Author Archives: Sarah Steward

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Abroad in Dublin

Oh, how the end of a semester has inexplicably come once again! It’s hard to believe that this is my last blog post for Champlain Abroad Dublin or that I head back home in less than two weeks. It seems like just yesterday  I was asking everyone I knew what to pack or expect. No matter how many different people you ask or how much you prepare, there’s still things you’ll never know until you’re across the pond and experience them yourself.

Champlain Abroad Dublin Campus Building

Sarah Steward, Communications Major, studying abroad in Dublin with Champlain Abroad Dublin.

In the blink of an eye, I went from being an apprehensive American student to feeling like a true Dub.  Here’s a list of things I wish I knew before studying abroad in Dublin:

1. You will walk quite a way to school…and you will break a sweat

Champlain College students  know that in Burlington, Vermont  getting anywhere on campus takes 5 minutes or less. Here in the Emerald Isle, that’s not the case. In the beginning of the semester, you’ll feel like your 30-minute commute is daunting, never-ending and extremely sweaty. For some reason, every student starts to break a sweat somewhere between Kevin Street and Leeson Street Lower. While none of us can explain this phenomenon, we all agree that our commute allows us to pass so many beautiful buildings, fellow commuters, and delicious coffee shops by simply going to class. (There’s always something interesting to look at!) When you reach Champlain Abroad Dublin’s academic center, you are greeted by an authentic Georgian door. I don’t know; something about it makes me feel like I’m at home rather than at school. In fact, that’s something that isn’t shared enough- the academic center is home! Continue reading

Urban Expression – Innovative Cultural Immersion

Imagine walking into your first day of class, in a new country and your professor tells you that in just 14 quick weeks you’ll be putting on an event in Dublin. That’s exactly what happened to me and my fellow classmates. Fast forward to the end of November and we can now reflect on that same task and proudly say, “we did it!”

This semester, Champlain Abroad Dublin‘s Creative Dublin class was given the daunting- yet delightful- challenge of putting together an arts event from start to finish. This project was undoubtedly, one of the most in-depth and hands-on projects any of us have ever done at Champlain College thus far. During one of our first classes we split into two groups. Each group talked about what their ideal event would look like. Then, we came together as one and discussed how to combine all of our ideas into one seamless event. After that, we hit the ground running.

Urban Expression

We decided we wanted slam poetry, music and an art gallery. To effectively achieve this, we came up with the idea of Urban Expression;  a one-night event that highlighted the paths we have taken to get to where we are today. Through photography, visual art, slam poetry and music our aim was to show that each individual is on a unique journey. We made sure the event was free and filled with  both American and Irish artists and fellow Champlain students. We even managed to snag one of Dublin’s biggest graffiti artists to do a live piece. Continue reading

Being Homesick in the New Place You Call Home

Everyone tells you that studying abroad is one of the best experiences you will ever have.  This is the time to learn about a new culture, country and about yourself. It’s one of the biggest opportunities of a lifetime! While all these things are true, there’s still something that people forget when talking about taking the leap abroad: homesickness.

Feeling homesick while abroad sucks and it also sets in a bit of guilt. How dare I feel sad or homesick when I’m so lucky to be embarking on one of the greatest journeys a college student can take?

Being homesick is inevitable and that’s something everyone should learn before coming abroad. It’s also important to know that feeling this way is completely normal.

I think I can speak for most students in our group when I say that this is our first time away from home. Sure, packing up your room  and making the trip to Champlain College in Vermont, just to have your parents send you on your way for 8 months can be pretty tough. Being away from your family when you’re not even in America is definitely a greater challenge!

During orientation back in August, we learned about the  highs and lows of a student’s journey abroad. Generally students start off in the honeymoon phase- where everything is fresh, new and exciting! About a month to two months after, that excitement slowly declines and we become homesick. (It’s safe to say that this is where most students have been at these past few weeks!) This lull happens even while home and at school; midterms are piling up, Fall break and Thanksgiving is just around the corner and going home sounds more and more tempting. After this, students are back on track towards a gradual incline- Fall break happens, homework has slowed down a bit and going home is in the near future!

It would be a travesty to sit around and wish your time away! Here’s a list of things you can do when you’re feeling homesick, whether it be at school or abroad:

Distance means nothing with friend Skype dates!

Distance means nothing with friend Skype dates!

Utilize social media and Skype

This tip needs to be done very carefully. It’s so easy to be sucked into life back home. There’s a fine line between catching up with family and friends and then catching up with them constantly, shutting yourself out from everything else your time abroad has to offer! Make time to talk to your family and friends and update them on your life because they really do want to know all that you are up to. (You are on an exciting journey after all) It’s easy to forget that life is still happening back home so it’s nice to catch up and stay in the loop. Skype is the best way to talk to people- it’s free and it’s almost as if you’re still talking face to face! Continue reading

Go out and eat the world

Before I made my way across the pond, Netflix and I were attached at the hip. Seriously. I snuggled up next to my laptop after work and watched shows into the wee hours of the morning. If we’re being honest, Netflix and I still make time for each other- somewhere nestled between classes, making dinner and going to Champlain Abroad Dublin events.

Like many students, Orange is the New Black is at the top of my ‘Recently Watched’ list and there’s one episode in particular that still sticks in my mind. Without getting into too much detail, the show’s main character, Piper, reminisces on a phrase her grandmother used to say to her growing up.

“Go out and eat the world, Piper”

I think I may have taken this ideal quite literally.

Mocha and scone from Foam Cafe. Coffee is definitely a weakness!

Mocha and scone from Foam Cafe. Coffee is definitely a weakness!

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An Intern Abroad

Along with going to school in Ireland, Champlain Abroad Dublin students also have the invaluable opportunity to volunteer or complete a part-time internship. Seeing international work experience on a resume is pretty impressive and will make you stand out in a sea of applications! Dylan Helstien is a third year professional writing major at Champlain College. (She’s […]

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How wonderful it is to visit Howth!

Ireland myth #1: Rolling hills are everywhere.

Champlain Abroad Dublin‘s Academic Center and student apartments are located in the heart of Ireland’s biggest city! While Dublin is not exactly like New York or Boston, there is still quite a bit of hustle and bustle. With hustle and bustle comes public transportation and with public transportation comes adventures!

In just the short amount of time I’ve been here, I’ve discovered just how easy it is to get out of the city and into the scenic views Ireland is known for. (Ireland is dubbed the Emerald Isle after all) With 6 euros and a bit of time on your hands, you can hop on a train and explore a new village or town along the coastline. 

Map if Howth peninsula

Map of Howth peninsula

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Two Study Abroad students and Their Groceries

Hello there!

My name is Sarah and I am a third year Communications major. First things first, I absolutely adore Champlain College.

Sarah Steward - Champlain Abroad Dublin Fall 2015

Sarah Steward – Champlain Abroad Dublin Fall 2015

Over the past three years, it has made me who I am in many ways, and I’m excited to see where my academic endeavors take me while I study abroad with Champlain Abroad Dublin. The next four months will hold a ton of adventure and learning experiences; I am grateful that I get to share them with you!

Every day I fall more and more in love with Ireland. Everyday I also learn to accept that the things I may have once viewed as oddities are now a part of my new daily routine. Sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Exhibit A:

Two girls walk into a bar…

Scratch that.

Two American girls walk into a bar grocery store. In Ireland.

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