Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Time for another overdue update

Since the last time I updated I've been very busy with school and even travelling. For Easter the first weekend of April my friend Pat and I went to Paris to visit my friend Danielle who is studying abroad there. It was AMAZING! Once all my papers are passed in I'll be posting pictures but we went to Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, Champs Elysees, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and so much more. The second day that we were there we decided to walk up the Eiffel Tower (instead of taking the lift). Even though we were only able to go up 2 stages thats still a TON of steps. Plus it was rainy and windy so it was the most enjoyable weather in which to climb the tower but it was still fun. And the view from the very top is incredible. My favorite part of the trip was going to Versailles. The Palace was beautiful and as a history major who has studied Versailles both in history classes and French class it was surreal to be there.

Just this past week my whole program went to Northern Ireland for our last field trip. It was a very emotional trip in comparison to our Westport trip. I dont have time for a full update now but basically we were able to take a look at the history of the troubles, the murals all over Belfast, the Peace Wall separating the Nationalist side and the Unionist sides of Belfast, as well see where Bloody Sunday occurred. Sometime next week I'll be doing a longer update but for now I have to go write papers!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Pictures

Kylen, Katie, Hannah, Isaac, and me in Bray

Bray Head (I think): we went up the left side to the top lol

Me and Isaac at the top!
Leanne and I in Dun Laoghaire

Me Issac and Kylen at the St Paddy's parade

Fal, Leanne, and I with some randoms on our way to the match

Croagh Patrick

Clearly very excited about hiking in Connemarra


Me and Dan at the Gravity Bar on the 6th floor of the Guinness Factory

All the NU kids in Delphi Valley on our trip out west

Howth: No editing in this picture, that's just how the sky looked

Dan and I on the Ha' Penny Bridge in Dublin

je vais a Paris!

Once Leanne left it was back to classes :( And this past Saturday we went to Bray which is a town outside of Dublin right on the ocean. I went with a few friends, two of whom are from Michigan and really into hiking and outdoorsy type stuff so when we got there and saw this mountain in front of us we knew we'd be walking to the top (there was a really pretty cross on top). We walked along the beach and then started on the trail up. It was gorgeous, overlooking the water and it was nice and peaceful with a gradual incline. Then we saw these stairs and a path that led up the side and we decided to be adventurous. While I was not prepared for that kind of walk (wearing Uggs and carrying a purse) it was so worth it. Its hard to even describe how beautiful it was, and the climb up was just as breathtaking as the view from the top. Plus it was nice that the whole time I wasn't too out of breath!

Oh and since this weekend is Easter we have Friday off and I'm going to Paris!!! I'm so excited :) I'll be staying with my friend Danielle who is studying there for the semester and I can't wait to see her! It'll be interesting to see if my 6 years of French class will pay off :) And I'll be sure to take tons of pictures. As of now, a lot of my Ireland pictures are on facebook but I'll try to put some up here when I get back :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Leannes Visit

Now for an update about Leanne's visit (I really need to keep up with this). So she got here really early the Sunday before St Patrick's day so Pat, Fal, and I went to meet her at the airport. Then we came back to DCU before going out to walk around Dublin. Monday morning we left for Galway. It was so pretty, we spent a lot of time just walking around and enjoying the quaint Irish feeling of the city. That night we went to some pub and listened to this really cute Irish band. Then Tuesday we walked around some more by the water before heading back to Dublin. That night we went out with my roommates, Pat, and a couple of guys from the CIEE group. The great thing about the Westport trip was that we actually meet people from the group that are nice and really fun to hang out. So we went out to a club and had a really good time but didn't get back until really late which meant maybe 4 hours of sleep before waking up for St Patrick's Day :) We got up around 8 or 9 to get all decked out in green and we just hung out in our apt while we painted each other's faces. Then we eventually made it out of the apartment and down to the city to watch the parade. The parade was definitely not what I expected but it was still really entertaining. It had more of an international feeling rather than the traditional Irish stuff I thought I'd see. But anyways, then we went to Croke Park to watch a hurling match and a Gaelic football game. I was confused when I heard a lot of the Irish call soccer soccer instead of futball like other places in Europe but I found out why. Its because they have Gaelic football which they just call football. Its a really interesting but difficult to understand sport coming from the US. Its a mix of soccer, rugby, and who knows what else. Both the games were really fun to watch though. Then we came back and just hung out for the night. On Thursday Leanne and I went to Howth which was amazing as always. We spent Friday walking ALL OVER Dublin and the Saturday we did a tour of Dublin's south coast. We went to Dun Laoghaire, Enniskerry, Bray (where all the famous people in Dublin have houses- Bono for example) and this amazing estate called Powerscourt. It was so sad to have her leave too but it was good to have time to get working on school work!

