork. It was a long day full of history and bad jokes from the tour guide, but so enjoyable.
Sunday, I slept in and relaxed for most of the day. Earlier in the week I had registered for the Dublin Bikes (a bike sharing system within the city). I received my subscription card and set out for a ride! I rode from my apartment to ACD to get an estimate of how long my commute would now be (biking cut the commute in half!) There are bike lanes along a majority of the roads and most drivers respect the cyclists, so I have really enjoyed riding through the city without any issues so far. Then I rode around Dublin, through Phoenix Park, and back to my apartment for the remainder of the evening.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
My first weekend in Dublin was amazing! I arrived Saturday morning, got to my apartment, met my roommates, and got settled in. That afternoon, the rest of my group (5 girls) and I met up with Sandra, the internship program director, and toured part of the city, mainly Henry Street and The Temple Bar area. Walking with Sandra is quite the experience; she zooms around, pointing at so many things, it truly is sensory overload: too much to take in at once. After walking around for a few hours, we stopped for dinner at Fade Street Social, a tapas bar near Temple Bar. I had a few different plates, but the best, by far, was the mini goat logs: goat cheese wrapped in ham, then lightly battered and fried, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. They were amazing! Following dinner, most of the girls headed back to the apartments, but Kelly and I stayed out with Sandra and went to Grogan’s Pub. With the heat wave that was running through Dublin at the time, the streets were bustling and the pubs as lively as could be. Kelly and I stayed out for a few hours and got to see a great cross-section of Irish culture and people. It was a great first day!
Sunday, we all met up with Sandra around noon, toured more of the city: O’Connell Street, the Financial District, Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green, and the area around Trinity College. She took us each to where we would be interning for the summer so we knew where we were going. After this walking tour the six of us went on a Viking Splash Tour, which really helped us all better understand to layout of the city after Sandra’s whirlwind tour. The tour vehicle is a WWII DUKW amphibious vehicle, so we drove around the city, then floated through part of the canal, all while wearing Viking helmets and taunting pedestrians and other tour buses. After the Viking tour, we returned to the apartments and relaxed for the evening.
Monday was my first day on the job. I am interning this summer at American College Dublin in the Student Affairs Office with Colum Cronin. I am a graduate student getting my Master’s Degree in Higher Education: Student Affairs, to ideally work at a college or university in Student Activities. I am very excited to be working with Colum and the staff here at ACD to plan an anniversary and reunion for this fall and everything else I may end up working on. I enjoyed a half day in the office on Monday, then was tasked to explore the city some more, take photos, and enjoy the weather. All of which I did, because Tuesday saw the return of dreary Dublin weather with rain off and on for most of the day.
Monday, 16 July 2012
Wow, I truly can’t believe that this is my last time writing my weekly blog for American College Dublin this summer. It sounds cliché, but it really does seem like only yesterday that I landed in Dublin and greeted by Colum in the airport. These past two months have gone too quick, which generally tends to happen when you are busy and enjoying your time with great people in such an amazing place.
I truly enjoyed my time interning in the Student Affairs Department at American College Dublin. I came into the internship knowing that I would be working with the summer study abroad students, but there was so much more to the internship then just that. I learned how to network to other state University’s through emails and conference calls about what amazing programs ACD has to offer. I went on field trips and learned how to play different national Irish sports. I developed friendships with other ACD faculty who kept me laughing and entertained day in and day out. I can actually leave my internship saying that I participated in a Guinness Book of World Records. I was also able to attend seminars that were hosted by American College Dublin, which broaden my horizons to topics that I never used to think about.
The most recent seminar/presentation I attended at American College Dublin was about homelessness in Ireland. Colum arranged for a representative from a local charity called Focus Ireland to come into the classroom to discuss how they work to prevent people from becoming, remaining, or returning to homelessness. This was a very interesting, and eye opening presentation and topic to learn more about. I think this is very beneficial for study abroad students to sit in on because it clears up any false perception they may have about the homeless population in Dublin.
