Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

My Posts

{photos, text, video}

Mental Health and Studying Abroad

Time May 21st, 2015 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Mental health while studying abroad has been something that I’ve been wanting to talk about on this blog for a long while now, but I was never quite sure how to go about it, so as usual, my plan of attack is gonna be to go right in and be blunt about everything. I got a message on one of my blog posts from a cool person looking to study abroad in Galway who asked about the social attitudes towards mental health in Galway, and that has really helped to prompt this post.

I have been “officially” diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and taking medication for it, since freshman year of college, even though looking back now I can think of at least several previous times/eras in my life in which I could have benefited from some help. Freshman year was a particularly hard time for me, and obviously the medication has been something that has helped greatly, but I find the most beneficial thing has just been doing my best to be as open about it as I can, and I still have occasional bad days/periods. My first year at college, I was able to meet a lot of people who had the same kind of issues that I did, so I was lucky enough to be really comfortable discussing them. It was so comforting having people around who would just know and understand without me having to say anything, but studying abroad would be my first real time having to really to “come out” to people about it. One of my ways with dealing with hard times has always been dark humor, so I find myself making jokes about it a lot, and then I become wholly unprepared for the reactions I sometimes get. I just hate the way people tend to treat you afterwards; I don’t want to be treated like glass, but I want them to understand me and something that I feel is an important part of who I am, which is hard to explain in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m romanticizing it. I just mean mostly that I’m not ashamed of it.

Nonetheless, I found it a much harder thing to talk about while abroad, than say, my sexuality. I felt no qualms about coming out to my roommate within the first few weeks, or coming out to the rest of the people I started to hang out with the most within the first month or so, but I think it took me until about 2/3rds of the way into my time abroad that I began to mention things about my mental health to my friends who I knew would most understand. It kind of becomes the closest and most intimate conversation of a relationship, because once you tell a person something like “yeah I take medication because I spent the ages of 15/16/17 being suicidal from time to time”, they’ll usually come out with something extremely personal about themselves as well. So, when I finally did, it was incredible bonding experience and I wished I had done it sooner, especially because the day I really did was after my solo day-trip to Dublin, which was paved with anxiety and suppressed panic attacks because I spent the entire time being lost and was simply too exhausted to do any more pretending. That’s something I still need to work on.

As a community, especially within NUIG, I felt that Galway was very open and liberal about things like mental disorders and mental health. Over the semester, there were events and things about stopping the stigma surrounding mental health, of which I was unfortunately never able to join in because they seemed to happen whenever I had planned a trip elsewhere. IFSA-Butler as well is also very helpful in making sure you are okay and checking in with you. For the health insurance IFSA gives you when studying abroad, you have to cite any medications you take – it is also very important to make sure you will be able to have enough medication with you. Ireland only allows you to take a 3-month supply with you, but with IFSA’s help and suggestions, my parents had no trouble mailing me more when I needed it. Our first couple of days when we touched down in Dublin, we had lots of IFSA orientation, and again, health was something we discussed during one of the sessions, especially mental health. Studying abroad is a big transition for everyone, and they are very aware of and open about it. During one of the breaks, one of our advisors came up to me and pulled me aside, said that they had noticed what I had put down on my form, and asked me if I had been hoping to go see a psychologists or anyone while abroad, which could easily be set up through NUIG. I said no (I was really bad at therapy ), and they simply smiled and told me that if changed my mind, I could always let them know. It felt very safe and easy.

So, overall, I would say that if this is a worry of yours while studying abroad, I know it will be okay. To get all “Lifetime movie” on you, I think you’re always going to find at least one person that you trust. You’re gonna be just fine, kids, and even if you’re not, you will be able to get help and support.


Last-Minute Festivites

Time May 14th, 2015 in College Study Abroad | 1 Comment by

Hi y’all! The last few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of activities that we are all trying to fit in before we all head back home across the pond – I’ve barely had a minute to think. I tried to post some pictures last week, but I’m having trouble with the photo-uploader, so hopefully I’ll get that sorted. Last Wednesday I went on a solo day-trip to Dublin, which was disastrous for many reasons – I want to make a separate post about that because I’ve been wanting to talk about mental health and studying abroad on this blog for a while now. Yesterday, my roommate and I went to the Aran Islands and rented bikes. It was so beautiful and so much fun (the first sun we’ve seen in a while here). I took lots of picture and sunburned only my face and the back of my hands because I was wearing a sweatshirt and have a lovely bruise on my arm from being bit by an over-enthusiastic horse who was determined that I had a treat for him. I go home (like, Home home – how surreal) on Sunday and I just feel like I’m running out of time in all aspects, especially with things that I wanted to do with this blog. I am working on my big final project, which will be all about the Marriage Equality referendum, so that will be made more coherent and less rant-y and posted as soon as possible. All of us IFSA-Butler Galway students are planning a potluck at one of our apartments today, of which my contribution is going to be sticky cinnamon buns, so I’m off to go do that now. Aggghhhh!!!

