BY JULIANNA PRATT, ’16 // EARLY CHILDHOOD AND ELEMENTARY EDUCATION
Adventure- Don’t just sit in your apartments!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make on this trip is just staying at home and sitting in your apartment. You are in a city with millions of opportunities. Even if you can’t travel much outside of Ireland, there are so many cheap and exciting things to do around you! Always make an effort to get out of your apartment and experience all that Ireland has to offer.
Book your trips early – Don’t wait, it’ll only get more expensive!
The first thing you should do when you get here is book your trips. Get the schedule for the semester, check your syllabi, and book your trips. The earlier you book them the cheaper they will be and the more prepare you can be to travel.
Cook – Make your own meals and save millions (or at least a couple of bucks)!
Almost every night my roommates and I cook dinner together and it has worked out beautifully. We’ve saved so much money by going in on food together and sharing the responsibilities of cooking. It has definitely made a huge impact financially because you know you aren’t going to eat that 18 pack of eggs all by yourself before they go bad!
Don’t leave with regrets – Do everything you set out to do!
Come into this trip making sure you check those items off your bucket list. This might be your first time abroad, or at least your first time alone, so embrace all that it has to offer. Set goals that are attainable and do them! Don’t put it off because then you will be sitting at the end of the semester with a list of unchecked items that you wish you did.
Eat Garlic Cheese Chips – #curryandkebab!
A convenient 3 minute walk from the apartments is the most delicious curry place that is open late and has the best delicacy you could ask for, garlic cheese chips. They are absolutely delectable and make the best late night snack!
Field Trips- Attend them!
The school puts on amazing field trips for you, go to them! You won’t regret it. For the small price of €50 they put together trips to the West of Ireland as well as up North. Both of these field trips were incredible. They allowed me to get out of Dublin and explore parts of Ireland that I hadn’t been to before. These trips also helped us bond as a group participating in activities such as late night karaoke and long bus rides.
Get involved- Help out in the community you will be a part of!
Probably one of my favorite things in my study abroad experience was working in my placement at a local primary school. This opportunity allowed me to meet a lot of new people as well as getting to see Ireland through a different light, their educational system. Working in this community let me experience Ireland to a whole new level.
Howth- Go to the beautiful seaside village!
Howth is just a DART ride away, a train system that you will get accustomed to relatively fast. Howth is full of delicious seafood and Farmer’s Markets as well as providing a little get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Iveagh Gardens- An oasis away from the city!
The Iveagh Gardens might be one of my favorite places in the city. It is a secluded park that you get to by cutting through the parking lot of the National Concert Hall. Stephen McMahon brought us here the third week of class and it has been a place that I have frequented since. It is where I go when I just need a little peace and quiet or if I want to go and throw the Frisbee around with some of my friends.
Jay-Walk- It is encouraged!
One thing that terrified me when I got here was the amount of jay-walking that occurs but you will learn quickly that you have to do it. It is completely acceptable to jay-walk in Ireland and it allows you to get places much faster. But don’t forget to look both ways!
Keep a Journal- So you can remember your trip!
Keeping a journal helps you to remember what happened on your trip. Whether this be a photo journal, a blog, or an old-fashioned diary; do something to keep account of what you’ve been up to and to remember all that you’ve experienced.
Leeson Street- Where you will be spend a good chunk of your life!
Leeson Street, a place where you will be able to walk to in your sleep, literally, when you have to get up for your 9 AM class. This is the street that will be your second home while you are here in Dublin. Leeson Street has a lot to offer from the Bagel Factory to Gerard’s to the Newsagent (one of the only places to get your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup fix). Plus this is home to the academic center!
Meath Street- Buy your fresh meat and vegetables here!
Meath Street is a close 5 minute walk from the apartments and has all the fresh food you could desire. It may look a little sketchy at first but all of the vendors are really nice and are usually willing to make deals with you on food, especially if you are a return costumer.
National College of Ireland- Go to NCI events and make Irish friends!
Champlain College has set up a partnership with NCI which allows us to attend their events. This has been a great opportunity to make new friends and learn a little more about what college is like in Ireland. Since we don’t get the traditional study abroad experience of attending an outside university, this relationship helps us to get a little more acclimated to the culture. Plus they put on some really cool events!
Penney’s- Buy yourself some clothes!
The most beautiful clothing store! Everything is extremely cheap and they have locations all over the city. Penney’s is great if you forgot anything you might need or if you just want to buy yourself some new clothes!
Questions- Don’t be afraid to ask them, that’s how you learn!
Ask questions. No question is stupid. Immerse yourself and learn about others. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the people of Ireland are excited to answer them!
Ryanair- Hop on board and travel anywhere!
Ryanair is a cheap airline that books trips all over Europe. This is the way I traveled in Europe and it saved me a bundle of money.
Sin É- Coolest place in town!
Sin É is my favorite hangout spot. They always have great live music and drink specials. Also something unique about Sin É is during the week they will usually have events such as movie nights and swing dancing classes that are free! It has a cool atmosphere and the greatest staff.
Teachers- Get to know them!
I have to say I have been incredibly impressed with the staff at Champlain Dublin. These have to be some of my favorite professors I have ever had. They have given so many opportunities I would have never gotten to have elsewhere. Take the time to get to know them, they are great!
Use your resources- Stephen, Lilly, and Ciaran are the best!
I couldn’t have asked for a better staff of people to be in charge of Champlain Dublin. Stephen, Lilly, and Ciaran work so hard to give us endless opportunities and really care about us. They foster such a great community and we have all gotten really close because of them!
Visually capture your trip- Bring a camera!
Essential packing tip: Don’t forget your camera.
Walking shoes- Bring them!
Bring good shoes because you will walk approximately 5 miles a day! Welcome to Dublin!
Xcited- Get excited to come!
This will be one of the greatest experiences of your life, so pack your bags and get ready for the adventure of your life time!
Y Not?- Dublin is great!
Dublin is one of my favorite cities I have been to. It has so much to offer and it has become my home for the past four months and I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience.
Zoo- Go visit Dublin Zoo and get up close and personal with some animals!
The zoo is about a 30 minute walk away in Phoenix Park and they allow you to get up close and personal with the animals. This is a great place to spend the day. Pack a picnic and enjoy Phoenix Park.