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Thanksgiving

To start off this post I will give a quick rundown of the events of the last few weeks.

Picking up where I left off a few weeks back, I was lucky enough to compete in a golf tournament with the UCC team at St. Anne’s Golf Club in Dublin. It was a great week and my first real taste of Irish links golf. I’m not exactly sure how I was able to play, considering I was the only non-Irish kid in the field, but I’m sure glad they let it fly. I did not play extremely well, but I could not have cared less. It was an awesome opportunity to compete and represent the university and meet a few new friends along the way.

Following the golf tournament, we headed back to Cork for a full week of Jazz festival. For five days every year, at the end of October, artists come from far and wide to play live music all over the city. Almost all study abroad kids stay in town for the long weekend because it is a big deal. Each night we went out, we were able to sample music from some of the area’s finest musicians. Needless to say, it lived up to the hype.

Fast forward a couple days, and we were off to Edinburgh, Scotland. I was a bit bummed I had to sleep in the Dublin airport on Halloween, but it was well worth it to say the least. The first day a buddy and I made the journey up to St. Andrew’s Scotland where I was able to tour the most famous golf course on earth, The Old Course. We spent the day walking around, taking pictures, and admiring the history. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Shortly after we mosied back down to the city. Edinburgh quickly became one of my favorite places I have been so far. The city offers abundant history, incredible architecture, some great hiking, and unrivaled views of the North Sea. During the 3 days we spent in Scotland, we toured the city, ate local cuisine, took a trip to a beautiful national park, and had an overall great time.

This past weekend, along with a friend, I took a jaunt up to the northern part of Ireland for a golf trip. County Sligo did not disappoint. The course was right on the Atlantic and had a beautiful backdrop of mountains, rock outcroppings, and amazing plateaus. Aside from the golf, we were able to tour Sligo a little bit the night before. As far north as we were, the area was very rich with tradition. The pubs, people, and food were a fantastic example of true Irish culture. It was a quick trip up north and a lot of travel for two days, but I would recommend it to anyone who steps foot in Ireland.

Looking forward to the coming weeks, I am very excited for what lies ahead. This week, in fact, my family will be making the trip across the pond to visit for about 10 days, and I could not be more excited. This also coincides with thanksgiving and our last week of class, which seems crazy in itself. I remember thinking as I was leaving that it would be about 80 days until my family came over, which seemed like such a long time. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My time here has flown by, and it is crazy to think that after I get done traveling around with my family, there will be just a couple weeks of finals left and a plane ride home. As I have done over the entirety of my time here, I will try to make the most of it and really soak up the last few experiences.

That should be easy this week, as we plan to cover as much of this beautiful country as possible. After a few days in Cork, we will head west and shoot up north following the Wild Atlantic Way. I am so excited to not only show them a few of the places that makes Ireland so great, but also to see many of these places for the first time myself.

Since this week is the prelude to a very special holiday and time of year in general, I thought it necessary to mention a few things along those lines as well. It is pretty tough not to have many feelings of gratitude during an incredible experience such as this one. Not many people get the opportunity to go and do something like this, and I am extremely grateful to be able. Not only am I thankful for what this trip has brought, but the people and places that wait for me back at home. Sometimes when we are in the middle of those people or places, it is easy to gloss over how lucky we are to have them. It is kind of funny how magnified things like that become, and how special we realize they are when we are 4000 miles away. Obviously, I am enamored with what I have been able to experience over here, but because of those reasons I will be more than ready to head home in a few weeks. Along with a big smile I will bring those thoughts of appreciation back with me, or what most people would call… thanksgiving.


Matthew Twaddle is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City majoring in civil engineering. He is attending the University College Cork in Ireland through the UMKC Direct Exchange Program during the fall semester. Matthew is from Maryville, MO and is excited to continue his education in Cork, Ireland where some of his family still resides.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Wanderlust

I have not written as many of these things as I had originally planned, but it is sometimes hard to find the right things to say in just a week’s time or even do enough cool stuff in a week to write about. Over the last 3 or so weeks since I have written, I think I’ve done some noteworthy things, so here goes.

​For starters I just want to say that this trip, if you want to call it that, is flying by. As I am writing I am almost exactly halfway through my time here. Before heading out, four months seemed like a big chunk of time to be away. When you get down to it, start adventuring, mixing in school, and just living life, that amount of time can pass by before you know it. I realize now that in a few years when I look back on this it will seem like such a small chapter of my life, with a huge impact, nonetheless.

