Expectations and Oracles
I thought it might be interesting and humorous for me to write what I expect, what I’ve been told, and my questions surrounding studying abroad, Northern Ireland, and Belfast, then later compare it to what I find.
- Studying through IFSA Butler will allow me to have a deeper close cultural experience by getting set free in the regular Queen’s University mix. It has been awhile since I took French in high school, even though I’ve been watching Jean Luc Godard films. I didn’t want going abroad to a country that speaks English to be a “comfort zone.” I figure this way I won’t solely be around international students, and will get to know Northern Ireland through getting to know its people.
- I will get to travel on some weekends and holidays to Ireland and other countries in Europe. I know I will get lost, confused, and I will make a fool out of myself. I’m excited to get to figure out traveling; not have it planned out in advance for me.
- According to the Belfast Telegraph, going to clubs is very popular. I feel I’ll be a pubs not clubs kind of girl.
- I heard from friends who have studied abroad that the Irish are the friendliest and most fun people they met.
- Beautiful countryside. Sheep.
- I’ve heard the city described as “revitalizing” but not fully healed, and the citizens of Belfast have the attitude that everything is possible. Summer riots may have dampened this.
- People only talk politics with their own kind, and it is rare and rude to bring it up in public conversation. I want to hear what people think. I’m curious to see how my class on Irish politics and identity in literature will be taught.
- There are political/religiously divided neighborhoods sometimes complete with walls. I’m unsure on how this will affect my urban hiking.
- New is not taking over old in Belfast. It is either head-to-head or bi-partisan coexistence.
- The graffiti and murals will be fascinating.