The program I am with requires us to take two classes with our group. Then, we get to pick two other classes at the university. I am taking Irish Life and Culture, Irish Popular Culture, and then the two classes that I picked at the University are: Film Adaptation and Early Medieval Irish History. The most frustrating this about this program so far was actually picking out and dealing with classes. The Irish University system is very laid back compared to America's. To get any exact information on any classes one has to go directly to the office of that department however, sometimes, the secretary for that department is not there. Emailing cannot be relied on as a sole means of communication: going in person to the department is the best way to get information. For example, I did not know that the Irish Medieval history started the week that we got there, and so I missed the first two classes. Many of the classes that abroad students can take are seminars which I highly recommend. The lecture classes are extremely boring. Enough of the complaining about the classes, I am now settled in and the classes are going great. There is not too much work, but there will be at the end of the term so I suggest one plans their time out in advance.
Putting academics aside, the town of Galway is great. It is a small European-like city that has a cute charm. The main street, Shop Street is a pedestrian way only. There are shops, pubs, and restaurants all down the way. We usually go out to a pub and then a club. Galway's clubs are very fun. They have a lot of theme nights where they are fun because they give out free stuff. A good tip - buy your own alcohol at the supermarket because the drinks at the clubs are super over-priced. We are living in a little student village a 15 minute walk to school and town. The walk is annoying but it has to be done.
About the weather..... It actually rains everyday. Not always constant rain, but a misty kind of rain with wind. Lots of wind. I would advise investing in rain pants because it is worth having dry pants. Also bring rain boots, and of course, a rain jacket.
While in Ireland, We have had the opportunity to travel around
Europe. So far, we have been to Munich (for Oktoberfest which I recommend), and London. We also have plans to go to Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Italy. Its nice being so close to so many cool places and the flights are not that expensive, but book in advance! An annoying thing is however, that we have to take a three hour bus ride to the closest international airport which is Dublin. Take advantage of the traveling!
Since I have only been here for five weeks there is not that much else to say. I would definitely recommend this trip to other people!