​A lot has happened since I last wrote, so I will go through the events I found to be the most memorable. Before I came, I planned on thoroughly traveling Ireland, mainly the southern area around Cork, before venturing to other countries. This proved to be exactly what happened. Last week I was finally able to get an appointment with immigration and get my temporary status that allows me to travel more freely around Europe. Look at me now customs guy at the airport. That was a weight off my shoulders as I already have many trips planned outside of Ireland. First, I will start with a little journey I embarked on a few weeks earlier.

​A few Saturdays ago, I did not have any plans for the weekend so a friend and I thought it would be cool to go hike the tallest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil. If you look it up, it shows that it is only about 4,000 feet tall which does it no justice at all. In fact, I will never judge a mountain based strictly on height again. To be fair, the bottom of the mountain starts right around sea level unlike most of the mountains in the states which start already at 8 or 9 thousand feet above sea level and rise about the same amount as Carrauntoohil. To throw in another wrinkle, it is also a twelve-mile bike ride and some change just to get to the base. The hike itself was listed at four to six hours and a bike ride that long is about an hour. When we arrived, we had only about five hours to get the job done, so if you do the math, we had to book it. The first part of the jaunt seemed like a cake walk right up until it started pouring with a forty mile per hour wind mixed in. This continued as we trekked through the valley up the steep rock chute between the peaks. As we crested that, the weather broke for a bit to reveal one of the coolest views I have ever seen which I will picture below. With not much time to waste, we carried on. From there it was probably a 2,000-foot ascent to the top. The weather was much like the first half, but there was no quitting to be done. We reached the peak and were treated to glimpses of beauty through the heavy fog. After a brief sit to bask in the pride of reaching the summit, we were off like a shot. Something about being crunched for time, fighting through the elements and putting burning legs to the back of your mind makes it that much more special. The rock chute I mentioned was basically a river by the hike down, so it took intense focus to get through the precarious positions to reach the bottom. The race was still on though as we hustled back to our bikes and pedaled to no end. We screeched into the bike shop just as the man was locking up and sprinted to the bus stop. From dawn to dusk it was a mad dash, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

​Moving on to this past week, I was lucky enough to make my maiden voyage out of the country. The first stop was Norway. It was quite the experience as I bussed to Dublin, flew over and reached my hostel at half past one in the morning. I woke up early to realize that no one else in the country does the same, apparently. I toured the city and took some photos before getting some coffee and mapping out the day. It was raining most of the time, so I settled on a short train ride out of the city to hike around a lake called Randsfjord. As we say here, it was absolute class. The countryside was beautiful and the small villages very cozy. Later, I headed back into Oslo to have dinner and do some more exploring. After a few short hours, I was content with my short trip as I had an early flight the next morning to get home at decent time. Two choices were presented to me on lodging as I could rent another hostel or bunk in the airport for the night. I thought it would be more memorable to do the latter, so I decided on the tile floor of the terminal. Boy was I right. I will never forget getting zero sleep waiting on that 7 am flight back to Dublin. Most people shake their head at me when I tell about my trips, but it keeps things interesting. Maybe the hostel would have been more comfortable, but who wants to hear about that. A two-hour flight and a four-hour bus back to Cork pretty well wrapped that one up, and I was ready for a nap.

​I’m sure many other things happened that are worth telling over the last few weeks, but these really stick out to me. In the coming weeks I plan to head over to Scotland with a few friends along with a nice stay in Cork for the upcoming jazz weekend. Currently, I am sitting in a rental house in the middle of a golf tournament as I was lucky enough to compete with the UCC club team. I would tell the tale, but I have rambled on enough. Therefore, I’ll save it for next time. I’ll do my best to write again soon. Until then lads.    


Matthew Twaddle is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City majoring in civil engineering. He is attending the University College Cork in Ireland through the UMKC Direct Exchange Program during the fall semester. Matthew is from Maryville, MO and is excited to continue his education in Cork, Ireland where some of his family still resides.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Neither Here Nor There

Thank you for joining me for the second installment of my journey through Ireland. These last few weeks, much like the first few, have had their share of excitement, discovery, and head scratching moments. Since my last post, I have done quite a bit of exploring, mostly around southern Ireland. In reality, classes have picked up a bit, so I have to pick and choose my days to wander. Still, it is mainly just lecture as they do not believe much in homework apparently, which is more than fine with me. With that it leaves me quite a bit of extra free time to go to cool places during the week. 

