Dublin 2023 Dublin, Ireland MSMU Travels

Hello from Ireland!

Hello! My name is Gabe Vilches, and I am a senior at the Mount majoring in English and minoring in History. I’m from Reisterstown, Maryland—but right now, I’m spending my semester in Dublin. Back at the Mount, I edit for our literary magazine, Lighted Corners, and tutor students at the Writing Center. When I’m not galivanting across Europe, I enjoy hiking, reading, watching movies, and rock climbing with my friends (although I’m not that good at it). I chose to study abroad this semester because it gives me an opportunity to see the world and immerse myself in other cultures. Although it may seem intimidating and overwhelming to be far from home, studying abroad provides a unique educational experience that everyone should take advantage of while they can. Since it’s my last year at the Mount, I wanted to cap it off by doing something memorable to make my educational experience worthwhile.

During my time here, I chose to do a homestay, which is a great way to get acquainted with locals and learn about life in Ireland versus life in America. The differences between Ireland and America can be small, but staying with a host family, and talking to my host mom, has helped with my personal understanding of day-to-day Irish life. Every day, I get an opportunity to see the world through the eyes of someone else. In my two weeks here, I’ve already experienced culture shock. For one, people rely more on public transport and walking to get somewhere instead of driving five minutes to the store. This made sense to me once I learned that getting a driver’s license in Ireland takes up to 2 years—meaning most people don’t start driving until they’re 18 or 19! Additionally, most Irish homes (or at least the one I’m living in) typically don’t have dryers and instead use clotheslines. This means that your clothes can take up to 3 days to dry. I gained a deeper appreciation for dryers when I found myself running out of pants to wear. When the shock of these differences subsides, understanding what “normal” means to those thousands of miles away helped me appreciate what “normal” means to me back home ––one of the many reasons why studying abroad is worthwhile.

You’ll be hearing from me every week as I explore different facets of Irish culture. Since I’m a little homesick, I’ll be starting off with comparing American fast-food chains to their Irish counterparts. I’ll also be trying some traditional Irish meals to see where our eating habits diverge. So far, I’ve tried soda bread, vegetable stew, and shepherd’s pie (none of which I’ve been a particularly huge fan of). Being the picky eater that I am, I hope that I can finally expand my taste palette beyond that of a six-year-old’s. Additionally, I’m looking forward to writing beyond food, and experiencing the wealth of traditions and customs that Ireland has to offer.

Thanks for reading!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *