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An American in Ireland: Meet Ned

Griffith College intern, Ned Panara
4 min

Why Dublin?

Greetings

Hello, and welcome. My name is Ned, and I’m an intern here at Griffith College as I spend my summer studying abroad in Dublin. During my time here, I’ll be posting regular updates and give you a firsthand look into my study abroad experience. From the beautiful culture of the city, to the delicious food, to the ironic oddities occurring on an everyday basis, I’ll be your source for information and entertainment.

Far From Home

So you might ask, of all the places in the world I could possibly study abroad, why would I choose Dublin? But before I get into that, I’d like to give a little recap of my journey from the comfort of my home to sitting in a desk across the Atlantic Ocean. So if that hint didn’t give it away already, I’m from the United States, Florida specifically. And if you want one reason as to why I decided to travel to Ireland, escaping the brutal heat and humidity of the sunshine state may be your answer. I’m just kidding, but seriously, the heat in that state is no joke. You can try to put on all the sunscreen you want, but just spend enough time outside and your skin will begin to look like a nice medium rare steak. But enough about the lovely state I call home, back to the traveling.

The day finally came where it was time to travel to Ireland. The procrastinator in myself held packing off until the day of my flight, which I don’t recommend if you are going abroad for two months. Being scolded by your parents as you miserably attempt to cram your jackets into an already overstuffed suitcase doesn’t exactly help with the nerves of going overseas for the first time. Nevertheless, I said my final goodbyes and departed on the 8-hour flight across “the pond.”

Culturally Enriched

Upon arrival in Dublin, I was instantly greeted by the cool, comfortable weather. Definitely a welcome change of scenery for this Floridian. A group of students who were also on the study abroad program accompanied me on the bus ride back to our apartments. We all sat on the second deck of the double-decker bus and saw some incredible views of the city. From all the authentic cafes and pubs to the historical landmarks such as the General Post Office on O’Connell Street, one could easily tell that this was a city brimming with culture. Needless to say, I was thrilled to start exploring. However, we were so distracted by the breathtaking sights of our bus ride that we missed our stop. This then required the ten of us to embark on a nice mile-long trek back to our apartments. I can’t quite imagine what we must have looked like to the locals, a group of young foreigners with arms full of luggage, clearly lost, processing in a single-file line down the streets of Dublin - although I’m sure we were quite the spectacle.

We eventually made it back to the apartments, and after I got unpacked, the first thing that came to my mind was food. So we walk to what is considered to be the oldest pub in Ireland, The Brazen Head. It may feel like a more touristy location, but having a meal inside was like sitting inside a piece of history. I had the fish and chips, a staple of Irish culture and one of my favorite dishes from back home (it’s even better here!) I finished my food and decided to try a Guinness, another “must-have” while in Ireland. I absolutely loved it, and I’m confident all beer-lovers will enjoy it. Be warned though, there were a decent amount of my peers that found it too rich for their liking.

What the Future Holds

Fortunately, we had the weekend to get settled into our apartment, go on guided tours, and explore the city on our own. My classes have now begun, I’ve started at my internship, and I’ve gotten a handle on living in a new place. So this brings us back to the question at hand, why did I decide to study in Dublin? Well, I think the experiences from this blog explain it all. The weather is beautiful, the sights are fascinating, the food is tasty, and the people are so pleasant. Just how friendly the Irish are is something I did not cover much, but I feel shouldn’t be ignored. Everyone you speak to always inquires about how you’re doing, and it truly makes the transition to a new place easier and more comforting. So now my mission is to explore the rest of the city I reside in, as well as the beautiful Emerald Isle. I cannot wait to share my experiences with an audience. Cheers!