One of my friends here is asking us all to write a memory or a letter or whatever we want in a journal she is passing around, so I’m going to share what I wrote so I have something more substantial to leave you with for now. It’s just a ridiculously cheesy little “aesthetic poem”.


Melting gelato running down your fingers, bare feet in the grass, pop music you pretend not to like, inside jokes, heart-stopping mountain views, dancing with strangers, laughter muffled into a pillow, no hot water past 3 p.m. (15:00), rainbows, horses gently taking carrots out of your hand, listening to your Ipod on public transportation, tea that’s gone cold, graffiti, avoiding the library at all costs, broken umbrellas, all traffic stopping at the first sign of snow, getting directions from the locals, wool sweaters against your skin, the musty smell of old books, every song that’s ever made you feel like you could rule the world, spotty wifi, houses painted all different colors, romantic languages, doors slammed by the wind, the burn in your chest when you hold your breath for a long time, weathered hands, callouses, freckles, place names in Irish written on road signs before their English names, silver rings, days spent in bed reading, the happy laughter of small children, ridiculously bumpy bus rides, stealing an extra scone off the plate, clothes out of the washing machine that never seems to really dry, your abs hurting in the morning from laughing and dancing so hard the night before, Galway.




Comebacks… and final countdown???

Time April 15th, 2015 in College Study Abroad | 1 Comment by

Hi friends!

I am just coming out of the loveliest week and a half off that we get here in Galway for “Easter break”. The weather has been absolutely incredible, in the mid-50s and low 60s (also known as about “12 degrees Celsius” – temperature conversions have been and stayed to be the biggest point of confusion) and sunny (sun!! in Ireland!!!). We all spent as much time sitting outside as possible, going down to sit by the bay or just sprawling out in the grass at the apartments.


As of right now, I have been thrown back into the deep-end, schoolwork-wise. I have had to work on writing five 10+ page essays in the past 3 weeks. Thankfully, I am on the tail-end now, with just two to go. It’s been a rough time, especially because I’ve gotten so used to the pace of work here even in the short period of time that I’ve had it this way. I suddenly remember what I feel like at college back home all the time! Yay for the trials of real life!


It’s also very exciting here right now, because Ireland is in the midst of their debates about the upcoming government referendum on Marriage Equality. I really like the fact that “Marriage Equality” is the most often-used term here when speaking about same-sex marriage (or what the government labels to be “same-sex marriage” because who cares about the gender binary and how it makes everyday life awful for so many people – sorry I’m done now) because I feel like the term almost everyone always uses in the States is “Gay Marriage”, which of course completely erases important things, like, you know, bisexuality and trans and non-binary identities and so much more (okay NOW I’m done I promise). There are people petitioning out in the Concourse at NUIG, as well up and along shop street, all the time now. A lot of the shops have also put up posters saying that they support it, which is super-cool. I stopped to talk to one of the people passing out fliers yesterday, being like “I’m American, so unfortunately I can’t vote here, but I’m really excited about all of this!” and he gave me a couple of fliers anyway. I’m keeping my eye on a couple of talks about the Referendum that I think are coming up soon, to be held at NUIG.


Last night, the lot of us IFSA-Butler students decided to try a pub in city centre that we hadn’t really been to before, called Monroe’s, that does trad music and dancing. There was a great band, and all these older people dancing, and they were all amazing, and made it look so easy when it in fact was really hard? At a couple of different intervals they invited anyone who wanted to learn a simple dance to join in, which of course we all did. We were all so bad at it and kind of just fell all over each other but it was hilarious and we all just had a really great time at it.


I actually had another really “great” interaction last night as well. I was standing up by the bar, near these two middle-aged men talking, and I heard one of them say “Thank god they’ve managed to drive all the gays out of Ireland!” and without even thinking about it I snorted out loud. They both turned to look at me, so I went “Did they? Well, whoever they are, they didn’t do a very good job at keeping ‘em from coming in!” and then I winked and skipped away. I swear to god, I am not making this up. I’ve kind of lost all filters? And gotten really good (bad?) at speaking up? It’s gonna make summer really interesting. I came out to my mom last summer, but my dad has no idea and if I have no intention of telling him. At this point if he finds out, it will definitely be me who lets something slip.


