We are nearing the one-month mark here in Galway and having an absolutely wonderful time so far! It seems like study abroad time operates in fast-forward; so much has happened since I last posted! In the last couple weeks we have all had the opportunity to join and try a wide variety of school clubs or “societies” as they are called at the National University. I have taken an open-minded approach to my involvement here, and it has been great! So far I have tried out kayaking, rock climbing, archery, swimming, gardening, eco-society, radio society, Malaysian society, and Harry Potter society (they have varsity Quittich here!). Hopefully this will just be the beginning to my participation. I would still like to check out the Traditional Music society and Italian society along with a couple others. It has been so fun taking in all these new experiences. All the avenues available for student involvement have definitely made my study abroad time even more of an adventure so far!
In addition to all the new society involvement, I have also become more involved in classes now that the semester is in full swing. I am taking a variety of classes, most of which relate in some way to Irish history and culture. One of my favorites so far has been my “Gaelic and Colonial Society” archaeology course. In this class I have been learning about the history and material culture of the medieval Gaelic people. The course includes a field class, which will be taking place this Friday. This outing will include a bus trip up to Connemara to look at several types of early settlement structures within sites of ongoing archaeological excavation. I am excited to apply my classroom learning in a real, practical setting.
The weekends have been a great time to spread our wings and explore outside of Galway. This last weekend I had the chance to visit the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. It was such a fun and beautiful trip! The cliffs were absolutely breathtaking, and the drive through the countryside gave me a glimpse of a more rural side of Ireland. I look forward to checking out more sites in the near future. Between societies, classes, and weekend travel, I am staying happily busy!
Cheers from Galway,
Irish phrase of the week:
"Are you ok?"-- A phrase used in a fashion similar to the American, "How may I help you?" This greeting is typically used by servers or employees when addressing a customer.