I have a break in class from Tuesday morning through Wednesday evening, so that has become my exploration time. These have been some of my favorite trips because they involve little to no planning and a lot of figuring it out on the fly. For example, on the 17th of September, I hopped a bus up to Killarney and spent the day touring the castle and gardens. I walked around for hours before sitting down at a fishing dock away from the crowds to take in the scenery. There I met a guy named John, who had been backpacking Europe for a few months, and struck up a conversation. The conversation lasted a couple hours and ended with John eventually deciding he would buy a plane ticket to head back to the states to get a fresh start. I can’t take any credit for his realizations, but I wish him the best in his new pursuits. After that whirlwind, I attempted to walk back to Cork, got lost and ended up hailing a cab to get back to my apartment. That’s a story for another time. 

The next weekend I was lucky enough to embark on a fly fishing trip to a small town in the next county over. Late on a Friday night, I made the trek over to the town of Clonmel where I rented a last minute AirBnb. The nice lady who owned the house called me a cab for the next day in order to get to the fish shop. After arriving a bit early the workers and guide showed up and started collecting gear. Once we were armed and dangerous it was time to snag some trout. The day consisted of catching a few fish, learning some tricks of the trade, and seeing a ton of awesome country. The guys were extremely knowledgeable and kind as almost everyone has been. All of this made for a great day on the water.

Jumping ahead to this week, again with a few friends, we went and toured the town of Kinsale on the southern coast by way of bike. There we went around the city and out to an old military fort dating back hundreds and hundreds of years. I was able to learn a bit about the area’s history and take in the scenery. To no one’s surprise the views out over the Atlantic were nothing short of amazing.

This leads us to this Tuesday. A few days ago, I was sitting in my morning class thinking I had not done anything spontaneous in a minute or two, so I headed to the bus station as soon as we were dismissed. I had remembered reading about a bike trip through the Gap of Dunloe that was a must do, so I bought a ticket and was off. Upon arriving in Killarney, I rented a bike from a local place, nodded as the guy went through the local stops to make, and tore out of town. About 8 miles in I chained up and began to ascend a hiking path. An hour or so later I stood at the top of Slippery Bridge or “Big Gun” peak looking over more country than I could even take in. After staring in amazement for awhile, I headed back down realizing I would be in a real time crunch to make the last bus back. From there I picked back up the bike trip and headed through the Gap of Dunloe. I would try to explain the surrounding scenery, but it’s just one of those places you have to see for yourself. I attached a picture below, but it does not even do it justice. Five or so miles later of pedaling up the rugged terrain and down through the Black Valley, I finally got a bit of signal and realized I had an hour and a half to bike 15 miles back either direction. With the steepness of the surrounding hills, that just would not be possible. With a little detour and a lot of luck I was able to find a flooded walking path back through the forest and out to the main road. A couple miles and a soaked pair of shoes later I was right back on track. From there it was a long but manageable 8 miles back into Killarney. Legs burning and heart racing, I chugged along cursing myself out, and made it just in the nick of time. I chained up the bike and hustled to catch the last bus as it pulled in, a great success. 

As I look back on these last few adventures, I realize they are not things that can be strategically planned out. Life is about adjusting on the run, so sometimes you just have to buckle up and let it fly. I know these are the times I will look back and appreciate the most because they weren’t supposed to happen. I can’t be quite sure if it’s curiosity, determination, or just plain stupidity, but the three combined seem to create something special, something an itinerary will never capture. These trips are just more meaningful. They are about the journey and not the outcome, more about the story of getting there and less about the end result. That’s life.

 Again, thanks for reading, and I will continue to keep updating as often as possible. Much obliged. 