long overdue post about the CIEE trip to Mayo

I guess I can finally update about our field trip to western Ireland! The first weekend in March Dona and Martin brought all 35(ish) of us to County Mayo in the west. The main focus of the trip was to learn more about the potato famine and its effects on the country, especially because the troubles of the famine were felt most there. We left on the Wednesday morning- which really sucked since Dan was still here but I didn’t have to go to my 9am class which was nice.
Our first stop was the Strokestown House and National Irish Famine Museum. Strokestown House was the residence of a wealthy landlord during the famine days. It was a great stop because unlike most museums where everything is roped off and behind glass, the house was left just how it was when the last family members lived in it. It turns out, a local truck-company owner had wanted to buy a portion of the property when they were auctioning it off but it was an all or nothing kind of deal and so he bought the whole thing- including the house and everything inside. It was so cool to walk around inside because it was filled with all the original furniture, old toys, and even a first edition Charles Dickens book. And we were allowed to touch stuff, which was a surprise since normally like I said, stuff is roped off. We also went to two famine museums. One was just a quick walk through next to Strokestown- the man who bought all the property turned the barn into a museum. And the other was the Museum of Country life which showed how people lived before during and after the famine especially in County Mayo where the famine hit the hardest. Then we went to our hotel in Westport. The town was really cute had a nice center to walk around. Everyone just explored a little bit before going to dinner (best meals I will eat here- 3 course meals!) and then going to a couple pubs.
The next day we visited Croagh Patrick, the mountain where Saint Patrick fasted for 40 days, built a church, and banished all the snakes from Ireland. We also learned the importance of the shamrock to Ireland and how St Patrick used it to teach the native pagan Irish the concept of the Holy Trinity. The mountain was beautiful and we lucked out with weather. We didn’t walk very far up but we found out that every year on Reek Sunday (last Sunday in July) thousands of people take a pilgrimage and climb the mountain barefoot! We also went for a hike (more of a brisk walk with a slight incline) in Connemara which was beautiful.
On Friday we went to Achill Island (yeah that’s what it’s really called) and drove around the countryside to see all the famine memorials (there are a lot). The famine is still very much in the memories of the Irish- there was much more to it than what we learn in the states. One of the most interesting places we went was an old famine farm house. The guy who ran it actually grew up there and lived there until the 1970s. Behind the tiny house the man had created a more extensive famine museum, collecting artifacts from people all over and giving a good idea of what life really was like in Co. Mayo during the famine.
Then on Saturday we headed back to Dublin and I was very shocked to find that Dan was still there :) So then we went to the food festival and just hung out and enjoyed his last day in Dublin! I hated having him leave but really glad he got to visit.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

ver long update..