After Wednesday presentation, the rest of the final week in Dublin flew by! I was busy with last minute projects at American College Dublin, as well as setting up and going to apartment viewings. Luckily by the end of the week, I had moved myself into my new apartment that I would be sharing with another girl who is getting her masters in Dublin as well.
As the week turned into the weekend, I dropped into the student apartments a few different times. Each time I went it seemed like the place was getting more and more empty. The students began to throw away all their garbage and packing away their clothes and souvenirs. I laughed to myself when I heard a few of the girls questioning how they were going to fit everything they originally brought with them and the new items they accumulate over the course of the summer into their suitcases. I found their frustration somewhat entertaining because I remember I had the same issue when I was here last year. I was happy to hear from one of the 8 week study abroad students that she had been in contact with the other 4 weeker students and thy were in the middle of planning a Ireland Summer 2012 reunion in New York at the end of July. It's nice and in a way rewarding for me that I got to witness the transformation of group of complete strangers becoming a group of great friends. I really am going to miss a lot of the students that I spent time with this summer, but like my friends that I met last year while I was here; I have no doubt that I will keep in contact with the students I really formed a friendship with.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing my weekly blogs to all of you. It was also nice for me to not only do this for American College Dublin, but for myself as well. I'd like to take the time to thank all of you who have been following along and reading my blogs, it genuinely means a lot to me. I also want to thank Mary Kirk, Damian, and Tony for being beyond welcoming and friendly to me since day one of my internship. I want to thank Colum for everything this summer! I couldn't have asked for a better advisor. Finally, I want to thank my parents from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to come back to Dublin for the summer and supporting my decision to stay here for a few years to get my Masters. If it wasn't for you two, none of this would be possible.
I am leaving for New Jersey this Tuesday to spend some time with my family and friends, but will be returning in 2 weeks. I couldn't be more excited for this new chapter in my life to begin. Thank you again!
Monday, 10 July 2012
It’s hard to believe that a week from tomorrow I am leaving Dublin and heading home back to New Jersey for two weeks. Even though I will be back in the beginning of August, it still feels a little strange that at the end of the week I will be packing up my things and saying goodbye to the people I have lived with for the last two months. This process of packing up my suitcases feels very similar to what it was like last year when I was finishing up my study abroad semester. Colum and I continue to talk about how quickly the summers gone by, and I joked with him that if I wasn’t scheduled to come back August 1st in preparation of the start of my classes I would probably be severely depressed at this point. Luckily, I do not have to worry about putting myself through that pain.
Originally, when I had spoken to my parents a few weeks about my return date to Ireland before my classes start at University College of Dublin, we had made a compromise that if I found a job in Dublin to come back to then there was no issue for me to return at the beginning of August. My paranoia obviously kicked in like it tends to when I begin to worry that things might not work out as I have planned in my head, but as I mentioned in my last blog I was once again lucky enough to find a job at local pub. Last week couldn’t have gone more quickly as I spent every day of the week worrying about how my first night ever working in a pub was going to go. Although I was told repeatedly by Colum and Mary Kirk that it was “going to be grand” and there was no need to worry, I couldn’t escape my nerves. I am happy to state that after 7 quick hours of picking up empty pint glasses, bottles, and taking drink orders I was reassured by my manager that I would be coming back to a full time position at 4 Dame Lane starting in August.
The next morning I reflected on my night of work and thought to myself, how I am really beginning to start my own personal life here. Although I have expressed numerous times how much I have fallen in love with Ireland and referred to it as a home away from home. It wasn’t until my first real working experience in a public Irish setting that it really began to hit me that Ireland is really going to be MY home for the next two years of my life. Sometimes it doesn’t seem real to me how fortunate I have been with the hand that life has dealt me; the places I have gone, the people I have met, the numerous opportunities that have been presented to me. Of the many things I am slowly learning to develop and also love about the Irish mentality, is to not waste my time questioning and asking why me? Instead, I need to appreciate it, be thankful for it, and go on living everyday as another part of my continuing journey.
