The following article was printed in the 2nd edition of this year’s Mountain Echo by Staff Writer Chloe Corwin, who is the Study Abroad Correspondent for the trip to Dublin this semester.
Now that the students of the 2019 fall Study Abroad trip to Dublin, Ireland have gained their bearings of the new country, it’s starting to really feel like home.
Mobility and familiarity around the city has become much easier, but for some the commute to school still is a little difficult, as some are still trying to work out the bus and train schedules which has led for some accidental tardiness. The last two weeks have been really interesting, considering the latest trips our American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS) leaders and Irish Life and Culture classes have taken us.
On Sept. 6 for Irish Life and Culture, we were taken to the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum here in Dublin. There we learned all about what pushed and pulled the Irish to leave Ireland and how much of an impact they have had on the world. What was most interesting is that there are more people of Irish heritage outside of Ireland than in the country itself. Ireland only has about 6 million citizens, where there are hundreds of thousands with lineage worldwide. It was amazing to see how proud the Irish are of their influence on the world, even having an exhibit on the U.S. Presidents with Irish roots including JFK and Barack Obama.
The following weekend the optional trip to Galway took place. Students were taken to the West to experience the slower pace of Galway, the Cliffs of Moore, and more. Upon returning, those who went had plenty of stories and photos to fill in those unable to go.
We are very lucky that our AIFS leaders provide mini trips throughout the week for free or discounted prices. Last Monday, leaders Callum and Matthew took nearly all of the students to the Guinness Brewing Factory. There we learned the entire process to make Guinness, and were taught the proper way to drink it. Apparently, there’s a special trick to get through the foamy nitrogen on top. Next, we had a tutorial how to pour the perfect pint and then everyone got a chance to try. With our perfect pours in hand, we made it up to the bar on the top floor to enjoy our drinks and look out over the entire city.
A few days later, our AIFS leader took us to the iconic Irish dance performance of Riverdance at the Gaiety Theater. We were treated to front row seats of the amazing performance. By the end of it, the whole class had a smile on their face. Riverdance was truly remarkable.
To close the week, our Irish Life and Culture class treated us to a dance demonstration and workshop of Sean Nos dancing. Emma O’Sullivan, our instructor for the day, taught us the difference between this old traditional style of dancing verses what we have come to know as competitive Irish dancing. The steps were very small and grounded, but still a little tricky.
By the end of the workshop, O’Sullivan split us up into groups to create our own three bars of our own dance. There was great emphasis that Sean Nos dancing is very individual, and follows along with the flow of music, so the little choreography that we created wouldn’t by typical of the style. Nevertheless, we all had great fun showing off our new dance moves, and concluded the class with a round of applause.
The last few weeks have been amazing, and as each day passes, a new adventure begins, as every student here could attest to.
This is printed with permission for re-share from The Mountain Echo. Keep up with Chloe’s adventures abroad in the next edition or online.