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

The Top Ten…

It’s hard to believe that my four months of studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland have come to an end. It feels like just yesterday I was getting on the plane, scared, terrified, but extremely excited. Now I am heading back to the states as a different person, with new friends, amazing pictures, and incredible memories. So much can change in such a short amount of time. As my second-to-last blog post (I’ll post one last time once I get home), I thought a top ten list of my favorite memories would be appropriate. In no way can I express all of my amazing experiences and stories in a meager list of ten, but I’ll do the best I can. So, here goes, in no particular order, my top ten memories while studying abroad:

  1. Eating spaghetti in front of the Pantheon while an Italian man serenaded us, and then finishing off the meal with gelato in front of the Trevi Fountain.
  2. Buying a Russian fur hat from Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park in London (and seeing my best friend from preschool on that same trip!).
  3. Almost dying on the way home from Barcelona (that is no exaggeration). I’m not sure if those of you reading this have ever heard that you can find really cheap flights throughout Europe, but if you have, those cheap flights are usually found through Ryanair. And Ryanair is a death trap, to put it nicely. Although I did enjoy finding cheap flights (and my bank account did too), I did not enjoy the cattle call, bright yellow and blue seats, and near death experience. On our way back from Barcelona, we experienced some turbulence, which is not uncommon for flights. But then we experienced a 15-second free-fall, which is very uncommon for flights. Everyone around us was screaming and crying, because we all honestly thought the plane was going to go down. And since that happened in the first 10 minutes of the flight, I was on-edge for the rest of the 2 and a half hour flight back to Dublin. The bright side of that experience is that I learned just how close people could get when they think they are going to die. A woman sitting next to me, who was a complete stranger and barely spoke English, grabbed my hand during the fall and we sat there crying for a solid five minutes after it happened. Let’s just say that’s something that I will never forget.
  4. Going to pubs during Christmastime and seeing grown men and women dressed head to toe in Santa suits and Christmas attire.
  5. The Northern Coast of Ireland. I know a lot of people say that the Cliffs of Moher are gorgeous, and I don’t disagree, but I would argue that the most beautiful place in Ireland is the northern coast and Giant’s Causeway. Words cannot do justice to the amazing feeling you get when you are standing on the causeway looking out at the waves crashing on the shore (and if you’re lucky, you even get to see Scotland from the Northern Coast!).
  6. Drinking a Guinness and eating beef and Guinness pie all while watching Irish dancing and listening to live music in a pub.
  7. Hearing my lecturer telling stories about what the best places to go for a pint in Dublin are (that would never happen in the states).
  8. Running through swamps and lakes of mud, zip-lining through the mountains of Connemara, abseiling down a six-story building, and overcoming my fear of heights by jumping off a cliff into a lake of freezing cold water!
  9. Seeing Irish Riverdance with my dad at the Gaiety Theater and then going on a classic pub-crawl.
  10. Becoming friends with people who live all over the world-L.A., San Francisco, Maryland, St. Louis, Rhode Island, Boston, NYC, Connecticut, Sweden, Australia, Spain, and of course, Ireland.

Of course this list in no way does justice to all of the experiences I have had, people I have met, or things I have seen, but it does demonstrate just how amazing the last four months have been for me. As sad as it is to see it end, and believe me, it is very sad, I am excited to see where I’ll end up next. The next time you’ll hear from me, I’ll be back in the states!

Until then, xoxo, Maggie

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