Ireland

This past weekend, the day after returning from the Camino de Santiago, I boarded a plane and flew 3 hours to the city of Dublin, Ireland, and met up with some of my friends from the University of Denver. Coming from Alicante, a warm city along the coast, it was a wonderful change of pace to experience some cold weather.

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Roasted Barley for Guinness

Dublin is a large, spread out city with a wide variety of interesting experiences and a lot of intriguing graffiti murals. On the first day of our Dublin trip, my friends and I walked around and went to some art galleries and shops before taking a tour of the Guinness factory; which has a rich history that is very important to the country of Ireland. We got to see how the famous beer is brewed and everything that goes into the brewing process. On top of the Guinness factory, there is a circular room made out of glass                                                                                       panels that offer a beautiful 360° view of Dublin.

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View from Rooftop Bar

The following day, one of my friends and I awoke at 6:00am for a bus tour that we had scheduled. The bus would leave from the center of the city at 7:45 and take us to the magnificent Cliffs of Moher. Dublin is located on the very East coast of Ireland, and the Cliffs are located on the very West coast of Ireland. Interestingly, it only took three and a half hours on a bus to travel across the entire country of Ireland. That is less time than it would take me to get from Kansas City to St. Louis.

After a very sleepy three and a half hour bus ride, we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher, and they were even bigger than we had expected. The cliffs stand at 700 feet tall, and had a somewhat eerie feel to them due to dark storm clouds and stories we had heard about individuals falling off due to large gusts of wind. That being said, they are one of the more beautiful spectacles I have ever witnessed in person. Viewing the white-capped waves crashing into the rigid, mossy cliffs from 700 feet above was truly aw-inspiring. We explored the cliffs for a little less than two hours before boarding our bus to return to civilization.

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On our way home from the cliffs, we stopped in a small town called Doolin to try some local food and experience a rural farm town in Ireland. There, we learned that sheep outnumber humans four to one in the country of Ireland. It was really nice to travel from East to South coast by bus, because we got to see a lot of Ireland and what it looks like in the center.

Sadly, on day three, right before touring the Jameson factory, our trip was cut short due to hurricane Ophelia. Many of my friends flights got cancelled, so we had to go back to our Airbnb and book new flights. Mine happened to be in 2 hours from when we found out about the hurricane, so I raced to the airport and made it to my plane with 2 minutes to spare. Although our trip was cut short by a day, I am very happy I visited Ireland and hope to return someday.

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Introducing our 2013 DUSA Student Bloggers!

We are pleased to introduce you to this year’s official DUSA bloggers!  They’ll be posting all about their experiences and (mis?)adventures during their study abroad programs this year.  Without further ado, here they are!

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Miranda Blank

Miranda Blank is a Marketing major traveling alone to Budapest, Hungary on the CIEE program. She looks forward to telling you all about her explorations and adventures going boldly where she has never gone before.

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Heather Cook

A double major in International Studies and Environmental Science, Heather will be studying both this fall with SIT Study Abroad in Mongolia. Originally from the flatlands of Kansas, Heather is obsessed with the Colorado mountains. She enjoys learning to rock climb and hiking fourteeners, even if she is afraid of heights.

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Jessie Galioto-Grebe

Jessie is an English Major, and a Communications and Gender and Women’s Studies double minor who will be studying abroad at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Originally from Wisconsin she is a Packers fan who loves her yellow lab Orla, Brett Easton Ellis books, and the Oxford Comma. In her free time she likes to watch Dr. Who, sing show tunes, and work out, usually not at the same time.

Hannah on “growing up” during study abroad

“If I had it my way, I would be like Peter Pan and never grow up, but all things must come to an end I suppose and we move on with life, whether willingly or unwillingly that part is up to us. For me this whole “Study Abroad experience” has become so much more than living in a foreign country for 4 months, I can honestly say that I have also “grown-up” in a sense as well. Living here has helped me gain a certain maturity I do not think I would have developed in the near future had I stayed in Denver.”

Read more at Hannah’s blog.