With exactly 33 days left until I go home, I’ve had the first real twinges of homesickness (because I think the rest of it was just shock and confusion?) in the past few weeks, thinking about home and my mom and my dogs. As much as I hate New Hampshire winters, I can’t imagine the summers being better anywhere else in the world. For like a month and half, all I have wanted to do was get in a car and drive with the windows open and play music. I’ve made about three playlists up to this point in time, just for when I get to do that.


Nevertheless, I think I’m definitely going to enjoy the weeks off I am going to be lucky enough to have here. It’s gotten a little bit colder than it was during our weeks off, but hopefully spring will come back around again. I’ll write soon!



Croi follain agus gob fliuch

Time April 1st, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

Hi y’all!
Life is happening so quickly – I can’t believe that I am about 3/4 of the way done with my time here in Ireland. People keep asking me how I feel about going back home, and I never have an answer for them?
It definitely feels like there’s a lot to accomplish before then, so maybe that’s why I’m confused about it. It’s definitely school crunch-time here. Technically, right now we are on two weeks of Easter break, and then we’ll have one week of class after that, and then it will be reading period and finals, but I have two classes that will finish before then – I have my final for Irish tomorrow (the 1st- HELP ME), as well as a final paper for another class due. I have 4 other long final papers due within the next 2.5 weeks. After having to have done a pretty negligible amount of homework this entire time, it all feels like a bit much right now, but I know I’ll be fine.
Paddy’s Day was really fun. All of us IFSA-Bulter Galway students decided to have a potluck breakfast, with toast and eggs and bacon and sausage and beans and scones and sticky cinnamon buns.We played Irish music, and a couple of Irish kids from other apartments also showed up and asked if they could join in because they heard it. There was a parade in town so we all went to that too. It was small but really cute – all the little kids from the local schools were marching in it, playing instruments and dressed up in their little uniforms. After the parade, everyone dispersed and went to clubs/pubs/bars, which open at like 8 am. When you order something, they ask if you want glass or a plastic cup, so you can take it outside, because everyone is just drinking in the streets. Everywhere, it was so crowded you could barely move. It was kind of nuts but also very entertaining. The highlight was probably when one of my friends (who shall remain unnamed…) found an adult-sized leprechaun costume that someone had abandoned on the street, and put it on and refused to take it off for the rest of the day.
Irish-ness is definitely starting to rub off on me. I’m starting to use all these weird phrases and expressions and inflections. The other day, I was sitting on the couch doing homework when one of my Irish roommates, Mark, came in. He asked me how I was doing and I said “Alright” without really emphasizing the “t” at the end, which is very Irish – he laughed and pointed it out and I hadn’t even noticed that I’d done it. I’ve also been trying to speak Irish with one of my other Irish housemates, David, who knows a lot; conversations kind of go like this:
David: “Dia dhuit! Cén chaoi bhfuil tú?”
Me: “Dia is Muire dhuit! Tá mé togha, go raibh maith agat. Cén chaoi bhfuil tú fhéin?”
David: “Níl mé ródhona anois. asdkhasjkhdjakshfgkjashfkjhasjfkajsdjfhas?”
Me: “……yup.”
Oh well. I still love it a lot anyway.
This weekend was IFSA-Butler Adventure Weekend at the Killary Adventure Center in Connemara. I had the time of my life. It’s in the middle of nowhere – there’s no connection to the outside world whatsoever. You stay in the centre, you eat in the centre, you do all the activities in the centre. You got to choose between all these crazy activities: Saturday, I did the High Ropes course, the Zipline, and the Giant Swing (a swing that gets pulled way, way, way up in the air and then released), and Sunday morning I did Laster Tag. We were all cold, muddy, disgusting and joyful at the end of every session. It was so much fun as well to get to see all the friends I had made that are in different IFSA-Butler Ireland programs (in Limerick, Cork, Dublin, and Belfast) as well. Saturday night, we had a huge dance party at the Adventure Centre – I don’t think anyone sat down for the whole 4 hours. My roommate and I were so exhausted that we literally slept until 2:30 in the afternoon on Monday and to be honest I probably could have done that again today (thank god we don’t have classes right now or I would be going REALLY crazy).
I’m off to do some more studying for Irish. Wish me luck…

Bagpiping through Supermarkets

Time April 1st, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

A couple of my IFSA-Butler pals and I went down and spent a night and day in Westport in county Mayo a couple weekends ago. It was really lovely – we rented bikes and went on a path called the Greenway, all through the countryside. We saw so many sheep and little lambs. We went all the way to the next town, Newport, and back – 14 miles total! For someone who probably hasn’t really ridden a bike since I was twelve, it was a bit rough on my legs, but so beautiful that it was totally worth it.