Time for a major update. I’m really sorry it’s been so long but I’ve just been really busy enjoying Ireland. Starting from where I left off, I can’t really remember what I did the week before Dan got here. Except for going to class and being really excited for him to visit! So Fridays ago Dan flew in :) Of course, the night his flight was supposed to leave I get an email from him saying that his flight was cancelled. Luckily by the time I got the email he had already arranged for another flight that would get him to Dublin at 10:30 Friday morning. Sometimes I’m incredibly thankful for how difficult he can be because if it weren’t for that he wouldn’t have gotten on another plane! Anyways, I met him at the airport Friday morning (taking a taxi by myself for the first time!) and I can’t even explain how happy I was to see him. On our taxi ride back home, he told me all about the ‘Joe’ he sat next to on the plane. Leave it to Dan to make friends anywhere he goes! So I brought him back to campus and showed him around a little, then introduced him to my roommates. Then we went into City Center. We walked around Trinity, O’Connell St, St Stephen’s Green, and Temple Bar before meeting up with Pat to go on the Guinness Factory Tour. The factory has 6 floors dedicated to the brewing process, history, and advertisement of the company including the story of Sir Arthur Guinness and his 9000 year loan on the building! The top floor is a bar where everyone receives a free pint of Guinness to enjoy along with the 360 view of Dublin. It was absolutely breathtaking. Oh and the most shocking part of the factory was running in to Nada! To those who are not Barrys and don’t know what this means, Nada is my uncle’s son’s fiancĂ©e from Czech Republic who I met at Christmas (follow that?). My aunt had mentioned she would be in Dublin for the weekend but I never expected to see her there. What a small world right? After the tour we made our way back to the Temple Bar area for dinner with Fal and AnnCatherine at the Porterhouse (the Irish stew was sooo good, as was the milkshake with chocolate and whiskey). Then we went to the Temple Bar- in case anyone is confused like Dan was, Temple Bar is an area of Dublin but within Temple Bar there is an individual pub called The Temple Bar. It’s basically the most famous pub in Dublin and very touristy but the type of place you need to go while you’re here. It was really fun but very crowded so we didn’t stay too long and then made our way back to DCU (not until after we went to the 4D theater and Mr Quirkeys Good Time Emporium) to hit up Matt Weldon’s (a local pub pretty much on campus) before going back to sleep.
The next day we all got up to go to the food festival in Temple Bar. We’re really becoming regulars but it’s good food at a cheap price so why not? We decided to try horse. At first I thought it was very strange to be selling horse meat skewers but when else would I be able to try horse? It was actually really tasty, much much better than I expected and definitely something I would get again. Then Dan and I went to Howth. The first time I went I knew immediately that Dan would love it there- and I was right. We walked along the water and up the cliffs a little. Then on our way to find the entrance to these beautiful church ruins and cemetery, Dan found a bar he NEEDED to go into: The Cock Tavern. Very maturely Dan insisted I take his picture in front of the sign and that we go in. It was a nice little place, very local. There was a rugby game on so we sat in for a drink and to no one’s surprise Dan made another friend. I don’t know what it is about that boy but he will literally make friends everywhere he goes without fail. After that we explored the ruins and went back towards the water to get some fish and chips. We decided to go to Beshoff’s which I had heard had the best fish and chips. And they were. Dan was so jealous of my fish because it was actually the best piece of fish I’d ever had (and cheap too!) While we ate outside on a bench overlooking the harbor this adorable dog came and sat with us, laying down in front of us completely looking like our dog. It was so funny. Once we got back we got ready and went to City Center to meet up with Emily and her friends visiting from home. We met them at Fitzsimons in Temple Bar which is always an interesting time. It was so good to see Em and we got to dance and hang out, buu Fitzsimons always has its share of creepers.
Sunday was a pretty laidback day. We went to a local restaurant for a proper Irish meal and then came back to DCU to hang out until Dan cooked us dinner. Like everything that Dan cooks, the steak with Guinness sauce was AMAZING. Monday Dan and I got up wicked early to go on our 13ish hour tour of Ireland. The tour took us down to Limerick in the southwest then up the coast to the Cliffs of Moher, the burren, and Galway before bringing us back to Dublin. Although we were extremely tired, the trip was well worth it. I definitely would like to go back to Limerick, it looks like a very interesting place. Then there were the Cliffs. Words cannot describe them and pictures don’t do them justice. It was undoubtedly the most beautiful place I have ever seen. And we were lucky to have rare Irish weather: sunshine and no clouds. The sky was so clear that we could see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay from the Cliffs. We spent a lot of time driving along the western coast and seeing exactly what you picture when you think of Ireland. When we finally got back to Dublin and were ready to nap we ended up going to the movies with Fal and some Irish friends.
Tuesday we spent the day in Dublin and after lunch at my favorite place (O’Neills) we went on a tour of Kilmainham Gaol- a former prison that played a very important part in Irish history. It is where many of the leaders of Irish rebellions were held and executed. Also a bunch of movies have been filmed there in recent times like the original Italian Job, In the Name of the Father, and Michael Collins. Also the U2 music video A Celebration was filmed there in 1982 (apparently there are really great acoustics). Then I think we went to Matt Weldon’s again and just hung out since I was leaving early in the morning for my field trip to western Ireland. It really sucked saying goodbye to him before leaving on Wednesday. I was so happy that I got to see him but I didn’t want him to leave, or to have to cut my time with him short for this trip. It’s really late and I’m tired so I won’t get into the details of the Westport trip until later but it was so much fun and I actually found some great people on the trip that are nice and a blast to hang out with. On Saturday we came back to DCU and as I walk into my room I’m surprised by none other than Dan who was supposed to have flown home Friday morning! It was the best surprise I could have ever imagined :) So after that we went to the food festival and Matt Weldon’s again for one last time and spent the rest of the night back in the dorm. It was still sad to see him go but it was a lot easier having already been really upset about it.
I’ll write more about my amazing trip to Westport and the week since Dan left but now I have to go to bed. And I'll post pictures too! The week with Dan was definitely one of the best weeks of my life. We had so much fun and he got to see so much of Ireland. And of course everyone here loved him! I’m just really happy he had such a good time and got a little break from working so hard at home :) tomorrow we’re going to the food festival before going to see Alice in Wonderland! I’m so excited!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Some pictures from Howth

