Highlights: As stereotypical as it sounds, the best part about my study abroad trip was meeting some of the greatest people in the world. I made some lifelong friends through this program, and my time abroad would not have been the same without them. I also got to work with some of the most amazing Irish people during my time at the Abbey Theatre archives. I feel like I got so much more out of the cultural experience through my internship, and it is something I will never forget!
I also loved all of the trips I got to take. Traveling was so easy there, and groups of us were able to go on some amazing weekend trips. The IES-sponsored trips were absolutely amazing! We got to see so much, and it was nice not to have to plan it ourselves. Plus, the Dublin staff were so fun to travel with! You cannot go wrong studying with IES Dublin! It was the best semester of my life, and I miss it every single day.
Morning: During my semester abroad, I took classes at the IES-Dublin Centre and participated in an internship. On Monday and Thursday mornings, I would walk to the IES Centre for classes. I had 3 on Monday and 2 on Thursday, so I would be in class most of the day. Because classes only met once a week, each one was about 2 hours long. We would get breaks for food which would let us get out of the building for a little bit. The teachers were all amazing, and the classes were pretty fun! The professors incorporated a lot of walking tours, field trips, and cultural activities into the semester, so that made learning much more hands-on and interactive.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I went to work at the Abbey Theatre archives. I absolutely loved every minute of my internship because I got to work directly with the local Irish people, who are the friendliest folks I have ever met! I felt like I learned so much during those 2 days each week, and I couldn't wait to go into work.
Afternoon: My afternoons consisted of classes or the rest of the work day. After that, I would take my time walking home through the city. Often, I would meet a friend to do some shopping, exploring, or food. I would often run errands on the way home (i.e. grocery shopping). Because we had very tiny refrigerators, we had to buy groceries quite frequently. Usually, the afternoon was just spent getting things done before going out for the night.
One of my favorite parts about studying abroad was that we never had classes on Fridays, so we always had an extended weekend to travel and explore. We got to see so many places because we had extra time. Fridays and weekends were always fun for the group to get together!
Evening: In the evenings, we would often make dinner at the apartment while finishing up any homework we had for the next few days or Skyping with friends/family. Then, we would usually meet up with other people from the program at a local pub to enjoy a pint, live music, and some conversation. Some nights we stayed out later to enjoy Irish nightlife. However, some of the most memorable moments were the nights we watched the SuperBowl with the locals and the night we sang karaoke with a bunch of Scottish men in kilts. There was never a dull evening in Ireland.