We stopped in at the local supermarket before we were going to get back on our bus to Galway, when all of a sudden, this bagpiping, drumming band came marching right through the place. It was a surreal experience.




Á Bruxelles pour le Week-end

Time March 16th, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

11025132_901375403216635_2478151708659375260_n 1454772_901375616549947_226090078920264531_n 11026345_901375236549985_1602301534292647066_n 11050293_901383303215845_7677783340360596458_n 11050167_901383483215827_7184813227976137193_n 11022538_901376223216553_5082854393543892323_n 11054362_901374883216687_1472231640545203362_n 10923226_901375143216661_2778096403640297709_n 11046836_901374726550036_4185998239888846954_n 11043005_901375689883273_3165963188997087775_n 11042990_901376179883224_1839026842106039467_n 11032022_901375013216674_6661164785033453260_n 11043014_901375086550000_6963040767440660716_n 10999605_901376116549897_5673168404327688595_n 11022538_901374923216683_7364401973546577480_n 10440291_901383209882521_8613004557663816291_n 10978648_901376073216568_2761104124840065705_n 11024708_901375766549932_6826621190310354437_n 11037632_901375636549945_8569204257560389464_n 11034203_901375653216610_5801563913769030945_n


Northern Ireland: Belfast, the Antrim Coast and Giant’s Causeway

Time March 13th, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

10950684_896674237020085_1357413766272702128_n   10996584_896689697018539_8089701717358248533_n 10246861_896674330353409_2129542524867641823_n11002643_896672653686910_6464487878190608129_n1503363_896672763686899_5544879384851674473_n10801722_896691110351731_5802996142435413688_n 1907396_896691440351698_2864749218985470199_n 11001896_896691023685073_5789149345010966475_n 10352908_896699513684224_7037570871559696651_n 11008504_896700170350825_6008161840521074305_n 13804_896672813686894_6462560211865094587_n 10599510_896691073685068_4472987259141151141_n 10402062_896691480351694_3535324434168321433_n 1503365_896699660350876_1860976684833187805_n 10357120_896673547020154_7269832981957254052_n Read More »


Galway Girl

Time March 12th, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

Hi y’all! I want to apologize for my long absence from this blog – I submitted a post last week, but either something went wrong with the system, or I did something wrong (both equally possible), but here I am now.

The past few weeks have been a blur – I feel like I’ve been all over the planet. After the weekend in Carna, we pretty much went straight into our IFSA-Butler weekend in Belfast. I was excited to go, but didn’t really know what to expect. I was surprised at how quickly I fell head-over-heels in love with the city. There are beautiful murals and street art around almost every corner you turn down – not to mention the Peace Walls, which are still there, and still serve their purpose. We learned so much about the troubles on our Black Taxi Tours. Read More »


Séan-nos Dance

Time February 19th, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

This is a video I took on the first night in Carna, when we got to see the first demonstration of Séan-nos dancing and singing – the musicians were so good, they were all just kids. Please ignore my dorky delighted laughter at the end.


Carna – A Weekend in a Gaeltacht

Time February 18th, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

I just had the most magical weekend. For my Beginner’s Irish course, I had an opportunity to go to Carna, a tiny little place in Connemara in Galway, in the midst of a Gaeltacht (a primarily Irish-speaking region) of the country.

The bus ride to and from the center of Galway, where we live and where NUIG is, was a bit of a trip. It was a mini-bus, very small, very cramped with people, and on very bumpy, twist-y and turn-y mountain roads. Water, gum, and anti-motion-sickness medication was definitely passed around.

Nine girls and I all stayed in the house of a woman named Eileen who offers rooms for the various students that come through the area, mostly on Irish language programs. The rest stayed at another home- there was probably about 30 of us total on the program. She cooked us breakfast, lunch and dinner (a lot of traditional Irish things – the first night we had stew and mash and chips) for the whole time we were there, and was absolutely lovely in every way.