Me and my roommates Fal and AnnCatherine at Howth :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Today was the best day ever. It started out being the most beautiful day, nice and warm so we went to the food festival in Temple Bar. After stuffing our faces we walked to the train station to catch the train to Howth. It was less than 5 euros for a round trip ticket. As soon as we got there we discovered two things: first that it had gotten a lot colder (and we'd regret not dressing appropriatey) and second, that Howth was amazing. Its probably one of the most beautiful places I've evr been. It reminded me a little of Maine, but when you look out into the water you see these amazing cliffs and the occasional castle. As we were walking we saw a bunch of seals in the water right by us so we decided to go buy fish to feed them. It was so much fun ad for only 2 euro we got 3 big fish to throw. Needless to say, the seals loved us. Then we just walked around for a few hours, taking TONS of pictures and playing with the many dogs that happened to be walking around. Then we went to this restaurant called The Bloody Stream (weird name, not sure about the story behind that) where we of course got Fish and Chips. It was soooo good and really filling. Then an hour or so after we got back to campus we looked outside and it was snowing! This was so exciting because it apparently never snows in Dublin. Last time it snowed (an it wasnt as much as tonight) basically the whole city shut down. It was really hard to believe the snow since the day started off so warm! I should be able to put up a few pictures tonight :) I'll definitely be going back to Howth and I think everyone needs to go if they're ever in Ireland!

