The Journey Begins!

After a saying goodbye to Oregon and a few too many hours of travel, we arrived exhausted and elated in Ireland. During the drive from Shannon to Galway, we were immediately captivated by the beautiful Irish countryside. I’ll admit that as a native Oregonian, being surrounded by all of that green was like taking a bit of home with me abroad.

Countryside outside of Shannon, Ireland
Countryside outside of Shannon, Ireland

Once we arrived in Galway, we checked into our apartments at Cuirt na Coiribe and met our new roommates! We are all living with other international students, most of whom are also from the U.S.

Over the course of the next few days we had orientation and began to explore NUIG and Galway. A few of us decided to wander through campus to get the lay of the land and of course, take pictures of the iconic Quadrangle. Much like Pioneer at Linfield, the Quad began as the original college campus which has since expanded from 68 students to 18,000.

National University of Ireland Quadrangle opened in 1845
National University of Ireland Quadrangle opened in 1845

I still get lost downtown, but that was the goal of our initial trip exploring the city of Galway itself. We first found ourselves in the stunning Galway Cathedral, a historic landmark and great point of reference when exploring the city.

Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, Galway, Ireland
Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, Galway, Ireland

Galway has a youthful vibe from the plentiful cafes and shops to the many street performers that enliven the environment. It is impossible to venture downtown without running into other students, and everyone we met seemed friendly and welcoming.

Paige Philipson taking in the downtown
Paige Phillipson taking in the downtown

Our quest to get lost in the city took us across the River Corrib (home to a singular swan) and off the beaten path. I don’t know where exactly we were in the city, but the colorful wall art spoke for itself.

Kristen Burke rocking rainbow
Kristen Burke rocking rainbow

Having taken our first adventure around town, we felt ready to take on an exciting new semester! I can’t wait to find out what’s coming next.

Jordan Keller