I look forward to writing to all my followers once more next week, and I want to thank you all once again for taking the time to read about my amazing and unforgettable summer in Dublin. Until next week…
Monday, 2 July 2012
Last week was yet another busy week of my internship at American College Dublin. The week started with with an amazing dinner with Marsha Glines, her two friends, Mary Kirk, and Colum. We went to a very delicious restaurant called Matt the Thresher which is known for its fresh seafood. The dinner started a bit rocky when we found out that most of the seafood offered on the menu was no longer in stock due to a busy weekend for the restaurant. After deciding on a few different dishes and all being told they were out, our table laughed with amusement. Everyone eventually chose a dish that was available and made a mental note to not go to fresh seafood restaurants on Monday considering there is a strong possibility that many of their main dishes would be out. After getting our orders taken care of, we enjoyed each others' company while discussing a variety of topics. Throughout dinner I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be in such good company with many people that I had developed relationships and friendships with. Marsha: a four year and still going relationship from my undergraduate career at university in Florida. She is and I strongly believe someone I will always keep in touch with for the rest of my life. She is a smart, genuine, funny and caring person who I have always felt more than comfortable talking to and truthfully love spending time with. Colum: In one short year, as I mentioned in my earlier blogs has become more than just an advisor, he is my friend. I constantly joke with him that he is also my free therapist. He is an amazing listener and always gives me great advice and allows be to look at a situation from different perspectives. He knows how to keep me calm and rationalize my thoughts when I dramatically think my world is in shambles. Mary Kirk: I have worked with Mary Kirk for almost two months now, and she always seems to keep me laughing. Her humor and friendly personality are two of her many amazing personality traits. Mary Kirk is also another very caring individual. I had mentioned at dinner that I was beginning to get nervous about not finding a job when I get back to Ireland before my school classes start in the fall. The next morning, I wake up to a facebook inbox from Mary Kirk with a few different websites highlighting jobs in Dublin. I couldn’t help but think how sweet and thoughtful that was for her to take the time and send me on links. It is meeting amazing people like this that makes my experience so much more enjoyable and meaningful. It was also a great pleasure to spend time with Marsha’s friends as well. They are two very inspiring women who are in the process of building a center for children and families with autism. Coming from a strong background and passion to help people myself, it is nice to see others doing such great things.
On Wednesday Marsha, her two friends and I decided to take the Dart into Howth, which is another small fishery town on the outskirts of Dublin City Centre to get some fresh fish and chips. We really lucked out with the weather, which made walking around Howth that much more enjoyable. Although both Marsha and I have been to Howth before, it was her two friends first time ever visiting. I was delighted to hear that they loved the area and thought the lunch we had was delicious.
My weekend ended on a great note with a casual interview at one of my favorite pubs in town called Four Dame Lane. Over the course of the month and a half I have lived in Dublin this summer, I managed to become friendly with Four Dame Lanes manager and joking asked a few weeks back if they ever had any job openings I was in desperate need of a job starting in August. Surprisingly, on Friday night the manager asked me if I was still in need of a job and if so to come back the following evening anytime after 6pm to have an interview, no resume needed. After a brief conversation with him Saturday night he told me that the job was mine, and we wanted to me start this Friday at 9pm. I couldn’t be more pleased how everything seems to be turning out and falling into place for me. Just a few days prior I was paranoid that I wasn’t going to be able to find anything and now I am the newest employee of Four Dame Lane. Once again, its moments and opportunities like these that make me firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and things will always fall into place the way you want them to. Although I am nervous about my new job, I am excited to have this experience and share it with my readers as well. Until next week!
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Last week was a very busy and exciting week for myself and the study abroad students. We were told at the beginning of the week that we were given the opportunity to meet Dublin’s Deputy Lord Mayor, Maria Parodi. Prior to meeting her, I did some background research on what her role was in Dublin’s political system, the Deputy Lord Mayor attends numerous functions regarding social and public issues of Dublin City. After becoming somewhat educated on what her role was, I was eager to meet and speak with her in person. I was very shocked to see how young she was. I couldn’t believe how much she has done in such a short period of time. As we sat around the table and drank tea in the Oscar Wilde House, she answered any questions we had for her. She also took the time to ask us some questions such as where we live, what we are studying, and why we came to Dublin. She is a very genuine and personable young woman, who is destined to do great things. Speaking with her and hearing what she has to say gave me more motivation to not waste any time. If I want to be as successful, as I dream, I need to continue to work hard and stay driven.
