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

New Friends in New Places

Dublin city is incredible. I absolutely fell in love with it! I have met some wonderful people that were part of my orientation, some of whom were going to Maynooth with me and others going to Limerick. It was really great to build a network of people the way we did through the IFSA Orientation program because we were all coming into a strange country where we knew no one, but we automatically had each other to fall back on. We stopped on our first day at the Guinness Factory and it was too cool. Although it seems cliché, it really is such a staple in Irish culture! The other big drink here that I have noticed has been Bulmer’s Cider, which is much sweeter and lighter than Guinness for sure. If you walk into a pub here, you will see both of these drinks everywhere. This leads me to another observation: the live music. Oh my goodness, it is incredible and everywhere! There are people playing out in the streets, you here it pouring out of pubs when you walk by at night, and if you enter you are in for quite a treat. We heard all different varieties of music but one of my favorites was down in a section of Dublin that they refer to as Temple Bar. It was a little place but filled with lots of people and there were two men playing guitar, tin whistle, and flute and they were great!! They played a lot of traditional folk songs and were very interactive with us calling out and having us all sing along with them. It was a fun loving and warm atmosphere which made me realize why Ireland is so well known for their outings and how going out to a pub with friends was the perfect way for people here to relax. After 3 days in Dublin, we boarded a bus that took us into Maynooth, which although very exciting, it was sad to separate our group which had become very close. We had some school orientation, but adventured around a bit after. Maynooth, from what I can tell so far, really is a college and family town. There are many younger kids running around through the grocery stores after school lets out and up and down the streets you will see parents pushing strollers or people walking their dogs. So far I am really loving it and so excited about the warm welcome the locals have given us. People will stop to talk to us, ask where we are from and how we like it here. They really are very friendly and after only a week, I am feeling pretty good about this.


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