…Tell us how it’s going!
Share some updates!
Okay, so I know a lot of people have tons of questions they want to ask (mostly because I’ve been getting the same ones) and ask away!! Don’t feel like you’re annoying me because believe me, when any of my friends travel I always want to hear about every detail :). But I figured I could give the run down of what my experience here has been like for only a few days!
THEIR ANIMALS ARE BETTER
While Ireland is very similar to the US in many ways (seeing as they’re fully developed) there are a lot of small things that I catch myself thinking twice about or doing a double take. For example, our campus lies in Castletroy with is part of Limerick county and about 10 minutes away from Limerick City. There is a wonderful, dirt trail that leads around the campus and down the Shannon River and along the way you might encounter cows, goats, and horses. Even though I come from a country town, there is something very different about seeing these beautiful animals wandering around at their own leisure. Another thing, ALL DOGS ARE FRIENDLY. I have not come across a mean dog and 90% of them are not on leashes. Their owners take them for walks all around the campus and while some stop to say a quick hello, they keep doing what their supposed to with their owners even calling their name.
IRISH PEOPLE LIKE TO DRINK
At Eastern if someone is drinking they are 1)hiding it or 2)going to get in trouble, so it was and still is a shock being on a campus like this. There is a pub right in the center of campus. And if you’re looking for something to do that place is poppin just about every night. It’s not so much that they like to get drunk, this is just part of their culture. And with that in mind, all of the clubs and societies on campus like to go to the pubs to let everyone meet and get to know eachother.
THEY TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR FOOD
When it comes to supplying food for people, they know how to do it. All of the meat and produce that I’ve looked at are all local and from local farmers. All of the animals are free range and almost all farmers are organic farmers. Their bread is not processed and you can buy it fresh every day. If you’re looking for food a little fresher than from the grocery store then every Saturday you can go to Limerick City to the Milk Market (which we got to experience today)…It. Was. Amazing. This was the Farmer’s Market of all farmer’s markets. A HUGE area of the city is designated for this market where people from all over Ireland come and sell their goods. If you can find it in Ireland, you can find it here. What I ended up buying was: fresh olives, carrots, garlic, a Stromboli, and the most delicious brownies I think I’ve ever had. While walking around though I think I could go broke… If you’re ever around this area, this definitely a must see!
IT DOESN’T ACTUALLY RAIN HERE
What we have decided is that people have made up this myth that it’s always cloudy and it rains here all the time to keep the tourism down. It has been 4 days and it has been the best weather anyone could ask for! The skies have been clear and the sun has been shining for FOUR days. I think we are all truly blessed because it has made this transition much easier and better!
THIS IS THE GREENEST PLACE I’VE EVER BEEN
If you might be thinking what I think you’re thinking, YOU ARE WRONG! Yes, the landscape is very green supposedly from all this “rain” they claim they are getting, but that’s not what I ment. Ireland is going green and they are going hard! Let me start off small. As far as my dorm room goes; we are supplied with a wastebasket, recycling bin, a compost bin, and all outlets have an on and off switch. We are allotted with a certain amount of electricity for our dorm room and if we are under we all receive refunds! YAY! But…if we go over the amount then we have to pay the University the specific amount. Now for outside of the campus. All grocery stores require you to bring your own bags or you will be charged .7 Euros per bag (I found that out the hard way). All of their cars are stick shift, small, and use diesel, and they don’t have that many stop lights (TONS of roundabouts). And like I’ve said, they are very conscientious of how their food is raised and grown.
I guess that is good start for now, but if you have any queries (I’ve heard that word more times in the last week than in my entire life) please keep them coming!
Spain! My new love. =)
To start off my year abroad, I did some traveling across Europe with my brother. We started in Salzburg (Austria), visiting family and friends. Then we took a rental car to Venice (Italy), a train to Paris and lastly another train to London. We didn’t buy Eurorail (train) tickets because we found it more economical to pay for each train fare separately. I found all the cities phenomenal, and I’d be torn to have to chose between one of them as my favorite.
Two weeks ago, I took a plane from England to Spain for only 90GBP, using EasyJet booking online!
I was placed in a residency (similar to an American residence hall), but moved into an apartment a week ago because it was closer to my classes and cheaper in rent.
The people here are absolutely friendly and helpful. Since almost no one speaks any English, I am forced to practice my spanish. That is exactly what I love about this place – it challenges me to learn a new language fast. The great thing is, I learn grammar and practical phrases in the University courses in the morning, and then I get to practice what I learned with my friends in the afternoon.
I’ve taken advantage of the many free tours that the University offers of the city and its ancient artifacts. I’m absolutely in awe every time I attend one of them. The tour guides all make it really easy to understand and interesting to listen to.