Wednesday morning I woke up early to pick up two of Dr. Glines’ friends from the Dublin airport. Considering this was my second time doing it I felt a lot more confident than my first time around. The airport pickup went more than smoothly, and was surprised and delighted when I got to arrival and saw that the plane landed early. Once Marsha’s friends got off the plane and met me in arrivals, I assisted them with their bags and led them in the direction to the cab. It was a nice confidence boost to hear from one of the women that I was natural and had the routine down to a T. I brought both of Marsha’s friends directly to American College Dublin, so they were able to sit in on Marsha’s seminar regarding the topic of understanding learning differences and challenges: strategies for teachers and parents. Although I have known Marsha since my freshmen year of college, this was the first time I have ever seen her teach or speak to an audience before. I was blown away with how she was able to engage everyone in the room and make it so personable. Her use of humour and knowledge kept the audience involved. Towards the end of her seminar she opened up the floor to discussion and questions. It was interesting to listen from an Irish education professional of the challenges they face with many of Ireland’s educational institutions that do not have study and tutor programs that assist children, teenagers, and young adults learning challenges. Although I do not necessarily have a learning challenge, hearing the frustration from these women made me realise how lucky I was to attend a university for my undergraduate career that established an institution to assist all types of learners. The two hours flew by, and I walked away from Marsha’s seminar learning a lot about not only understanding more about disabilities and challenges, but also what Marsha does at the University I graduated from.
These are just two of the many amazing opportunities my internship at American College Dublin has given me. With only 3 weeks left of my internship here, I intend to take advantage of every opportunity given to me and learn from it because that what an internship is all about. I would like to thank you all once again. Until next time.
Monday, 18 June 2012
I’m officially at the one month mark of my internship at American College Dublin. It’s unbelievable how much time flies when you’re busy and having fun in a place you love so much. Last Thursday, Colum and Damian had planned for us to meet in the park and do one last group activity before the 4 week students left to head home. We were greeted at the park by a young female professional hurling player, who was going to teach us the rules of this well-known Irish sport. For those of you who don’t know, the object of the game is for the players to use a wooden stick called a hurley to hit a small ball between the opponents goalpost. I saw a few professional matches last year while I was here studying, so it was fun to actually be taught and participate in the activity for myself. The young woman was very helpful in explaining the rules of hurling, as well as keeping it fun and exciting with the different drills. We all had a good laugh as a majority of us struggled balancing and hitting the small ball with our hurley sticks.
Five of the students who were here for the 4 week study abroad program left early Saturday morning and that’s when I had my first reality check of “wow my internship is half way done.” Although I was sad to see the students leave, I was happy knowing that I had developed a strong relationship with most of them and that we can look back at all the funny and unforgettable memories we had in such a short period of time. While I was sad to see them all go, I was excited to meet the new incoming students.
The general routine of the arriving of the students starts with picking them up at the airport, getting them settled into their apartment, and then take them on a brief walking tour of the city. When the first set of students came in back in May, all I had to do was wait at the apartment for them to arrive and then follow Colum around while he talked and showed all the students the city. This time around I did the entire meet and greet routine on my own. I met two of the students at the arrival gate at Dublin International airport, taxied them to their accommodation and then took them on an hour and half walking tour of the city. I have to admit that I was a little nervous do this all on my own and questioned my capability of answering all their questions if they had any. By the end of the arrival routine I surprised myself about how much I knew and how helpful I was in insisting the students on my own. Once again, it nice to see the excitement in the faces of the students who just arrived in Dublin, as well as hear their first impressions of the city. Uniquely and different from most of the students that are also studying here, these two student in particular grew up in Ireland for a few years, but hadn’t been back since they were really young. As I brought them around the city, up Graffton street, in temple bar, and passed Trinity College it was interesting see hear what they remembered and some of the memories they had while living here. They were especially excited to eat their first full Irish breakfast again. By the end of their tour and full stomach of an Irish breakfast jet lagged settled in. I brought them back to their accommodation and was delighted to hear that I was very helpful in assisting them.
