Dr. Stephen Robinson, Champlain College’s Dublin Director, is attending the Forum on Education Abroad‘s European Conference in Athens, Greece October 5-7. Stephen is co-founder and Deputy Chair of the European Association of Study Abroad (EUASA), a network of country organizations representing primarily North American study abroad programs operating in Europe. The mission of EUASA is […]Continue reading
Until we meet again, Dublin, I’ll be longing to return. But the memories, shaped over one hundred and seventeen days spent in the company of you and your European neighbors, will be savored for eternity. So thank you, first, for giving me only so much time.
I’ve always been aware of making each moment count; but with only so many moments allotted for me this time around, I was busier and am more satisfied with what I’ve done. Thinking back to the first few weeks of studying with Champlain Abroad Dublin, I’m often surprised to recount a trip to Cork with new friends, a jump into the Irish Sea, dinner in a refurbished church, and a ride through Phoenix Park, feeding deer. Small moments in class, and larger weekend journeys, have been fitted into every corner of my mind and collectively have formed an experience that I never realized could be so full. There is no room for me to regret not having done something. Are there things I’d still like to see? Of course. Doesn’t that just mean I’ll have to come back for you, Dublin?
You gave me the chance to create new, meaningful relationships, for which I will always be grateful. I joined this program knowing that I was the only student outside of Champlain College to attend this semester. A slight panic seized me the closer that my time to leave came. To me, it felt like freshman year of college, having to find my place. But I found that I blended into the group effortlessly, everyone welcoming me with open arms. Still, friends here have said that they forget I won’t be with them at school next semester. I’ve only known my forty three peers for four months, but you could tell me that I’ve known them for five years and I would believe you more. Champlain Abroad Dublin boasts a small and intimate group, and I’m proud to call myself an honorary Champlain-er. I’ve felt torn between worlds, missing my friends at Emerson while loving my new friendships. Next semester, I’ll be torn in the opposite way… But now, I have the chance to visit Burlington. And I will have times to relay to friends in Boston, while strengthening the friendships I’ve established here. Continue reading
As I am writing this, I am approaching finals week and my last week studying abroad in Dublin with Champlain Abroad, which is, as cliché as it sounds, a bittersweet feeling. I miss my family and my boyfriend back home in the US, but at the same time, I know I will miss Dublin and the life I have come to know here when I am back home.
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my experiences over the past few weeks and I always seem to circle back to ways in which I am not the same person that I was when I arrived 4 months ago. Here are just 5 of the many ways studying abroad in Dublin has changed me.
1.) Growing More Independent By Living on My Own
Before coming to Dublin, I had only lived either with my parents or in Champlain College’s campus housing in Burlington, Vermont. I had never had the experience of living with roommates in an apartment, and certainly not living in the middle of a city. To be honest, I was nervous to see if I could succeed in living on my own but now that I’m at the end of my semester, I’m realizing that it wasn’t so hard. Living in Champlain Abroad Dublin’s urban, independent student apartments was a great middle ground between living at home and living on my own in an apartment, mostly because we had a great cleaning staff who cleaned our apartment every week. I also had two great roommates, Emmalee and Michelle, who made living together totally stress-free, which always helps. Going back home, knowing that I have accomplished living on my own in another country, gives me a huge confidence boost that I can live on my own in the US when I return. Continue reading
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.
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
Many people hear about the wonderful trips that study abroad students go on and the unforgettable places they see. These are semester highlights and no doubt I will have many of those by the end of my time with Champlain Abroad Dublin.
But what does the average day look like for a Champlain Abroad Dublin student? Those days when I spend more time at the Academic Center than I do exploring Dublin or other places are just as interesting. I’d like to lead you through my typical Tuesdays!
I’ve always been a morning person, so I wake up for my day around 7! (I know, crazy right?) Recently, the sun has begun to rise later, so it’s often still dark when I wake up! But here’s an early morning view from my apartment:
This past summer, in anticipation for my semester with Champlain Abroad, I read every single travel book on Ireland that my town library had. I scribbled down notes about the different attractions that I could visit in Dublin, the trendiest (yet most affordable) restaurants, and even looked up how far away these places were from my apartment.
So, when I actually got off the plane, I already had a good idea about what sorts of attractions awaited me in Dublin. I knew that I would be living along the River Liffey, which divided Dublin into its North and South sides. When Ciaran O’ Rourke, Champlain Abroad Dublin’s awesome head resident and activities coordinator, took us for a tour of the city during our first few days, I was able to take pictures of these amazing landmarks, like Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, that I had read so much about.
On Sunday a group of Champlain Abroad Dublin students hopped on a bus and traveled outside of Dublin City to the foot of Montepelier Hill. Ciaran, our Head Resident and Activities Coordinator, led the short hike to the peak and the infamous Hellfire Club, an abandoned hunting lodge said to have been host to wild parties […]Continue reading
Northeast of Dublin, no more than thirty minutes on the DART, local train service, is the coastal village of Howth. The village isn’t one of those well-kept secrets we all hope to stumble upon in our travels; it was pretty crowded with tourists on the Saturday that I went. Still, if you want to get […]Continue reading
Wind whipped sea foam at your face, so hard it felt like hail pricking your face. Two girls who stopped for a photo by the shale beachside had their hair blown together into a tangled mess. On ground level the wind was reaching up to 30 mph in Bray. Orientation weekend was going along smoothly. […]Continue reading
We are at the end of the first week of classes already. Most students ask themselves, how did that happen? Sometimes it does feel like we are in a special study abroad timezone where we go at double speed at all times. The Dublin staff are encouraging all students to really consider what they want to […]Continue reading