Adventures in Ireland

Adventures in Ireland

Meghan O'Hara, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: Meghan O’Hara, senior English major, is studying abroad for the first time. Meghan reflects on the emotional roller coaster of the first days in Ireland as a student traveling abroad.

I was so excited about Ireland.

I knew I was going to have a fantastic time at the University of Limerick (UL) once I got there.

But, having never flown out of the country on my own made me terrified. For me, the most nerve-wracking part about studying abroad was the flight out of the country and the first few days of meeting new people.

When I got on the plane, I decided the best course of action would be to sleep because the flight was overnight. When I got on the flight to Shannon, Ireland, I discovered that most of the people that were studying abroad traveled together from their respective schools. They were laughing and joking with each other. I was terrified that I would not be able to ‘fit’ in any of their already-formed groups.

When I arrived at University of Limerick, I was very lonely and extremely scared because I did not know anyone or anything about the new country I was in. I even wanted to go home for the first hour I was there.

So, I took a moment and thought about what I would do if I were scared at home … and went to the pool. At Marywood, I spent many hours at the Aquatic Center, as I was an active member of the swim team. The pool in the University of Limerick is the largest pool in Ireland. It was one of the things I was most excited about checking out once in Ireland.

It turned out to be the best thing to do. Going to the pool I was able to make friends that had something in common with me. I have gone to the pool every day since I have been at UL and each day I make new friends. The people are just as friendly as everyone told me they would be.

Ireland is such a beautiful place, even though I have not had a chance to see much of it yet. Everything is so green and the grass is really soft. I have already passed a few castles and I can’t wait to visit them. I am even starting to think that the rainy weather is a myth, even though the locals tell me it’s not. It has not rained once since I arrived.

Check back next month to see how I’m doing in this new foreign land.