Last night Lynn University’s Dean of Institute of Learning and my ALL time favourite Lynn faculty member Marsha Glines arrived to Dublin. I have known Marsha since my freshmen year of college at Lynn Univerity and developed a very strong and personal relationship with her. Over the course of my four years at Lynn she has become more than just a University Dean to me, she is someone that I often go to for advice and has helped and guided me through many personal obstacles. Marsha, Colum, and I went to an early dinner where we were able to all catch up and enjoy each other’s company. Marsha will be here for two weeks, where she will be leading her own seminar as well as enjoying her time in Dublin. It will be nice to see her around the city for a while, and spend some time with her as well. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I look forward to sharing the rest of my summer experience with you!
Thursday, 14 June 2012
Last Wednesday, June 6th the Olympic Torch was taken on a tour of Dublin involving a number of Ireland’s recognizable Olympic medal winners, including Wayne McCullough, Michael Carruth and Ronnie Delaney. Being an outsider it seems that having the torch relay throughout Ireland is very significant and exciting because of how close Ireland is to London, where this year’s Olympic Games will take place. It was even more exciting that the Olympic Torch passed right in front of American College Dublin. At around noon Colum, a few other colleagues, and the study abroad students met outside ACD to see the lighting of the torch. Although Colum mentioned that this was an exciting moment for Ireland, I wasn’t expecting to see the large amount of crowds outlining Merrion Square. Everyone was in such high spirits cheering and clapping as the torch was being carried down the street. The man who was holding the torch was (fill in the blank) he was very friendly and allowed people to come up take pictures with him, as well as touch the famous Olympic torch.
This weekend was the kick off to the 2012 European Football Championship, which is commonly referred to as Euro 2012 with 16 nations all competing to win. Although the games began on Friday, it wasn’t until Sunday night when Ireland would be playing their fist match against Croatia. This match was especially important to Ireland because it was the first time in 25 years that Ireland was qualified to play in the Euro matches. While there was no doubt that Dublin City Centre was expected to crowded with fans, my friends who I had made last year basically demanded that I take the DART to Howth to meet them at their Soccer Club/Pub to watch the game in a “proper Irish atmosphere, far away from tourist.” Even though the match did not start until 7:30, my friends made it clear that I should meet them in Howth about an hour earlier so we were sure to have good seats to watch from. My friend Ciarian met me as I got off at Howth-Junction DART station, and directed me towards his team club called Naomh Barrog GAA Club. This local club consists of two different types of members. You are either a “social member” which means you pay a certain fee to drink there and have free admittance to gigs that occur throughout the year. The other types of members are considered full members which means you play on an intramural team of hurling or football. As we entered the club I felt like we were celebrating St. Paddy’s Day. The club house was packed with all local Irish people (no tourists, well besides me) dressed in their most authentic and festive Irish attire. Everyone was wearing green, some had their face painted, and others were wearing the Irish flag as a cape. It was clear that the Irish were ready to support their team proudly! Throughout the game the clubhouse would burst out in two chants, the first one was “you will never beat the Irishhhh, you will never beat the Irishhhh” and the second was “come on you boys in green” (I was told its usually boys in blue because of the Dublin hurling team at Croke stadium, but it was appropriate to change up the color for the occasion). I knew very little about the Euro prior to the game, but with the help of my two good friends Ciarian and Stix, as well as a club house full of Irish people I quickly learned and got into the game. My friend explained to me while laughing that Ireland is typically “considered the underdog in most sports” so even if they get one goal it will be a huge deal. And what do you know, GOAL!!!! The club house went crazy! We all jumped up in excitement, some people got on the tables, others were dancing around and hugging each other. Although Croatia ended up beating Ireland by 2, I was surprised to see the lack of sore losers in the club house after the lost. I eventually made my way back in to town, where I thought most pubs would probably be closing or empty. I was wrong. Ireland might have lost, but the party was still going on! I am once again reminded why I love this country so much, the Irish mentality is truly unique and amazing. Everyone is just out to have a good time! Hope you all are enjoying my blog, please keep reading to hear more about my summer experiences in Dublin!
