For me, choosing to study abroad in Ireland was somewhat of a whim. I narrowed down the countries to Ireland or England in a matter of 24 hours, and before I knew it I was applying to study in Ireland at the University of Limerick. What drew me initially to the University was their excellent New Media and English program, which was one of my top priorities in picking a college. Now that I’ve been here for a solid three months, however, I’ve come to realize that UL offers so much more than just the program.
First and foremost, it’s true when people say that Irish folks are hospitable and nice. I find the atmosphere here very similar to back home in the South, albeit some differences (it took me about a week to stop saying hello or smiling at every single person I passed). Even with that in mind, people in Limerick are so incredibly welcoming, and on campus it’s been so easy to make friends, whether it be my housemates, my study abroad group, or even my peers in my courses.
Back home, I go to a college that barely breaks a thousand students. We have many clubs and societies, as well as sororities and fraternities, but our course-load is so rigorous that between academics, Greek life, and jobs we don’t have that much time to be involved in many other things. Here, although my modules aren’t easy in the least, there’s so much time for me to further pursue my interests. I’ve become the fashion editor for the student newspaper, a member of Film-making Society, a member of Comedy Society, and also a member of the student radio. My time here has given me the chance to delve into clubs that back home I might not be able to join.
Without a doubt, one of the main reasons I chose Ireland was because of the scenery here (and also my love for Star Wars, if I’m being honest). Being in Limerick provides a central location for some of the greatest sites in Ireland. We’re about two hours from Dublin, Cork, the Ring of Kerry, and Galway. I’ve realized that I love to hike because of this country. It has made me appreciate the outdoors so much more than back home in Mississippi (sadly the Mississippi landscapes do not compare in the least).
I’m still in this beautiful country for two months, and I already miss it. Even though it’s rainy, windy, and chilly, I’ll always have a place in my heart for Ireland. I wouldn’t want to trade this experience for the world.
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