Friday, February 19, 2010

classes and such

Today was the first time I had my Irish Cinema class and it just about put me to sleep. I'm hoping that as the semester goes by the films will get more interesting. We watched the Man of Aran today which was made in 1934 in western Ireland. I have no problems with black and white films or silent (almost silent) films but this was tough to sit through. I thought it was going to be my favorite class but now I'm thinking it might be my least. I'll just have to wait and see. My other classes are really great. As I've mentioned before I'm taking an Irish history course, one about contemporary Europe, one about the US, and another about Russia. I really like the Irish one. Our program director teaches it, and he's hilarious. Exactly what you expect an old Irish man to be like. The only thing I don't like about the class is that its with the rest of the group I came with. Its very frustrating to sit in there with so many annoying and ignorant people but luckily I've found a few of them that aren't so bad. I'm not sure what to make of the contemporary Europe one just yet. Our first class we spent listening to one of the 'mature' students talk non stop. I think its great that older people want to come back to school but this one woman was absolutely ridiculous. She spent the whole class bringing up things that were not entirely related to what we were discussing and she would constantly interject when someone else was talking. Then our professor wasnt there this week so we didnt have class. My America and the Wider World class should be interesting. The issue I had with the first class was that it was entirely student presentations and the professor did little more than ask a few questions at the end of the presentations. I have a real problem with classes like that because when I am paying so much money to be taught by professionals who are experts in their fields, I should be taught by them and not students. However, it turns out that most weeks will be split in half so most of the time will be lecture and a small portion will be student presentations. My Russia class is probably one of my favorites. The professor is very personable and knows so much. He has an incredibly Irish name I will probably never be able to pronounce. The only thing I'm worried about is that my entire grade is based on one 16 page paper turned in at the end of the semester. Not looking forward to that.

On another note, we went out last night to celebrate (or in some cases forget) exam results. Of course I didn’t take exams since I wasn’t here but I made Dean’s List so I thought that was sufficient. We had a bunch of people come over and then we went to this club, Spy. It was such a fun night. The club itself is really awesome. There are 3 floors, and each room has its own DJ. It was just crazy. Then when we left and were walking to get food we passed through a couple of knacker fights. If you don’t know what a knacker is it’s the Irish term for people who are just really trashy, scumbags etc. It was probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen, especially cause it was all girl fights. The Irish girls we were with were explaining everything as it happened and were surprised I’d never seen anything like that in Boston. We didn’t get home until very early in the morning but I still had plenty of time to sleep since I didn’t have class til 1.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this in an earlier blog (or even if I’m allowed to mention it yet since it hasn’t been officially announced) but my roommate Chris won an award for Best Radio Documentary in Europe. Its an especially big deal because he scored like 60 points higher than the BBC entry. Here’s the link to the documentary if anyone is interested: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/8yearson.html It’s a really moving piece about his mom and her struggle to overcome her heroin addiction.

So tomorrow we’re going to Howth and either tonight or sometime this weekend I really hope I can upload all my pictures online. And Dan will be here this time next week!! Emily will be here a week from tomorrow and Leanne will be here in a few weeks for St Patricks day!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

exciting news!

I feel like I've been raelly busy snce I last posted! So on Saturday we went into the city to shop and get food at the food festival in Temple Bar. Monday and Tuesday we went to the NU Bar on campus (makes me miss NU back home). My roommate Chris was DJing so we went to see him. We also ended up finding an open mic night next door. Its a really fun place to hang out, everyoe is really nice and we ended up meet a ton of people. Last night we ended up going to a club in the city which was fun, but it was incredibly crowded and way too hot. But I was excited cause I wore a dress I bought awhile ago and hadn't had the chance to wear yet haha.

My classes are going really well although it's turning out that I'll be VERY busy this semester. I dont have a lot of assignments but the ones I have are big and important. I have a 6 page paper, two 2 page papers, a presentation on the 2008 presidential election (easy for us Americans who were able to vote in it), and a few shorter papers. While its a lot of work, it means that I'm basically done everything after the end of April. So I'll have most of May to travel :)

This weekend we're going to Howth (sounds like ho-th), a small fishing villiage outside of Dublin. I'm really excited about it, the pictures I've seen are beautiful. And we'll be getting some real fish n' chips. Now I should be getting to bed but I'll update with pictures soon!