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
While last week we saw the best of Dublin’s summer weather with sunshine in the low 70’s, this week we are back to Dublin’s typical summer weather including rain and clouds. Colum and I had planned to organize flag rugby with the students last Thursday, but because of the rain the students were not entirely into the idea and so unfortunately it was a washout. We later joked around with students who decided it was too rainy to play that if Irish people waited for the sunshine to do something in Ireland, you would be waiting for a VERY long time.
Saturday morning I was delighted to meet Colum at the University to help him give a tour to Paul Turner who is the Dean of Students at Lynn University (where I recently graduated from in May and is ACD’s sister school) and his wife Marlene. I am very friendly with Dean Turner who I always saw and chatted with from time to time when we would see each other walking around campus. It was nice to see a familiar face, as well as tour him around ACD for his first time. Right away you could see the excitement in both his and his wife’s eyes when they walked into the front doors of ACD. Considering ACD is the former childhood home to one of Dublin’s most famous sons, writer, and dramatist Oscar Wilde, we thought it was only necessary to start our tour there. The Turners were intrigued by the history of the Oscar Wilde home and how it was transformed into a modern University. After the tour of the Oscar Wilde House, we then brought them into the other doors of the University where students attend classes and study. After a few more photos, the Turners had to return to their bus and continue their travels around Ireland. I was delighted to see how happy and grateful they were to see ACD and their reaction made me that much happier to realise how lucky I am to not only attend ACD as a study abroad student, but to return at work at the University as an intern.
While the weather remained cloudy and raining all day Saturday and Sunday, I was able to enjoy a warm afternoon with blue skies and sunshine on Monday. It was perfect timing since it was a Bank Holiday weekend, which is Irelands Public Holiday that allows a majority of Irelands population time off or extra pay to those who do work on this day. I spent a majority of the day in St. Stephens Green and ended the beautiful clear night in walking along the cliffs of Howth with a friend that I had met last year. Although I had visited Howth a few times, this was the first time that I walked along the Cliffs. It was absolutely breath taking! It’s the beauty of this country along with many other things that makes me fully appreciate my time that I have in Ireland.
Although I am hoping the sunshine comes around again this weekend when my friend from University comes to visit, if it doesn’t it will not stop us from having a good time! I hope everyone is enjoying my weekly blogs, keep reading to hear more about my amazing summer experience!
Monday, 28 May 2012
Since the students arrival two weeks ago, Colum and I had planned a few field trips and activities to do with the group of students. The first field trip we planned was the first weekend the arrived, which was taking the DART to Dun Laoghaire for a walking adventure. For those of you who don’t know the DART stands for Dublin Area Rapid Transit, it is a light rail network operating in Dublin and is one of the most common uses of transportation in the city. For someone who did not grow up in a city like me, this was a very exciting first time city transportation experience for me last year. Being more familiar with it now, it was interesting to see what the other students thought. Most students who lived near a city were able to relate this type of transportation, while for others it was another first time experience for them. The day was a fairly mild day, with some sun shining through highlighting the beauty of the numerous seaside town and villages dotted along the way. Once we got off our walking journey began. Colum toured us through pointing our various landmarks. As we continued to walk we passed what is known as the “40 foot” which is where Irish people going swimming. Myself and the other students were shocked when we saw a good amount of people going in for a dip on a slightly overcast, and to us chilly day in Dublin, but for Colum this was nothing out of the ordinary. Colum had also pointed out to us a magpie, which is a bird that is found all over the country. What’s unique and comical to us (Americans) is that when you see one you are supposed to salute it, in efforts to avoid off bad luck. After a few hours of walking we made it into this next town over and hopped back onto the DART to head home. In my opinion DART trips are always a lot of fun because you can make a day out of it, and once you have used the DART once it’s easy and convenient to use on your own when you want to explore other areas outside Dublin City Centre.
