Where the craic is mighty!

Ireland, the land where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible!

They say that times fly when you’re having fun – Which is very true in my case. I was almost five months in Ireland having the most wonderful time in my life and can’t believe it’s over now!

Athlone and river Shannon
Athlone and river Shannon

I lived in a little town Athlone, in the midlands. School where I studied is Athlone Institute of Technology and I liked it very much. Lecturers were very friendly and there was a lot of exchange students from different countries. The courses I chose were about tourism and hotels, also including revenue management and professional/enterprise development and I liked those courses a lot. There was four other erasmus students in my class so it was nice to study also with Irish students.  I took a English for studying skills- course to support my studies and I think those classes were my favourite. The English lecturers were so friendly, always so positive and welcoming and it was nice to learn with so many different nationalities and have interesting conversations during the classes.

Department of Hospitality Tourism and Leisure studies
Department of Hospitality Tourism and Leisure studies
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher

One thing I found challenging there. In Finland we do most of the assigments in teams, but here almost everything was individual. First it was hard, but by time it became easier and I found the best ways to study. We had to do different  reports, project, wordbook, essays and at least five different presentations and after submitting the last one, I felt so proud and relieved. Also the final examination weeks were hard trying to read as much as could and exam situations were different compared to Finland.

During the semester, I got so many new friends and spend amazing time with them. Many times when we had free time,  we spend time in a pub next to our apartment playing pool and enjoying Guinness or going to parties organized by International society or other erasmus students.  I think that always people who you meet wherever you go, makes your time there. That semester wouldn’t been the same without all those lovely people.

Cliffs of moher
Cliffs of moher

During that time, I saw a lot of beautiful Ireland. And I  really mean beautiful. Green scenery everywhere, numerous mountains and cliffs, fields with sheeps and the coastal roads with ocean views. Seriously breathtaking country which I fell in love. Definitely going back maybe after few years to experience the whole Wild Atlantic way and other cities I didn’t see.

Wicklow National
Wicklow National
Pub in Dublin
Pub in Dublin
Game of Thrones- tour in Belfast and role playing
Game of Thrones- tour in Belfast and role playing

I made trips when having free time. International society organized few trips to erasmus students to Cliffs of Moher and Wicklow national park. Also in St. Patrick’s day, there was three buses full of exchange students going to Dublin to celebrate. With friends I made trips to Dublin, Galway and to Belfast and all those cities were so nice. Including to our courses, we made fieldtrips to Dublin, Westport and Clonmacnoise visiting different attractions and learning about tourism.  Everywhere was a lot of activities and attractions for tourists and sometimes it was difficult to choose what to do and see.

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
Ballintoy Harbour
Ballintoy Harbour

To people who are thinking about going to Ireland, I can only suggest that lovely country! Not only because the scenery, but also because the Irish people, culture and way of living!

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