Oh but last and most importantly... DAN IS VISITING ME NEXT FRIDAY! He decided today that he would come for spring break :) I'm so excited to show him Dublin and introduce him to my roommates. I'm still kind of in shock that he spontaneously decided to fly to Ireland in a week!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yesterday Pat and I went walking around more of Dublin. We went to St Patrick’s Cathedral, which is absolutely gorgeous. I probably could have just sat there all day. We also went to Dublin Castle and ended up finding the Polish area of the city (which also had a beautiful church). We even had our first real Irish meal, corned beef and cabbage with lots of potatoes. I love that I that there is no such thing as too many starches here and that you can have potatoes with your potatoes and can even have some on the side. I also tried my first Guinness… and I have to say it wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t as bad as I expected but it was very heavy and thick. Not my style which I knew, but I had to try it anyways!
Last night I ended up going out with my roommate and all her friends from the business school here. Before we left the girls were all just hanging out in our apartment and asking questions about what things are like in the US. They asked me if I lived close to Fal (my roommate here who’s from VA) I said that it wasn’t too bad, probably just an 8-10hr drive and they all laughed- since it only takes about 3 hours to get from Dublin to Galway which are on opposite coasts. They also asked about college parties/ frat parties and if everyone really drinks out of the red plastic cups- which I thought was really funny because that’s one of those things from movies that actually VERY true. The place we ended up going to is between a pub and a club. It has a nice/smaller bar in the front which is pretty relaxed and then it has a larger section in the back with two bars, a dance floor, and a DJ. It still looked like a traditional pub though and has signed jerseys all over the place. They played a lot of contemporary music but they also played some songs I wasn’t expecting at all. For example- 9-5 by Dolly Parton… didn’t see that one coming, but it was so funny cause everyone knew the words and was singing along. Then they also played Cotton-Eyed Joe (but no one did the dance), Don’t Stop Believing (which wasn’t too much of a surprise, cause who doesn’t love that song?), Summer Nights from Grease. And at the end they played the Irish National Anthem which was kinda weird. I can’t imagine them playing the Star Spangled Banner at a bar in the US except maybe on the Fourth of July. But the best part was when they played Galway Girl- basically the most popular song in Ireland (also featured in PS I Love You in case anyone was wondering). Everyone was excited and singing and dancing. It was great.
Tomorrow I think my roommates and I are going into town to get a few things, maybe stop by this food festival in Temple Bar. Not sure what else I’ll be up to. I have a lot of reading to do already so I’ll be doing that today and tonight.
Oh but here are some interesting findings about Dublin so far!- Students go out on weekdays, clubs are pretty dead on the weekend and pubs are filled with an older crowd. Also things close early around here- the last bus into the city is 1130 and places close down around 2 at the latest. Which is great cause then students can go out on weekdays and still have plenty of time to sleep before their classes the next day haha. Taxi drivers are incredibly nice and not sketchy and the taxis are all clean! I am still not able to figure out which side I should walk to if I’m headed directly towards someone. I know in the US it’s safe to assume, go right and that’s generally accepted. Cannot figure that out here AT ALL, we’re thinking there might not be a general rule for that. I am however getting the hang of looking the other direction before crossing the street. The bathroom is either called the toilet or the jack, not the bathroom since there’s no bath there. Crack is not cocaine here, crack means fun. And the Irish speak really fast and quiet. I think that’s all for now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More pictures!

You might notice that some of the pictures look really nice and other don't... this is because I finaly realized its a waste of time to edit all the pictures. It's overcast a lot here, I've accepted it now. Hopefully I can get out to take more pictures when its sunny!

The spire in the middle is their time capsule for the Millenium and serves as our replacement Prudential Building to tell us how to get home...

Trinity College

Famous Temple Bar

Any LOTR fans? There was also a jewelry store called New Moon lol

This one is for my uncle :)

More to come!