Over the last week the weather in Dublin, Ireland has been magnificent, and if you ask any Irish person they would typically respond by saying “enjoy it because it’s the best it is going to get!” In order to fully take advantage of the great weather we planned a trip to a nearby park, where Colum and his colleague Damien taught the students how to play Gaelic Football. Gaelic football is very different from American Football, it consists of a mixture between soccer, rugby, and basketball. Prior to going to the park we went over the rules and guidelines, as well as provided them with a some brief YouTube clips on how the game is actually played. I was happy to see that most of the students had a competitive edge to them and were eager to get out on to the field. Kudos to Colum and Damien for coaching the students and running them through a few drills before starting the actual game. The group of students split in half and it was game on! For next 40 minutes the students competitively played against one another by throwing, kicking, catching, and running with the ball. While there is always a winner and loser when it comes to competitive sports, it was clear by the end of the match that everyone had a really good time playing, and some students even asked when they were going to learn another one of Irelands other sports.
As the week continued the sun shined on and got warmer and warmer. Colum and I spent our Sunday in Bray hiking to the top of the hill to look over the water. In efforts to be adventurous we decided to take a different route down the mountain. Little did we know our exploratory mind set led us down a path of uncertainty. We ended up getting lost and hiking up and down the mountain for 3 and a half hours. Despite the sore feet and exhaustion we enjoyed the hike in its entirety. By the time we made our way down the mountain we had missed lunch and couldn’t be more ready for a big dinner. Our first attempted to eat at a local restaurant in Bray failed when the waitress informed us that they were not taking anymore order temporarily because the kitchen was very busy and overloaded with food orders. Confused and starved at this point, Colum said we have 5 minutes to take the next DART into Dubin, we had to make a run for it. It was at this point that I decided I would never go sprinting in moccasins shoes again. Just a few feet away from the station, running as fast as I could, and dodging the people in front of me, I lost my balance and fell flat on my face. As I laid there on the ground for a minute Colum looked back to make sure I was okay, shaking it off as quickly as I could we made it to the dart station before it departed back to Dublin. If my body wasn’t going to be sore enough the next morning from the 3 hours of hiking, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to be waking up feeling achy and sore after a fall like that. I am excited to see what the next week brings! Thank you for reading and keep following along to find out! If you have any questions or comments regarding my blog please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Friday morning, I woke up bright and early, eager and excited to meet the new incoming study abroad students. Their new apartment was also ideally located in Dublin’s city center, just minutes away from my apartment, as well as American College Dublin. Ten students (9 girls and 1 guy) were expected fly into Dublin International Airport with landing times ranging between 7.00 am to 3:30pm. Colum met the students at the airport, helped them with claimed baggage and sent them in a taxi to meet me at their apartment.
I arrived at the students’ apartment around 7:30 am, did a quick run through of the apartment, and laid out some informational pamphlets for the students to refer to during their stay in Dublin. I waited downstairs at Metro Café which the students lived above. While I was waiting to hear from Colum, a tourist came up to me and asked for directions. For some that may not seem like such a big deal, but for me I basically felt honoured and excited that I knew exactly where to direct the person. Colum then called telling me that the first set of students were just put in a taxi cab and sent my way. It was from this point that all the students began to quickly file in. As one set of students had just finish up unpacking another set would be coming in, dragging their suitcases up the stairs and begin to do the same.
As each set of students came in, you could clearly see the excitement in their eyes and voices about the new country they either haven’t been in at all, or had visited for a very short time. Despite the lack of sleep and the jet lag that most were probably experiencing at the time, the students were ready to unpack, explore the city, and get to know one another. I spent a few minutes with each of the students as they came, asking questions about their flight, their excitement being here, and where they are from. I truly wanted to get to know the students I would be seeing and spending time with for the next 4 to 8 weeks, I wanted to make them feel at home, and excited to be here.
Once a majority of the students were all settled and in the apartment, it was at that point I just stepped back and observed. Hearing them ask one another questions, and getting to know each other reminded me of my first time as a study abroad student in Ireland last year. For me, it was probably one of my most favourite days last year because it was at that point I had my first realization that I’m here in Ireland for the first time, more or less on my own, and I have just moved in with a bunch of people I have never met before. I remember thinking to myself “this is going to be an experience I will never forget!”
Once Colum arrived back at the apartment, we took the students on a walking tour of the city. While Colum was leading the group and describing where to go and what certain places are, I situated myself in various parts of the group, again trying to get to know the students and answer any questions that were asked. I loved being the one that the students could turn to ask a question and for the majority of time be able to answer it. Once again I knew by the end of the walking tour and getting to know the students a bit more that this was very different than any other internship that I have ever done, but in an extremely positive way. I am excited for the upcoming adventures we have planned with the students, until next time! If you have any questions or comments regarding my blog please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com
Thank you for reading!
Monday, 21st May 2012
Last Wednesday morning, 16th June, I arrived back in Dublin and was greeted at the airport by my all time favorite Irish guy, Colum! Colum had been my advisor last year when I travelled to Dublin for my first time to study abroad at American College Dublin in spring of my junior year of college. Prior to leaving Dublin last year Colum had mentioned the possibility of coming back to Dublin the following summer to work as his intern at American College Dublin in the Student Affairs Department. Considering I had already been “Dublin home sick” before I even left the city, I instantly accepted this great opportunity. It’s amazing how it only took four months for me to consider Dublin a second home. My study abroad experience last year brought out the best in me, and transformed me into a more mature, independent, and calm young women by the time I left. Additionally, it’s difficult to resist the Irish culture, where the people are, in my opinion, the nicest in the world with an amazing mentality to “keep calm and it will be grand.” Over the course of four months I spent in Ireland last year, as well as the frequent contact I have kept with Colum through Facebook, emails, and his two visits to the states, he has become more of a friend than just a mentor or advisor. I truly value our conversations, his humor, and advice. That being said, Colum kindly helped me research living arrangements for this summer which couldn’t be more suitable for the type of person I am.
I had heard from Colum what my summer living arrangements would be like, but I was unable to paint a clear picture in my mind. I needed to see the place for myself. My apartment could not be in a better location; it’s in Dublin City Centre, just minutes from the University and next to the best pizza place in the city. We were welcomed at the door by a small Indian woman named Canter, who cleans and cooks breakfast and dinner for everyone who lives in the house. She gave us a brief tour pointing out where the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and other dormitories are. As I followed her up the flights of stairs, she led me to the top floor where I would be residing for the next few months. It is a fairly big room that I share with one other girl.
After getting settled in and leaving my bags in the room to be later unpacked, Colum and I left to eat breakfast, catch up, and discuss my intern responsibilities and tasks for the summer. As I mentioned I am working with Colum in the Student Affairs Department at ACD, which means that I will be working with, assisting, and getting to know the Study Abroad students who travelled over as I did last year to complete an amazing and exciting academic summer program. Colum explained what we would be doing for the following day in order to prepare for the arrival of the “newbies" as Colum liked to refer to them as. After being a study abroad student last year, hearing numerous rewarding and often hilarious stories and experiences from Colum, I was excited to take on the role as a mentor instead of being a student itself.
By the time breakfast was over my jet lag had set in full force and I was ready for a nap. I woke from my nap just an hour before dinner and got to know some of my many roommates. I was aware that I was living with a lot of people, but as this point I still wasn’t sure how many. At seven o’clock sharp I heard Canter screaming "dinner" in her very strong and thick Indian accent. As I proceeded down the stairs following the few roommates I had met, other unfamiliar faces were coming out of every door making their way down for dinner as well. When I reached the kitchen/dining room, I was initially overwhelmed with the amount of people that I actually live with. I live with 20 people all whom are from a variety of different countries including: France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, India, Tahiti, and me being the only American in the house. Over the course of the week I quickly got to know a lot of my roommates and have had very interesting conversations with them all in regards to why they are living in Dublin, what their culture is like at home in compared to Dublin and the United States.
The students were due in early Friday morning, so I needed to rest up for an exciting day of meeting “the newbies.” I was eager to meet the students, see what they would think of Dublin and ACD, as well as get to know them as Colum did with me. I knew after day two of being here that this internship was going to be exactly what I had hoped for and that the eight weeks were going to fly by!