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

Woah, We’re Halfway There!

Sometimes life happens so fast that you need to take a breath and remember to enjoy the time you have.

It’s crazy to believe that I’m about half way through the semester! If I had to describe the feeling, it’s like I’ve seen so much and so little at the same time. I’ve had a lot of great adventures here, but I know there are still many around the corner (alongside their fair share of assignments), particularly contingent on how finals schedules shape up.

Speaking of adventures, the weekend before last I had an amazing time in Kilkenny with the IFSA-Butler crew!

One of the biggest motivations to doing the IFSA-Butler program for me was the trips, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. From free meals to chance to play hurling to plenty of free time to see the pubs that Kilkenny has to offer—I feel like I really covered everything by the time I left on Sunday.  One of the highlights of Kilkenny was the Ghost Tour. Maybe it’s just the history buff in me talking, but it was amazing to learn about the history of all the buildings that I was passing, and spend the next day understanding a little bit more about the buildings I saw around town—particularly some graffiti depicting historical figures. In particular, I thought the stories of Dame Alice and the Kilkenny Castle’s link to Anne Boleyn particularly fascinating.  (I encourage you to research the story of Dame Alice and her background as a conniving witch in Kilkenny because my summary cannot do the twists and turns of the legend justice, but I can clarify that Anne Boleyn was the paternal granddaughter of Margaret Butler, who resided within the Kilkenny Castle with her family).

Much of this weekend was spent balancing studying with going into city center—particularly taking the opportunity to visit Phoenix Park! While I was sad that I didn’t get to see the deer like my suitemate did, my friend Stefanie and I did have a pretty crazy adventure. Our first stop was the Wellington Monument, the largest obelisk in Europe built to commemorate Arthur Wellesley the Duke of Wellington. The view from the steps was quite gorgeous even if the fact that they are nearly diagonal makes them a little trickier to ascend. Afterwards, our goal was to take a guided tour of the President’s Mansion, but we were led astray by Google Maps. Nonetheless, our detour took us near the Garda (Irish Police) Headquarters, the Dublin Zoo, and the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.  I hadn’t heard a lot about the Phoenix Park prior to arriving in Dublin, but considering that it’s 1,752 acres, there’s a lot to see and it’s definitely worth the bus ride (especially since taking the bus was pretty simple—it’s the last stop for the 46A).

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(The Residence of the U.S. Ambassador)

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(the Obelisk)

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(One of the many cool snapchat filters– very important)

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A statue who’s name I recognized from the street named after him.

Meanwhile, another week is about to begin, so here’s to endlessly washing dishes in my apartment, and taking another leisurely walk around campus. (With views like this how can I not?)

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