Pictures of my room




Ok so time for an update. Let’s see…
On Thursday, we started out with individual meetings with our program directors to figure out our schedules. It’s a little complicated for us because unlike students in the US, the students here have a set schedule of classes given to them based on their year and program. They aren’t given much for options in terms of their classes. This makes things tough for us because we’re picking classes from all different levels and majors. I finally sorted out my classes today (I think!). I’m not fully registered for classes yet but as of now I’m taking the required Irish history course which includes 3 day trips to Mayo (in western Ireland) and Belfast (Northern Ireland). I’m also taking America & the Wider World, Russia & the Former Soviet States, Ireland & National Cinema, and the Making of Contemporary Europe. I have class Tuesdays 11-1 and 2-4, Wednesdays 9-10, 1-2 and 2-6, and Fridays 2-4. So I have Mondays and Thursdays off! Anyways, after the meetings I went into town to do some shopping and exploring. Then that night I went out with Pat and my roommates which was really fun. Friday was a lazy day, one where we were desperately searching for the rest of the information about our classes.
Saturday we were continuing the tour that had been rained out on Wednesday. Of course it was raining again when we began but it cleared up and turned out to be a beautiful day. We walked through the Georgian area of Dublin. We saw the National Gallery (which we had a brief chance to visit) and Merrion Sq which is this really nice park area. It has a memorial statue of Oscar Wilde and a memorial to Ireland’s National Defense Force. Then we saw a bunch of government buildings and other museums- I’ll put pictures up soon. Then we went to St Stephens Green. I wish we’d had more time to be there on Saturday since it was the perfect day to just sit there and read and enjoy how beautiful the area is. I’ll go into more detail when I have pictures. We even got to see Ireland’s Rugby Team getting on their bus on the way to the big game and some very enthusiastic Italy fans (Ireland won on Saturday ). Afterwards we just walked around, bought a few things and took in the busy atmosphere.
Monday was our first day of class but I’m lucky enough not to have class then. Then yesterday I had my first 2 classes, although I only went to one. The class I did go to was the one about Russia. It seems like its going to be a very interesting class. And I only have one assignment the whole semester… a 16 page research paper that’s 100% of my grade. No pressure or anything. My next class was America and the Wider World but I had to miss it to go to my GNIB card. This is the card that says I’m allowed to stay here (basically a visa). We first heard of these cards when we got off the plane and were told we’d need to get them and pay 150 euros for them. Needless to say we were pissed since they had told us NOTHING about needing to pay anything and it was also 5am. We later found out that the cost was included in our program fees so even though we had to pay it we get it back through our program directors in cash. Anyways, so we went yesterday for those. We were told that we were much better off skipping class that going on our own to get them. Don and Martin had set up an appointment for all of us and thank God they did. We were there for about 3 hours- I could’ve left after about 1 ½ but I had to wait for Pat to get his card. And we all thought 3 hours was terrible but the other people there had probably been there all day. Some people had been there for over 10 hours. Definitely worth missing a class I’m not even registered for yet! Today I had another class, Making of Contemporary Europe. It should be ok, it meets Wednesdays from 9-10 and then from 1-2 which seems kinda strange but we’ll see. Then after that I’ll go to the required Irish history course taught by Don.
My roommates and I started planning all these traditional Irish things to do. Like going to farms and all this other stuff. We’re even planning to camp on the beach?( should be interesting in Ireland). Their friends are really eager to show us Ireland outside of Dublin. And I may be going to Paris for Easter! I’ll have to check flights and everything but I already know I have a place to stay, a guide, and a 5 day weekend! I’m about to go back to class but I’ll add pictures soon! Also leave me addresses if you want a postcard! For anyone who wants it my address is:

Nicole Barry
WG03 D
College Park (House 12)
Campus Residence Limited
Dublin City University
Ballymun Rd.
Dublin 9


