Many people told me before I came to study with Champlain Abroad Dublin that Ireland can act as a gateway to the rest of Europe. We used it as just that, traversing across Austria and Germany for eight days during our Spring Break abroad.
We started our week in Salzburg. Traveling with my three roommates, we flew out of Dublin early Saturday morning and spent the whole day exploring Salzburg. We spent hours, taking in the city’s beautiful architecture and stunning mountain scenery.
By: Karisa desjardins, ’16 // business administration/global studies When I thought of studying abroad in Dublin, I didn’t expect it to be very different from our Burlington campus. I would be with Champlain students, Champlain staff, and everything would be relatively the same. I soon learned that I was completely wrong! Studying in Dublin is […]
I arrived at Accenture’s International Women’s Day in a tide of professionally dressed ladies. Just walking up to the Convention Centre Dublin, I had no doubt of where to go by the sweep of women funneling in from the street. There was a contagious energy to the morning, bringing my attention level to a much higher status than normal for a typical morning at 7:30 AM.
As soon as I entered the Convention Centre (an amazingly designed building may I add), I was greeted by friendly staff directing me up to the third floor. Once again following the sea of people, mostly women, I proceeded to zigzag upwards on several escalators. Reaching the third floor, it was clear where the source of this palpable vivacity was coming from. Hundreds of people were gathered, making for a lovely hum of voices and excited chatter. I managed to make my way through the crowd to the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) table, the wonderful organization I have been lucky enough to intern with while studying here in Dublin.
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland from left to right: Maria Flanagan, Annalisa O’Carroll, Lucy Masterson, Sarah Demers, Siobhan O’Keeffe and Sara Dennedy
I honestly never thought I would enjoy apartment living as much as I do. Like many other students studying with Champlain Abroad Dublin this semester, I have lived in dorms up until this point. Therefore, being here in the apartment is honestly the first time that I’m really living on my own. And I have to say; I’m really enjoying it. The student apartments are located in the city center with a 25 minutes walking commute to the Academic Centre.
My roommates hanging out at the end of the day. This is a typical living room of a student apartment.
Studying abroad for me was a big step in the next chapter of my life at Champlain College and future career. I have always loved traveling and knew for a long time that study abroad would be a big part of my college experience. What I didn’t know when I decided to study abroad is how much it would change me as a person. Before I left to study in Paris last fall, I was full of magical daydreams of Paris and how I would travel the world in four months; clearly I had some slightly naïve and unrealistic expectations. Over the four months I lived in Paris, I become self sufficient, self-reliant, and by the end I realized I wasn’t the same naïve girl who had left the U.S. in August. Now, I’m in Dublin with Champlain Abroad and I’m glad I have developed the skills to feel more comfortable in a new city and at the same time am constantly learning new skills that are just as valuable.
Karisa Desjardins – Champlain College: A photo from my first week in Paris!
A great deal of Champlain Abroad students go to Ireland because it is the so-called “gateway to Europe.” Dublin is a home-base, and now that you’ve already crossed the Atlantic, almost anywhere you’ve ever dreamed of visiting in Europe is a quick flight away. Cheap flights from airlines such as Ryanair make country-hopping affordable. One thing I believe many of us want to take away from study abroad is establishing ourselves as travel-savvy— able to breeze through the airport with a week’s worth of possessions tucked away neatly in a backpack, scoffing at the newbies frantically sorting through their luggage at security for a tube of toothpaste that exceeds the allotted volume.
One of the things I was most excited about doing in my semester abroad in Dublin was taking in as much Irish/European history as I could. There is just such a magic in the subject here that delves so much farther back than anything the US has to offer. In particular, one of the key features I wanted to explore at length while here was castles.
This weekend Champlain Abroad Dublin took a 2-day trip to Northern Ireland. We left early Friday morning and arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland in just a few hours. On our drive up, Dublin staff gave us a mini history lesson about Northern Ireland and its’ tumultuous past. We learned that The Troubles; a violent part of Northern Ireland’s history began in the 1960s because the Catholics felt the Protestants were discriminating against them because of their choice of religion. Not only that, but there were strong feelings on both sides on whether Northern Ireland should stay a part of the United Kingdom or return to being part of Ireland. On both sides there were Loyalists (those loyal to the British) and then there were Unionists (those fighting to keep Ireland whole). Soon, both sides erupted in anger and began protesting and consequently violent uprisings and attacks soon followed on both sides. Later in the 1970s, both sides began bombing the other and soon an infamous event known as “Bloody Sunday” occurred. (Which you may know from a U2 song) All of this history is packed into the city that is Belfast and not only were we able to learn about it, we actually had the chance to witness some of the areas of the city where this history took place.
My study abroad semester in Dublin has been going along swimmingly thus far. I’m having a blast, seeing tons of wonderful places all around Ireland with plans to see more of Europe super soon. I can already tell my time here is going to go by way faster than I’m currently willing to accept.