Read More »


The Cliffs of Moher and Aillwee Cave

Time February 3rd, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

250312_876952088992300_7715523564448392938_n 10882376_876479049039604_1841778934097283588_n 13216_876472795706896_5931384920821648595_n 10934041_876472772373565_1289831345668597298_n 10933992_876472105706965_8654888963135573634_n 10320538_876479379039571_1828058493894868577_n 10943637_876479355706240_5892181692940618552_n 12874_876479245706251_7573169072458523785_n

Aillwee Cave is the oldest known cave in Ireland

Aillwee Cave is the oldest known cave in Ireland


Water on the Emerald Isle

Time February 3rd, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by


Right now in Ireland, there is a large amount of unrest and protests about the current situation involving the water supply. The Irish people have never had to pay water bills to get water supplied to their homes, but currently, that is something the government is trying to implement. On Sunday I was down near Eyre Square in Galway City Centre, having been planning on going to poke around the small farmer’s market, but stopped when I saw the huge crowd of people all gathered, holding signs and listening and cheering while people took turns speaking into a microphone. The energy was infectious; I ended up staying for almost an hour just to watch and listen.  It’s such an exciting, buzzy feeling to be in a place that’s so political, where people care deeply about issues and want to make them right.


Dia dhuit!

Time January 23rd, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

Dia dhuit = jee-ah gwit = “God be with you” = “Hello” in Irish!

I can’t believe that I have officially been here two weeks. I’ve been keeping notes of what has happened since the last time I posted, and I kept meaning to publish them but I’ve ended up saving them to make a big “masterpost”.


Tuesday (the 13th): I had my first class! It was European Women’s Studies, and it’s designed to be a class specifically for visiting and international students. We’ll be focusing a lot on the history of women’s rights and gendered politics and the likes, with some emphasis on Ireland but also lots of time spent analyzing and comparing differences and similarities in other European nations. The lecturer seems pretty hip and excited to be teaching all of us; she said that she would definitely be making time to talk about current goings-on and events as they happen and are relevant to class topics, which is one of my absolute favorite things. I’m really excited to continue to expand my feminism and knowledge of these topics.

Wednesday (the 14th): As Tuesday was the only day I was going to have class last week, I wasn’t sure how I was going to spend most of my time, but I definitely made sure to hit up the Societies fair on campus. I (of course) signed up for the LGBTA, but was super-excited to find that NUIG also has a Feminist Society! They are currently starting an initiative to talk about gender inequality and the glass ceiling on campus pertaining to the lesser numbers of female professors and senior lecturers who are hired. It’s so exciting to be on a campus where all these new initiatives are taking place, which I have been so lucky to have at F&M when our new Women’s Center director took her position. I was worried about things like that being lost when I came to a bigger school, but that’s definitely not going to be the case.

After I went through the Societies fair, I decided to go into the city center and wander around, even though it was the most horrible weather (lashing rain and wind hard enough to literally push along when you’re walking), and I ended up having the time of my life. It is one of my absolute favorite things to be all by myself in public places, with no schedule or agenda. I just wandered around and went into any shops that looked interesting (or when I just needed to escape the cold and the rain). When I had been on the free tour of Galway, the tour guide had pointed out a little jewelry shop that was a good place to get Claddagh rings, which is a traditional Irish jewelry design that actually originated in Galway. The design is of hands holding a heart that has a crown on it, and it is supposed to mean that “love and friendship rule all”. It also means different things depending on how you wear it: if one wears the ring with the point of the heart as it is framed by the hands facing towards the wrist, it means you are happy and in a relationship, but if you wear it the other way with the hands holding the heart with the point facing away from the wrist, it means you are single. I ended up getting one, and had a lovely chat with the shopkeeper about Galway. And I’ve been wearing my ring with the point of the heart facing in, because I belong to myself, and so in. It’s a little gift to me, a reminder to be kind to myself and to let things be.

Thursday (the 15th): At around 9 p.m., a bunch of the other IFSA-Butler students all wanted to go to a little pub called Taaffes, and I almost didn’t go and I’m so glad I did. Every Thursday, they have a great little band playing traditional Irish music. As soon as we came in, I could just feel how nice the atmosphere was (or maybe it as just the little electric fireplace – I swear I’m cold-blooded – or maybe just that I was supposed to be born in the Caribbean). The place was full of students, but also just of people from town, and everyone was just sitting and talking and laughing and listening. For the last two songs, these two Irish guys got up and started dancing with each other, in the very small amount of space that was left with everyone crowding around (in what wasn’t very much room to begin with). They were just goofing around, and then eventually these two Irish girls got up and started dancing really well, like traditional Irish style. Eventually, the two guys and two girls paired off with each other (and they definitely didn’t know each other before this point – they had been on opposite sides of the room) and danced and danced, and everyone was laughing and cheering and clapping along in time with the music and it was such a good feeling. It was probably the most Irish thing I’d seen thus far.