Photo courtesy of The Gap of Dunloe


Matthew Twaddle is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City majoring in civil engineering. He is attending the University College Cork in Ireland through the UMKC Direct Exchange Program during the fall semester. Matthew is from Maryville, MO and is excited to continue his education in Cork, Ireland where some of his family still resides.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Taking Flight

Leaving home for the first time can be a bit daunting. No matter how many times you tell yourself or tell others that you are ready for it, you never really are. Sure I may have left home to go to college, but it is just not the same. In Kansas City I at least have the occasional day trip back home whenever I need it. This is a whole new ball game. Definitely exciting but new ground nonetheless. In my mind, getting over here and getting setup was really just an after thought until it became reality. I realized it wasn’t going to be a cake walk when I got to customs the morning of September 3rd, looking like a zombie since it should have been the middle of the night. Showing up with every document except for my letter of acceptance to University College Cork was a microcosm of  my whole journey up to this point, so it was very fitting. I thought I was going to be kicked out of Ireland before I got in, but here I am two weeks in. Look at me now, customs guy.

It took a bit of learning, getting looked at weird, and wandering around to get settled in. Now I have all the necessary supplies I need to make it through the semester, which is mainly sandwich stuff and a pair of hiking shoes. To be fair, those shoes have already taken me to Killarney National Park and The Cliffs of Moher which were both mesmerizing, so I would say they have been a solid investment. With one week of classes down and a few adventures under my belt, things are becoming a bit less foreign with each passing day. Sure, it is easy to miss home and the family and friends that make it that way, but living in the moment is something I have always prided myself in. If you worry too much about what is going on elsewhere, opportunities will pass you by. This is an experience I don’t want to squander by thinking about being somewhere else or about what I am going to do next, but instead by enjoying where I’m at in the moment. This semester is going to fly by anyways so why not enjoy every minute. That is something that is pretty easy to do in a place like Ireland, as every corner reveals something else to be intrigued by. I also can’t forget to mention that the adjustment has been made so much easier by all the awesome people I have met. Making friends is a bit easier when everyone is equally confused about their situation, but I never imagined how many great people I would meet, and even go travel with, in such a short amount of time. I guess it isn’t a huge shock that a bunch of study abroad kids would want to adventure and explore new places. Nevertheless, I am really glad they do. Already I am extremely thankful for what this trip has brought to me and pumped for what is to come. I already have a few excursions in the works. I’m going to take a few trips with friends and a couple solo treks, so stay tuned for my next move. Oh and classes went well this week too. I made it to all of those.

Thanks a million, cheers.


Matthew Twaddle is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City majoring in civil engineering. He is attending the University College Cork in Ireland through the UMKC Direct Exchange Program during the fall semester. Matthew is from Maryville, MO and is excited to continue his education in Cork, Ireland where some of his family still resides.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

2018 UMKC Study Abroad Programs Now Accepting Applications

Spring and Summer 2018 faculty-led study abroad programs are now accepting applications. UMKC faculty and staff develop, direct and teach these UMKC credit-bearing programs. You will learn and travel with UMKC faculty member(s) and students, exploring common interests. Program lengths vary from one to six weeks  and cultural activities and excursions are included.

Faculty-Led Bloch MBA Capstone Taipei

One of the four Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons, Taiwan is an economic power in the global market. Known for its industrial & high-tech manufacturing (especially semiconductors), it has become one of Asia’s biggest traders. Students will have a unique opportunity to experience its exceptional history and culture in both casual and business environments, while working on a real company consulting project.

Faculty-Led Bloch Summer: Urbania, Italy

The UMKC Summer Program: Urbania, Italy is three weeks of total immersion into Italian culture while taking UMKC courses from UMKC instructors. Urbania is located in the Le Marche region between Tuscany and the Adriatic coast of Central Italy. The region is best known for its beaches and its art and culture. Urbania will be our “home base” as we explore other cities in Italy, including Rome, Florence, Gubbio, Pesaro, and more. Classwork is brought to life by utilizing Italy as the lens through which new topics are explored. To further enhance the experience, students will take part in a conversational Italian workshop. Students will learn the basic linguistic elements of “survival Italian” used in real-life situations outside the classroom (i.e. asking for directions, ordering a meal, shopping, etc.). Prepare to be transformed by an authentic experience of Italian life and culture.

Faculty-Led UMKC Bloch Summer London

International Study in Business: London, United Kingdom, is an integrated class investigating management practices of HR and leadership in the United Kingdom. Not only will participants visit one of the most modern yet historic cities in the world, they will learn how management policies and practices differ between the US and the UK. The Brexit context makes this course a particularly relevant and informative experience for graduating students of all levels.