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ok so I'm really gonna try to update this today! I spent close to an hour yesterday writing this long post about what I've been doing the past few days (complete with pictures!) and then my internet decided it didn't want to work. I have my first class in about a half hour- Russia and the Former Soviet Space- and then I have America and the Wider World but I have to miss it to go to city center and get my GNIB card (so I don't get kicked out of Ireland). Then I have some reading for my core history class tomorrow but I'll make time to update!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I thought I was in Boston today. Of course the day of our walking tour it decides to pour. And it was freezing. Apparently its very rare to have weather like that in Dublin. The tour ended up getting cut short and postponed until this weekend but we still had the opportunity to walk around a little and stop at a pub for some food. The food was soooo good and Irish haha. and the people there were so friendly. I will never get tired of the accents.
On another note, I'm very thankful for my awesome roommates because I can't stand most of the people with my group. I just have a big issue with disrespectful people. The majority of the group will show up late to scheduled meetings, tours etc., they'll complain the whole time, and they talk constantly during our classes. This morning we were supposed to meet at 930 to go on our tour. At 945 there were still only 25 of 34 people. Some people came a half hour late! Like if you don't want to go, no one is forcing you. Just call and say you aren't coming instead of making everyone who was there on time wait around for you. And they should stop complaining about not being able to hear Don and Martin (the guys in change of our group), because if you aren't talking and yelling then you wouldn't have a problem hearing anything. They also show up incredibly hungover/still drunk to things which wouldn't bother me too much aside from the lateness but as an example of how things are this morning one girl was throwing up all over the bus before our tour. Real classy. And then when we went to a pub today to get some lunch, the two girls in front of me were so rude to the people making our sandwiches. It was completely unneccessary. Pat and I ate our food so quickly so we could get out of there and away from them.
Anyways, now I'm probably gonna take a nap. I got over my jetlag pretty quickly but I didn't get to bed until late last night so I think it'd be a good idea to catch up on some sleep!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

We had our orientation seminars today, which weren't too exciting, but they were useful. Then we went to Omni Center (the mall nearby) and experienced our first irish rain. It wasn't bad though cause it was about 50 degrees and just light rain. I also bought a phone today. Of course when I went to set it up something isnt working so I have to go back tomorrow. I got a sweet deal though because it you chose a pay as you go phone and 'topped it off' with 20 euro you could get free texting to any carrier. The phone was about 50 euro but I'm pretty sure I won't have to put any more money on it while I'm here. I do have to say that the Irish have much better hold music than the US. and the people on the phone are actually nice and helpful :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Right now its about 11pm here. We landed at 5 this morning and I haven't slept (except for 1hr on the flight over) since 7am Sunday morning- 40ish hours? I'm so ready for bed. The flight wasn't bad at all. It would've been nice to fly into Dublin when the sun was up, but even the lights of the city were beautiful. It took no time at all to pass through customs, they just waved us on by. And everyone is so friendly! Especially our group contact guy Martin (who knew all thirty something of us by name even though we'd never met him). It was an interesting ride to campus. Getting on the opposite side of the bus, driving on the worng side of the road, and the fact that it was 730 in the morning but looked like nighttime.

I think I really lucked out with the housing situation. The room is really nice, plain but nice. It doesnt have a big bed (:() but I'll survive :) Its surprisingly comfortable. And when I went to the mall I got a really nice duvet cover, pillowcase, and set of sheets for 9 euros altogether. Penneys is the most amazing store ever. I bought a scarf for .5 euros which equals 70cents US and a really really really cute pair of shoes to replace the teal ones I couldn't justify bringing with me for 3 euros! My mom would love this store, I wish she was here! Anyways, I also get my own bathroom which is very nice. Its got one of those showers thats really just a drain on the floor next to the toilet but its fine with me. Then there's a nice common room and kitchen area. I have 4 roommates. A girl from Chicago, one from Virginia, and then a guy from Dublin and a guy from Japan. They're all very nice andwere so welcoming. They got up early so they would be awke when i got there and then we hung out for a good part of the day. We went to the movies tonight and walked around city center a bit which was really nice.

Tomorrow morning we have a breakfast thing and then orientation stuff and walking tours all day. I'll try to post pictures soon!

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I'm all packed and ready to go! I weighed my suitcase last night for the first time and with almost everything packed it was 45lbs. When I finished putting everything in there today it was exactly 50 (which is my limit if i don't want to pay another $50). I'm very happy and surprised because I though fitting 4 months into one suitcase was going to be a nightmare. And I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself because some of the other girls on the trip were talking about how they're bringing 2 50lbs suitcases, and I could fit everything i planned on bringing into one.

I'm still not nervous about going, just very excited. It's hard to believe I've been talking about this semester for over 3 years and now it's here! Now all that's left to do is say some goodbyes, spend time with my family, and double check all my important stuff!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So I decided that I would start a blog on here because it allows people to post comments and fun stuff like that :)