Advice for the new Study Abroad Student

I am finishing up my first week at Maynooth University in Maynooth, Ireland. While I still have three more weeks to go, I’ve already learned a lot about the do’s, don’ts, and everything in between when studying abroad.

1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Drink enough water, get enough sleep, eat healthy foods. Flying can cause dehydration and put major stress on the body. After landing in a new country, you’ll want to take advantage of every opportunity, causing even more physical and mental wear. Here are a few things that can help you maintain your health:

  • Purchase a water bottle, keep it filled, bring it everywhere with you! (Just make sure the tap water is safe to drink.)
  • Drink orange juice, eat fruits and veggies, and take vitamin C if needed.
  • Keep in contact with your loved ones at home! Homesickness and culture shock can be hard, but just remember that there is a group of people that love you and are so proud of you.

2. Do not compare yourself to the others in your study abroad program. Some people like to drink, party, smoke, etc. Just because they do doesn’t mean you have to as an attempt to fit in. Like at UofL, there will be a variety of individuals you’ll meet and study with. You’ll find true friends with values similar to your own.

3. Don’t forget the main reason you’re traveling: to study abroad. Don’t neglect your homework and studies. Go to class, pay attention, get to know your lecturers (professors), and bring home some newfound knowledge!

4. Be open to new experiences! While taking care of yourself is the priority, take advantages of all the opportunities you have while abroad! There will be new foods to try, locals to meet, adventures to go on! Live in the moment, take a few photos, and never forget the memories!

 

Happy travels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking Irish Stereotypes

After just a few days in Maynooth, Ireland, I’ve learned that the individuals making up Ireland’s population are more than the assumed stereotypes. Below are some of my findings:

  • Not all Irish people are redheads! In fact, most of the individuals I’ve met have had a shade other than red.
  • The people eat much, much more than potatoes. In fact, Ireland is full of McDonalds (which they pronounce MacDonalds), Starbucks, and Subway restaurants along with plenty of pizza and pasta options.
  • Some Irish individuals don’t like Guniess beer at all. Both my campus coordinator and Marketing lecturer avoid it, choosing other draft choices at the pubs.
  • The Irish accent has many differences compared to the typical US accents. For example, the letter O is pronounced “oar”, while the H in a TH syllable is not pronounced – making the word “three” sound like “tree”.
  • There are many common Irish slang terms:
    • “Having a good crack” – Having a good time/ having fun
    • “Cheers!” – A greeting, goodbye, thank you, etc.
    • “Yurt” – Yes
    • “Crisps” – Chips

There is one stereotype, though, that the Irish hold to be true – they are extremely kind and friendly. They hold doors open, help with directions, apologize when passing by you, and so much more!

If you have the opportunity to visit Ireland (specifically Maynooth), please do it! It’s so beautiful and quaint and I know you’ll love every second of your visit!