Friday (the 16th): With yet another weekday of no classes to attend (I have a feeling I’m going to pay for lucking out so much), I didn’t know what I was going to do, but in the morning I got a message from another queer American girl I had made friends with when we were both trying to find the campus bookstore on Tuesday. She asked if I wanted to meet her in town and walk around, and I did, so we met up and did some more wandering. We went into bookshops and a music shop and stopped to watch street performers and found a really good café to eat in and talked about everything we’d seen and done so far. We are both very excited to become more of a part of the queer community in Galway – we’re both joining the NUIG LGTBQA (so many abbreviations), and we have eventual plans to maybe check out the gay bar in town. It was a really lovely day.

Saturday (the 17th): I got up early with a bunch of the other IFSA-Butler kids, who all wanted to check out the farmers market in the city center. Back at home, my college is right in the middle of Amish country, and we have an enormous farmer’s market, but this one still so lovely (and very Irish). Every day you go into the city centre you see so really good street performers, but Saturdays appear to be the best day for them. The group of us ended up stopping and watching this one troupe perform for a good half an hour. Afterwards, we stopped in at Charlie Byrnes used bookshop, which we had all been told about by the IFSA-Butler staff when we were in Dublin. It was magical; books from floor to ceiling, and has at least 5 rooms (I may have lost count). As a booklover, I was in heaven. The others ended up leaving after about half an hour, but I was there for at least two – it was impossible to leave. I’m waiting to get anything until after I have all my classes to see if I’ll even have any time to read, but it was very, very tempting.

I want to get a post up, so I’m cutting off here for now – but I have lots more to cover from Sunday and today! Slán! (shlahn = “goodbye!”) I’ll write soon.


Greetings from Ireland!!

Time January 12th, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

Hi y’all!! So, as of tomorrow at 8 a.m., I will have officially been in Ireland for a week! I kept meaning to make a post before this, but we’ve have been so inundated with orientations and jet-lag and what-have-you that I have barely had a chance to breathe.

So yes, I got into Dublin at 8 a.m. on Monday (the 5th) morning, and met IFSA-Butler staff at the airport. Seems so long ago now! Dublin was really lovely but it went by incredibly fast. We got to our hotel and then had some introductory orientation and then got sent on a scavenger hunt to find different places around the city, which was a lot of fun, because we had a map and literally just walked around and took pictures in front of different things on the list that they gave us. At the end, we all met up at a restaurant, and then we all just went back to our hotel (we were so jet-lagged) and stayed up as late as we could (9 pm) before we passed out.

Read More »


Pre-Departure Musing

Time January 6th, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by


I’ve sat down to write my first entry for this blog many times in the past 13 days that I’ve been home for winter break, and somehow not done it each time. Lately it seems that I have become “Champion Of Avoiding Any And All Things That Give Me Even The Least Amount of Anxiety” and “Winner of Putting Too Much Pressure On Myself For Things That I Could Just Be Totally Chill About.” Anyways, here I am, at 12:31 a.m. in my current time zone (New Hampshire, USA), only 3 days left before I leave to study abroad in Ireland (where it is currently 5:31 a.m. – I’ve been converting to Ireland time in my head every time I look at a clock for the past few months) – subsequently, Happy New Year, everyone.

Back when I first applied for an IFSA-Butler blogger position, I went in and read a whole bunch of postings by previous and current bloggers, but I haven’t done so since. I want to make sure that I really sound like me when I’m writing (how cliché), especially since I’m on the new official LGBTQA blogger team, so I have avoided going back and reading some more. This has added to my trepidation in writing this first blog entry, but here I am, with no idea what I’m doing (a common theme), and oodles and oodles of informality. In any case, I’m “structuring” this first entry as a kind of introduction of myself, of where I’m going, and what I hope to be doing.

Read More »



Time January 6th, 2015 in 2015 Spring, College Study Abroad, Ireland, LGBTQ Correspondents | No Comments by

47lbs (~22kg) of suitcase, check. Backpack, check. One kid with ridiculous hair? Check.

47lbs (~22kg) of suitcase, check. Backpack, check. One kid with ridiculous hair? Check.