So, I thought it would be nice to start of this blog with a quote, because it’s true. These six months have flown by so quickly, but luckily, I’m the pilot J. That’s one thing I definitely discovered while being here in Ireland. When I first came to Maynooth in September, the end of February seemed so far away. But now that it’s nearly here and I realise that I actually don’t want to go yet… Even though my next stop is Berlin and that will be amazing. I enjoyed myself so much here.
The month started off with (again) a visit from friends. We had (again) a fine dinner at ‘Mexico to Rome’, and went (also again) to Howth. Still, Howth is always so pretty. I could go there every week to be honest. I also went again to Glendalough, but this time, the sun shone and it was dry. It was really pretty! It’s already pretty with bad weather, but with the sun out it’s just amazing (see the picture and dream away J). The tour guide that was with us was also interesting to listen to. He told a lot about the old monastery and Irish culture while we were there, so that was quite interesting. So, you should really go here once if you are in Ireland J.
I’ve also went to the Castletown House grounds for the very last time. It is just so beautiful out there and you could walk for hours on those grounds. Especially if you’re as lucky as I was that weekend, as the sun shone. We basically walked in our sweaters, because it was too hot for a coat (isn’t that lovely for Ireland in Winter J?). If you go down there, make sure that you walk to the end of the grounds, because it’s just so nice in this part and easy to miss it to be honest…
The coolest thing that happened was that two of my friends organized a small goodbye party for me. I was totally surprised and honestly thought that we were only going for drinks with the three of us. As a bonus, they got me an Irish flag on which everybody could write something, isn’t it just amazing? I truly think that I met some amazing people over here that really became friends J!
Of-course, the month was also filled with lots of visits to Dicey’s Garden club (I can’t miss that for too long of-course). And the best part is that I finally finished the research that I had to do here. That was such a relief, knowing that everything was done and that I basically don’t have to worry about it anymore J.
So, because I visited a lot of nice places in Ireland and maybe you are only reading this particular blog and never read the rest, I’ll give some kind of a recap of the MUST SEE’s here in Ireland. So if you ever decide to study, intern or work here (which you honestly should do at least for a few months) then you know where to go J.
- Howth (the cliff walk is amazing and if you’re lucky you can see the seals).
- The Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough (there are several (half) day tours to these places. It’s worth the money for sure).
- Have dinner at Mexico to Rome (lovely, lovely restaurant in Temple Bar in Dublin)
- Go to a Pantomime (if you’re here around Christmas).
- Diceys Garden club (I think every town should have a Diceys Garden).
- Farmaphobia (the really cool horror farm, but you’ll have to be here in October)
- Visit the Oktoberfest in Dublin.
- Visit Castletown House and its grounds (the house is open only in the Spring/Summer).
- The town of Trim and especially its castle.
- Do a city tour in Belfast.
Of-course there are many more fantastic things to do and see in Maynooth and Ireland, but I think these were my ten highlights to be honest. But of course, if you come, make sure you’ll also go to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College, the Dog Races, a GAA match and see loads of the country side.
I also want to give a few ‘tips’ on how to be here as an Erasmus or Study Abroad student, if you are still doubting things and feeling insecure about coming over to Ireland (or wherever for that matter).
- Step out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve never done before.
- Don’t be afraid, everybody is in the same boat as you and eager to make friends J.
- Sort your things out before you go over.
- Say yes to everything.
- Try and live with a host-family for the true Irish experience.
- The first weeks might be a little lonely, but I promise you, after those first few weeks you will be totally fine and the time will fly by.
- Just go J.
To end this blog, I want to say a huge thank you to the team of the International office of Maynooth University, for making me feel so welcome. I also want to say a huge thank you to my host-family that took me into their home and have taken just such good care of me. I also want to thank the friends I made here and my friends and family back home for supporting me throughout this journey. I am truly grateful for that J!
So it’s time to pack my bags and fly back home, only to fly out again the week after for my next adventure in Berlin J.