Hello again, all! So excited you’re back to read a bit more about my Irish adventures. Maynooth has been such an incredible host university, its crazy how fast this all went by for me. I’m already beginning to feel nostalgic.
So far I’ve been diving into my academic studies and I’ve really been enjoying my classes this semester, I’m grateful for being here for a full school year as it’s allowed me to acclimate well to the system Maynooth has running. But enough about academics! I know sometimes reading blogs can be a bit tedious, so instead I decided to mix things up and provide you with a bullet point list! I call it my preparations for Americans looking to study abroad here.
Cooking up the perfect Irish experience! Things to be mentally prepared for:
- (specific to Floridians) When you tell people you’re from Florida the most common reactions will be:
- “Ohh! No way!”
- “How’re you enjoying this weather then?”
- “Why would you ever pick Ireland?!”
● Seriously.. The weather is INSANE, not constant so it keeps you on your toes. Wind, rain, snow, beautiful weather. All part of the fun 😉
● Beaches do exist here.. but you’ll need a winter coat if you go to them despite whatever the weather is outside, they’re incredibly windy. I’m not joking, I’ve been physically knocked over a few times!
● Irish humor is different, I highly recommend watching up on British comedy shows to begin understanding it. Most humor stems from teasing each other
● House parties? Not a thing
● Parties on weekends? Nada. At least not in Maynooth, Dublin would be the place to go (but it’s wildly expensive to go out in Dubs, so I don’t recommend doing it often)
- There’s 2 (3ish) grocery stores that will end up being your best friend
- Aldi, cheapest option
- Dunnes, expensive but has things Aldi doesn’t
- Tesco is around too but its a much further walk, so it’s a rarity Maynooth students actually go there
- If you want to visit Scotland, Wales, or England while here a ferry will
- Make it your mission to try a Guinness, and after you’ve tried Guinness try Guinness and Black (black currant juice, it mixes well with anything)
- Honestly just try everything black currant, its dope.
- The meat and dairy products are 1000000x better here, most if not all of it
- is locally sourced.
● The chocolate and peanut-butter taste different here, be prepared, it’s a hit-or-miss situation
● Howth has the best fish and chips
● Students on Erasmus (basically EU version of study abroad) will more than likely not want to travel to other countries (they live in Europe and can do that whenever) they’ll only want to travel inside of Ireland, so if you wanna travel externally find a study abroad friend!
● It only takes like 3 hours to go from one end of Ireland to the other
- Skyscanner will be your best friend if looking for international flights
- BOOK ANY BREAK FLIGHTS EARLY. I love doing weekend trips too but
- those you can plan last minute, if you’re going on spring break and wait till you’re in Ireland to book the flight the tickets will skyrocket to over 100 euro to go pretty much anywhere.
- Once you learn how any busing/tubing/train/tram system works then you know (roughly) how it all works in every country
- You will meet so many interesting people, it’ll be hard to keep track
- You’ll make wonderful life long friends
- You will get sick, don’t think you’re immune
- There are things you just won’t know about until you get here, but once you learn it you’ll never forget it
- You’ll realize studying abroad has been one of the greatest experiences of your life. I hope this has helped out! Thanks for reading.