Museums in Dublin: a Few Highlights

By Jessica Murphy, Summer Study Abroad Blogger

My name is Jessica Murphy and I am a rising sophomore at Brown University from New York City. I am still not sure what I am majoring in—or as we call it, “concentrating”—but I am interested in fields ranging from international relations to development studies. In fact, I was initially drawn to the Brown/Trinity summer study abroad programme in Dublin because of my interest in political science. The possibility of studying contemporary international politics, participating in an internship, and living in a completely new country sounded like a remarkable opportunity. I am so glad that I decided to sign up, because it has truly exceeded my (already high) expectations! Dublin is a fascinating city with a rich and layered past, and I have really enjoyed learning and exploring every single day.

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From Southern California to Dublin: Culture Shocks and Assimilation – Coffee, Coins and Self-Deportation

 

By Allison Woodworth, Summer Study Abroad Blogger

“I cried,” my sister said, sheepishly admitting to getting emotional while listening to the “Outlander” soundtrack as she and her boyfriend drove through rural Ireland on their way to visit me in Dublin.  My sister and I grew up in suburban southern California, where the only sheep we saw on a regular basis was the puppet Lamb Chop and where nearby historic sites consisted of late 18th century Spanish Catholic missions. Where San Diego is dotted with palm trees and coastline, Dublin is blanketed in nature and history and rain. I mocked my sister’s emotions as an older sister should, but I couldn’t deny that Ireland was beautiful. Four weeks earlier, I’d found myself staring out the airplane window over Ireland and thinking that this surely embodied “picturesque”. I wasn’t quite sure if it was the 18 hour travel, the lack of sleep, the rabbits hopping around the runways, or the impeccable timing of an early morning arrival to catch my first Irish sunrise, but everything felt surreal.

My nine weeks in Dublin have been grand. I’ve learned to use a French press, broken a French press, almost been pancaked by bike and bus, claimed a couch in the Rathmines library as “my spot”, and was visited by Irish immigration (more on this later). I’ve enjoyed all my small culture shock moments because they personify both the fun and the difficulties of assimilation. Here are a few of my observations, experiences, and culture shock moments:

  • The Library: anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to hear that my “goals after landing” were listed as such: 1) sleep 2) find grocery allison_blog-1_photo-1store 3) locate local library. I was thrilled that the Rathmines public library was a short walk from our dorms. Andrew Carnegie funded construction of Ireland’s first public access library in 1913. Although the two story neo-Georgian building appears huge from the outside, it has a rather small, efficient layout. I did try to immediately sign up for a library card, but they insisted I be a resident or have a resident vouch for me. This was a huge disappointment – I collect library cards like some people collect shot glasses – but I compromised by reading shortallison_blog-1_photo-2 graphic novels and comics when I stopped off on my walk home from work before the closing gong around 8pm. Yes, closing gong. I’m not sure there is a PA in the library. Just before closing, the staff gives bangs a gong by the door to warn patrons to head out – or in my case to jump three feet off my seat in fright. Every time.

Photo 1 (above): Rathmines Library Gong

Photo 2 (left): Rathmines Library

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A Visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland

By Jessica Murphy, Summer Study Abroad Blogger

My name is Jessica Murphy and I am a rising sophomore at Brown University from New York City. I am still not sure what I am majoring in—or as we call it, “concentrating”—but I am interested in fields ranging from international relations to development studies. In fact, I was initially drawn to the Brown/Trinity summer study abroad programme in Dublin because of my interest in political science. The possibility of studying contemporary international politics, participating in an internship, and living in a completely new country sounded like a remarkable opportunity. I am so glad that I decided to sign up, because it has truly exceeded my (already high) expectations! Dublin is a fascinating city with a rich and layered past, and I have really enjoyed learning and exploring every single day.

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ACADEMIC LIFE AT TRINITY

By Anna McAlpine [Visiting Student, Study Abroad Blogger]

The idea of studying abroad on Erasmus conjures up many different images and ideas in people’s minds. When you first apply, if you are anything like me, your mind can instantly be ensnared by the prospects of the new friends you will meet, the experiences you will gain in a new city and the new hobbies you will discover at your host university. This is all relevant of course but it is also worthwhile remembering that you are going to study at this university – not just take a little exciting holiday. It is important to understand the academic environment at Trinity and research it to make sure that it is suitable to your way of learning. Whilst studying abroad I believe that you have to be totally comfortable with adapting to new situations and ways of receiving teaching – flexibility will be crucial to your success.

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Exploring Dublin: The Abbey Theatre is a must

By: Viviana Lletget (Visiting Student, Study Abroad Blogger)

In Dublin there is so much to do involving art, music, and street performance, but no matter how long you are visiting Dublin, I suggest going to the Abbey Theater. The Abbey Theater today is not the same original one that was founded in 1904 by the Irish writer W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory, but the reconstructed Abbey is still spectacular and carries on the Irish Literary Theater culture in full force on the same site. The historical Abbey Theater was damaged by a fire that took place in 1951, so the Abbey Theater that exists today is an updated version that still reflects an old feel of history. The Abbey Theater was a venue where Irish writers showcased plays that became an essential aspect, a medium, that helped the Irish Literary Revival take place; it was the place where physical manifestations unfolded through performances that gave the Irish and Irishness new form from political and surrealist theater performances. The Abbey Theater is a must to visit while you are in Dublin because the plays are always wonderful, and offer a window into Irish culture.

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Global Room Student Ambassador Perspective…

By Kelly Konya

Hey everyone! My name is Kelly and I just started working as a Global Room Student Ambassador this very Monday morning. Already today, I have assisted a tour of campus with Byrne Hacking, where we met students from the University of Macau (who all loved Trinity!), and I’ve helped with the set-up of a lunch reception for a graduation ceremony. My first day on the job has already rejuvenated my love for this university and my on-going excitement to be doing research here. I am currently an M.Phil in Irish Writing student but will finish up this August and jump right into my Ph.D with hopes that the momentum will allow me to write my first book!

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Exploring Ireland: The Cliffs of Moher

By Madison Tucky (Visiting Student, Study Abroad Blogger)

In Ireland there are a lot of different places that people told me I should visit, and the most frequently mentioned one was the Cliffs of Moher. The people that I talked to who had been to Ireland before said that I had to visit the Cliffs, that it would be an unbelievable experience I needed to have. I’ll admit, I was kind of skeptical. I’ve seen cliffs before. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon in America. I didn’t think that the Cliffs of Moher would be anything crazy special. They’d be really cool and I was definitely going to go, but to be honest I had very low expectations for my trip out there. While there are a few different companies that take tours to the Cliffs from Dublin, I actually took the bus to Galway and used a tour company there, as I have a friend studying there who wanted to go with me. It was a very nice, easy, and early bus ride to Galway, and then the bus for the tour left from the bus station that I’d been dropped off at, so it was a very easy start to the excursion.

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A modern look at an historic university.