It has been a week since I landed in Ireland and already time has been flying by! This week has been a combination of fighting off jet lag and exploring as much of the town we are living in, Galway, as possible. Galway is an amazing and cute little town with several shops, pubs and markets. The weather this week has been great and I have already been able to try some Irish food and listen to live Irish music! The live Irish music has by far been my favorite part of being in Ireland. Studying abroad is my first experience in Europe and I am eager to take advantage of every opportunity I get to see the country.
Along with taking in the Irish culture, I have been working on transitioning to life at the National University of Ireland in Galway (NUIG). It is a huge change going from the size of Linfield to the size of NUIG, which is made up of 17,500 students. With different teaching styles and a whole new grading system, I am trying to prepare for the changes to come over the next few months. International students have the option to try out classes for two weeks before committing, which is making the whole process less stressful. I knew right away that I wanted to take several courses in Irish history and culture. My favorite class so far is about the traditional music and dance styles of Ireland! Along with these courses, I have also decided to take a few business courses that suit what I am studying back at Linfield.
The National University of Ireland in Galway has several great clubs and societies! There were a few clubs that I knew I wanted to join prior to the orientation, such as the mountaineering club. Every Sunday we are taken to different parts of Ireland to hike the countryside. The club has not yet begun, but I cannot wait for the hikes! I also have signed up for clubs that caught my attention at the orientation. I signed up for yoga (which I have never done once in my life) and I am excited to try something completely new!
Overall, the transition has been going smoothly and I know these next few months are going to be amazing! I plan on traveling Ireland and other nearby countries as well.