While across the pond, I have come to rely heavily on public transportation for the first time in my life. At home I have a car so I am used to having the freedoms associated with it. All of that changed when I landed foot in Ireland. Here in Ireland, the bus system is the major form of public transportation and using it can sometimes be an adventure in of itself. The biggest challenge with Ireland’s bus system is figuring out which bus goes where! I am lucky enough to only have to take one bus throughout Cork. There have been hiccups along the way though! One time I got on the wrong bus, and had to ride it for over an hour to get back to where I originally got on. Then I got to the correct bus stop and the normal bus I take was done with its rounds for the night. I couldn’t help but laugh at my mistake. Another funny feature of the bus system in Ireland, is how diverse the drivers are. By diverse I mean, that some drivers drive sooooooooo slow, and others drive like NASCAR drives. The NASCAR bus drivers make it a bumpy ride, especially when the bus is full and people have to stand. You have to hold on for dear life in that situation! Other than differing driving habits, some drivers are extremely friendly and talk with people on the bus, while others keep to themselves. Though using the bus system is fairly time consuming, it has taught me a lot about public transportation and patience. Since I no long rely on myself for transportation, I have to plan accordingly and understand that others are doing their part to get me to where I need to go.
The best advice I can offer to others using transportation abroad, is to have patience, research all the difference modes of transportation where ever you are, know the schedules, know the costs and if there are discounts or student transportation cards, and be courteous. Public transportation can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if you educate yourself before using it.
Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.