Faculty-Led UMKC French Language Summer in Lyon, France

The UMKC Lyon Summer Study Abroad Program is a six-week, homestay experience, June 4 – July 13, 2018. Students from UMKC or any other university should have completed the equivalent of at least one year of college French and should have a minimum French GPA of 2.5. At the end of program, students will have engaged significantly with aspects of Lyon history and culture, including its UNESCO world heritage sites and famed Guignol puppet theater. They will also have improved their French communication skills through extensive practice and coursework.

Faculty-Led UMKC Geosciences Spring Break Bahamas Program

Dr. Tina Niemi is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences at UMKC. She has been leading this Field Methods course in the Bahamas since 2007. The class will also take part in Dr. Niemi’s ongoing research with UMKC graduate students investigating the paleolimnological record and changes in the coastal morphology due to recent hurricanes.

Faculty-Led UMKC Honors Summer Program in Ireland

Our home base will be the seaport city of Cork, a community of 125,000 people. Founded in the 6th century, Cork soon grew into an urban commercial center heavily involved in European trade. Cork has seen it all—medieval feuds, the Black Plague, the English War of the Roses, and eventually the modern movement for Irish independence.  Although nicknamed the “Second City,” Cork residents consider their city the real hub of Irish culture and politics.

Faculty-Led UMKC Spanish Language Summer in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Participants will be housed with host families who are specifically chosen for their interest in sharing Argentinean life and culture with foreign students. Students generally eat breakfast and dinner with their host families. By living with families, students not only communicate in Spanish with native speakers, but also eat Argentinean food, live in an Argentinean home, etc. The home stay is an invaluable aspect of the UMKC program in Buenos Aires and sets it apart from other summer study abroad programs. There will be 1-2 students per home stay location.

Back in Kansas City

I have been home for a couple weeks now, after my semester abroad and then a month long trip through southern Europe. It was a long trip back home, and one that was filled with mixed feelings. I was excited to be making my way home to my family and friends, but sad to be leaving Europe, my friends abroad and the life I had for 6 months. When they tell you at the beginning of your study abroad experience that you will go through various waves of culture shock, that is so true. I think I have had a harder time adjusting back to life in Kansas City, than I had in Cork. The food is different than what I had become accustomed to, as well as the lifestyle. I became dependent on public transportation while abroad, and although we have public transportation in KC, it is not an equivalent to the transportation abroad. As someone who doesn’t have a car, that has been a very big adjustment. I am glad to be home, and glad that I lived abroad, but I now know that I will always have a second home in Ireland. I am so grateful for the experience I had abroad, and can say with confidence that I learned more in my semester abroad than in any semester of college thus far. Whenever I talk to anyone about my experience abroad, I make sure to encourage them to study abroad because it was such an amazing experience. I know it will take some more adjusting to get back into my normal routine at home, but with time time that will happen. Regardless, I will always look back on my time abroad and cherish it.


Erin Kelly is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Political Science. Erin spent the spring semester in Ireland with the University College Cork exchange program

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Solo Traveling

While traveling with friends is a great way to travel abroad, sometimes there are situations when you end up traveling solo. It can be a little intimidating to travel alone, but it is possible and it can be very rewarding. In any traveling situation, you should be vigilant of your surroundings, know emergency contact information, and always let someone know where you are, this is especially the case when you are traveling alone. To add to that, it is probably not a good idea to drink alcohol while alone either, for obvious reasons. It is also wise to make a plan before traveling solo, consisting of what you want to do, travel times, and expenses. This helps everything move smoothly once your out and about! I have found that it can be a little disorienting when arriving in a new city. I find it helps to sit down and map things out before making your way. In places of mass transit, there is always an information desk or a help desk, and they are actually really useful! I always take advantage of them. When out and about in the city, it helps if you don’t make eye contact with anyone, and if you act like you know the place. I have avoided many scam artists, and trinket sellers this way. If they know they can’t take advantage of you, they won’t try. There are plenty of uneducated and naive tourists that they can take advantage of. Having confidence, or acting like you have confidence is a sure way of avoiding those tricky situations. It is also helpful to know a little bit of the language of the country you are traveling too. This makes small transactions easy, and the locals really appreciate when foreigners try to speak the native language.

