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Céad Míle Fáilte

Céad Míle Fáilte

Ever since my fourth grade heritage report, I knew I wanted to someday travel to Ireland. Everything about the culture and the people fascinated me. From then on, I did every report I could on some facet of Ireland and with every fact I learned, I fell more and more in love with the country. Thus, when the opportunity came to study abroad in Limerick, I jumped at it!

From the minute we landed in the Shannon Airport, I was ready for my adventure to start! It was slow going at first as my roommate Abby and I were locked out of our apartment when all we wanted to do was sleep, but even in our jet-lagged and cranky states, we could still admire the open, friendly nature of everyone we encountered. I can’t even begin to remember how many times we were wished “céad míle fáilte,” or “one hundred thousand welcomes” by the locals. Everyone was so willing to help the frazzled Americans settle in!

Our first weekend in Ireland was spent wandering around the city center of Limerick doing touristy things like exploring the shops. We did go to a fantastic market in the heart of the city called the Milk Market. (No milk is sold there, surprisingly.) The Limerick Milk Market is a weekly event held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday where local merchants can come and display their products. There were books, jewelry, fresh meats, baked treats, clothes, and everything in between! Abby and I went with another American girl named Ellise and two Danes named Trine and Laura. We had a great time wandering the aisles looking at everything and ended the day with a perfectly prepared meal of fish and chips. It was a little drizzly, but that is to be expected in January in Ireland. Regardless, it was a unique experience that was a great way to start the semester!


A stall selling homemade soaps and lotions at the Milk Market.

Some pottery for sale at the Milk Market.

The biggest struggle I’ve had in transitioning to school in Ireland is the rotating schedules. Classes are not at the same time each class meeting and they can be in different rooms, as well. My schedule is full of gaps and free time where I’m waiting for my next class to begin, but this does leave time for me to become better acquainted with the local pubs around the campus! There are several that a few of us have had a chance to try out, including Dolans and Fennesseys, where I had my first ever pint of Guinness! Pubs are a central gathering place for the neighborhood and being an American is a great way to start a conversation with anyone at the bar. They are also a great gathering place for students and often have live music, traditional and otherwise, so don’t be afraid to go out and have fun!

When in Ireland, you can’t escape trying a Guinness!

So far, studying in Limerick has been a whirlwind of meeting new people, having new experiences, and wandering around castle ruins. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester will bring!




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