It’s been only two weeks since I’ve been here, I am sure the best is yet to come.
Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.
After months of planning and a very long 14 hour flight I have finally made it to Thessaloniki, Greece. This is the place that I will be calling home for the next five months. let me share with you all my first impression. I am not sure if its that Im really jet lagged but my first impression is not what I expected. This I know this is not what most of you expected to hear but bear with me because it does get better.
The images that I had of Greece where those of white buildings with blue tops. That is not exactly how Thessaloniki looks like. Thessaloniki is the second largest city here is Greece, following by the first which is Athens. After arriving to my hotel which was located in the heart of the city I realized the beauty of Greece. People there were really nice. As I mentioned before we went into this journey with a program called Global links. This program would also show us around the city of Thessaloniki and provide us with the great Greek cuisine.
After three days of being with global links we went ahead and met with the rest of the study abroad students which lived in our new apartments. The way that the school worked was that housing was located in the city where we would neighbor greek families. I lived by my self in the my own apartment. In the same floor my neighbors where other students that also were study abroad students.
The campus was located in the north part of the city by the more suburban area. The campus was fairly small. The American College of Thessaloniki consisted of two buildings one the library and the other was the classroom building which also included a cafeteria. Although it was small it was very welcoming. The teachers and faculty there were great. Classes were less work then here at Eastern Connecticut State University but I did choose less changeling class.
The events that the school put together for us were great. They came up with many many events for us through out our time being there. The first trip that we took was to Vergina which is located in the north part of Greece and this particular town had the tomb of Phillip the second which was father of Alexander the great. We also took a trip to one of the most beautiful places Ive ever been. We went to the navel of the universe which is Delphi, Greece. The other main trip that we took was the trip to the capital of Greece which is Athens. There lies a lot of history and many historical monuments. Such monuments included the parthenon and the first Olympic stadium to name a few.
Since traveling with in Europe I actually had the opportunity to travel to other countries that I always wanted to visit. The other places that I visited included Rome, Italy ; Barcelona, Spain; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Munich and karlsruhe Germany. All of these countries were astonishing. The culture and the people were great. The scenery were breath taking and overall it was a lot of fun.
Not only that but I also had parts of Greece that I had still left to see. Therefore I also went to the the following Greek Islands or in other words HEAVEN!! The first Island that I visited was Mykonos. One of the most luxurious places to ever go to. The second Island was Patmos which history behind it was truly amazing. However one of my all time favorite places that I visited was the Island of Satorini. when I tell you guys that I died and went to heaven I mean nothing short of it. The place it self was beautiful. After taking picture at the beautiful Oia behind me I then continued to look around the Island. the Island had many great beaches (black sand, red sand regular sand you name it they got it)
The last stop that I made was in Kusadasi, Turkey!! Yes people I made it to another CONTINENT! Kusadasi was a beautiful place as well. This is where virgin Mary chapel was and where she was seen for the last time.
Over all the my experience in Greece was nothing short of Amazing!!! Greece got a lot of bad publicity because they are going through some rough economic situation but if you can put that aside, Greece is definitely A MUST GO TO PLACE!!!
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Hey everyone! A little update from across the pond, at the University of Kent:
I arrived in London, January 5, very tired and gross! However, my flight was the most exciting one I’ve ever taken as I was upgraded to Business class FOR FREE! After a 4 day orientation with Globalinks in London, I took a train to Canterbury and moved into my house. Each has 5 students per house, 2 bathrooms, and a kitchen. I live with 2 guys (One from Romania, the other from England) and 2 girls (One from Hong Kong, the other from England as well). I am currently on my 3rd week of modules (classes), which I described in detail on my blog in the link below 🙂
One thing that I don’t know if I mentioned in my blog that I want to share is how many people I’ve met from all over the world! I mean seriously, ALL OVER THE WORLD. I’ve been students from China, Japan, Uruguay, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, Germany, South Africa, France and of course, plenty from the States! That part has been incredible and I’m thinking of starting a list of where everyone’s from. Every time I meet another student who’s from somewhere knew I can’t help but say, “That is AWESOME. I’ve never met anyone from *insert crazy random place*!”
This upcoming weekend is my first trip out of Canterbury! Thursday night I will be on a bus to Edinburgh, Scotland. WOOT WOOT! I’m so excited to start seeing places and traveling with friends.
So you should definitely check out my blog that I will be attempting to update weekly!
And if anyone reading this is thinking about studying abroad, STOP THINKING AND DO IT! It can be time consuming and it isn’t cheap, but just being here for a month, I can say it is SO worth it!
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