Hey everyone! It’s hard to believe I’ve already been here in Ireland for about three weeks. For our first week, all of us were together at Ulster University for training. It was great meeting everyone and getting to know each other so well. When it came time for all of us to go to our different universities, you would have thought we’d known each other for much longer than just one short week – with a mix of sadness to be leaving all of our new friends and excitement for all of us to be starting our journeys for the coming year.
A week after our arrival in Belfast, Kayla, Tom and I made our way to Galway. We spent about two hours driving through endless green fields, seeing more sheep than I’ve ever seen in my life. Arriving in Galway left us all jaw-dropped, it was exactly what comes to mind when someone pictures the quintessential Irish city – quaint yet so alive, with cobble stone walking streets lined with restaurants, pubs, and shops. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the moment the three of us turned the corner onto Quay Street for the first time. We all froze, wide-eyed and in awe, as if we were about to step foot into a painting. The street was packed with a great mix of locals and visitors bustling about.
We also couldn’t have asked for a better location for housing, with a balcony that looks out right over the harbor. Kayla and I have spent the past week getting to know our seven (that’s right, seven) new housemates. Let’s just say getting food out of the fridge is more intense than any game of Jenga. Some might think nine girls sharing two bathrooms will inevitably be a disaster, but we’re all really embracing the cramped quarters. We all seem to naturally levitate towards the kitchen and living room just to eat and hangout together. I’m sure there will never be a dull moment and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
After a few days in Galway, we had a free day with nothing planned and decided what better way to spend it than take a trip to the Cliffs of Moher (can you really say you’ve been to Ireland if you haven’t taken a picture standing inches from the edge of the cliffs?). They were overwhelmingly beautiful and terrifying at the same time. As a person with a fear of heights, I still recommend you cross the safety barrier and stand inches from the edge.
Classes also just started at NUI Galway and I am really looking forward to studying marketing here. The marketing program has people from all over and it’s been wonderful meeting and connecting with people from all sorts of different cultural backgrounds.