Settling into my New Home
I’ve been in Ireland for about two weeks now and I am not sure where to begin. So much has happened I can hardly put it into words, but I will try for the sake of the blog. So … Ireland is pretty amazing. Everything is so much better than I expected it to be, although I admit I am in the “honeymoon phase” of culture shock. The people are very friendly and I haven’t seen one bug the entire time I’ve been here (this is a big deal for me)!
I arrived in Dublin last Monday and stayed in the city for three days before going to my university, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. During that time I toured the city with two other girls that are also studying at NUIM through IFSA Butler. Their names are Amy and Caitlyn and even though I didn’t know them before this trip, we’ve become good friends. I really enjoyed visiting the Old Library and Book of Kells Exhibit at Trinity College and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. On a side note, I tried really hard to attach a picture of Caitlyn, Amy, and I with our certificates for pouring the “perfect pint” of Guinness. However, it doesn’t seem to have uploaded correctly … or at all for that matter. Anyway, after becoming a little more familiar with Dublin, we went through orientation led by Suzi, a student services advisor from the IFSA Butler office in Ireland.
On Wednesday we arrived at NUIM and were given the keys to our on-campus apartments. There are four other international students living in the apartment with me, but we each have separate bedrooms and personal bathrooms, which I really appreciate. Over the next few days, we went through another orientation. Both IFSA-Butler’s orientation and NUIM’s orientation were very helpful, but were also extremely overwhelming. I thought going through orientation would help calm my nerves, but my anxiety levels just increased. My to-do list just kept growing and the things I was expected to know kept increasing.
I started classes this Monday and it was like the first day of freshman year all over again. However, this time I was in a different country and at a new university. On the plus side, I’ve met so many new and interesting people asking for directions! Starting classes this week brought me back to reality.
Needless to say, I’ve been too busy to be homesick. However, I have been talking with my friends and family (thanks to the invention of the Internet) through email and Skype, which has helped me adjust to my new settings. Hopefully during the second week of school things will settle down a little for me!
So far, Ireland has been treating me well! I will keep you updated as I get further into my semester.
Slán go fóill (Bye for now) –