There are a few precautions to take while traveling solo, but there are more rewards that hindrances. The times that I have traveled alone, I have spent time doing exactly what I wanted to do. In Paris, before my friends met up with me, I spent an entire day on the Champs Elysees, and at the Eiffel Tower. It was a wonderful experience! Traveling solo is also a good time to learn about yourself. Most people don’t enjoy eating alone or being alone for too long, but while traveling alone you are always surrounded by interesting things, different cultures, and great opportunities. Traveling solo can be intimidating, but it is also extremely rewarding. Just take caution of the necessary things, and it can be a wonderful experience!

Ending a Semester Abroad

With the beginning of final exams came the end of a semester studying abroad. While I will be in Europe for a majority of the summer, the experience will not be the same. My friends from across the globe, have all gone home to their internships, families and friends. My friends here in Ireland have left Cork for their homes in the countryside. The city is not as active now that school is out, but it is just as wonderful even so. All semester I was caught up in the moment, so much so that it went by in the blink of an eye. I can say that I have learned so much about myself, and the world this semester. For the first time in my life, I was immersed in different thought, and culture. I have made so many memories here, that I won’t forget them any time soon. Along with that, I have friends to visit around the world and connections that I am sure will last a life time. Every moment was a learning experience, and because of that, I am confident I have learned more this semester than any semester in college before this. I am conflicted about going home, because I want to see my family and friends, but with that, I do not want to leave Ireland or Europe in the slightest. I never expected that to be the case, but now I know why everyone who studies abroad loves the experience so much. I believe that this semester has instilled in me ‘the travel bug’, I am already planning to see friends before the end of the year. I hope to travel more after graduation too!

Cork Port! My favorite place to sit and watch life go by.

I have been given so many opportunities this semester. I saw the ocean for the first time in my life, traveled to multiple countries that some will never see in their lives, and have become somewhat of a surfing fanatic. (Ireland has great coasts for surfing!) I will always remember my time in Ireland and the amazing memories I have made here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs.  The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Road Tripping In Ireland

Some would be surprised to hear that surfing is a big deal in Ireland. It actually a really wonderful place to catch some waves!

Finals week is pretty drawn out here in Ireland. It is actually three weeks long. While I spent a good majority of that time studying, I took a pretty nice study break one day and road tripped around western Ireland with a few pals of mine! It was the best day trip I have ever gone on! We drove through a ton of little towns and got to see a part of Ireland that many tourists don’t get to see. We stopped in a small town on the coast called Lahinch, where we spent a couple hours surfing.

Lahinch. In Gaelic inch means beach!

The weather was uncharacteristically nice, so it made for a perfect day for surfing! We made a quick stop at the Cliffs of Moher and made our way home. The day was filled with throwback music, warm weather, and great company!

The town of Lahinch is quite small, but it has a lot to offer. Great food and people!

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs.  The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

A Home Away From Home

While my time here in Cork is almost over, I have come to find Cork to be a home away from home. If someone told me that I would think of Cork as home when I first arrive here in January, I would have called them crazy! Though I have only been here for a short time, this city, its people and the atmosphere have become so familiar to me. I think the most important part of the fact that Cork feels like home is the process that got me there. When I first got to Ireland, I never thought I would fit in. My accent sticks out, my clothing style is what many would call American, and I do not look similar to the locals at all. By putting myself out there I slowly became accustomed to the Cork lifestyle. I would strike up conversations on the bus whenever it was possible. I would go to pubs and have a couple pints with my friends and invite the locals to join in. Doing this is so much fun because the locals love to talk about American life and politics, as well as Irish life and politics. Though this dialogue might seem like a tough subject, it actually always ends up with lots of laughter. We all can relate to Irish life, and also learn so much about each other. Cork has become a home, because of the friendships I have made here as well. Everyone is friendly here in Cork, so it is actually not hard to make friends. Everyone looks out for everyone else. The time I have spent with my friends has been such a fun and goofy time! Even if we are studying or just hanging out, there is always laughter.

So, for those who are worried about fitting in or getting adjusted to life abroad, there should really be no worries! At first, it might seem like living abroad is an alienating situation, but it is surprising how accepting and friendly people are. Getting out and becoming involved in University, as well as the city makes for such a fun, wonderful time!

Cork, my home away from home, definitely has some beautiful sights to offer!

Here are a few of the sights and some of the fun times I’ve had!

Port of Cork
Though St. Patrick’s Day was a while back, this is a pretty good representation of the fun we have on a regular basis!
Oliver Plunkett street. This is hands down my favorite street in Cork. It is filled with good pubs, fun boutiques, and the English Market!

 

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs.  The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.