Greetings from across the pond!! As I am now fully acquainted for the semester in Dublin, Ireland, I thought it would be a good time to write my first blog post! I’ve been here roughly 6 weeks and the journey has been incredible and simultaneously indescribable.
Upon arrival, I found I was entering a culture that was both different and unique in comparison to what I had known. My short drive to the grocery store was soon replaced by a 20-minute walk and my journey to the city became a 40-minute bus ride. But I think most can agree the small inconveniences of adjusting to a new routine don’t compare in the slightest to what a new chapter of life has to offer.
Europe is a whirlwind of an adventure! I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel to various countries on the weekends and have further immersed myself in foreign cultures. From London, Amsterdam, Budapest, and now Barcelona, the list continues to grow! I am mesmerized by the ancient history of each city, the numerous languages/accents, and the cities’ ability to captivate each local (and tourist) within.
But now let’s talk about academics – after all, it’s the reason I’m here. The aspect of school is one that has taken me a little by surprise. There is more emphasis put on work done outside the classroom as lectures are slightly less frequent than in the U.S. I, as well as other international students, have discovered that final exams can range anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of our final grade. While this is definitely something I hadn’t expected; I’ve come to like the idea. It takes pressure off the entire semester, as it is about 30 percent of my total grade, providing more opportunities to travel. Although, when May comes around, I might be wishing it was the other way around. Regardless, I’m excited to see what the rest of the semester holds and the adventures to come.