Alright, so let’s begin with what I learned. Basically anything about the country is fair game. Considering you have six classes, you’ll basically cover everything there is to learn about Ireland. It all starts with Irish literature in the morning. We have to get the classes out of the way and you do a couple more. Then you break for lunch and chill for an hour or two in between your morning and afternoon classes. Once you’re back together, it’s back to some good ol’ Irish dancing and Gaelic sports.
Besides the classes, literally everything you do should be cherished. It didn’t hit me until I came back home of how much of a blast I had. At first, I thought this trip might be a tad bit lame, but in all reality I was completely wrong. If there was one trip I could relive…, this would be that trip. This Irish Life Experience has opened my eyes to my entire heritage, the Irish culture, and lifestyle of others. I could continue rambling on about how profound this trip was, but I would become boring due to my horrific grammatical and conventional errors.
Some things I wished I knew beforehand would have included the following:
-Pack light. Do not bring a different set of clothes for each day, because you’ll end up wearing maybe four of them. Maybe a couple more, but not really.
-Make sure you receive at least one care package, so you can have your classic munchies from back home in the US or wherever you’re from.
-Bring a rain poncho for the drizzly and crumby days.
-Buy postcards and stamps and send them out on the first week to all the peeps you want to contact, because by the time you get home they will just be arriving by then.
-Don’t forget to bring money! Money is highly useful when it comes to buying souvenirs and food. Personally I brought Euros over in the first place, but you can take money out from an ATM while over in Ireland. Or you can just bring a wad of Euros for your entire trip. It’s really your preference.
-Do not forget to pack a pair of shoes that you do not care to get wrecked-due to the amount of rain Ireland has in showers.
-Also, bring a pair of casual shoes for everyday walking.
-Lastly, make sure you take advantage of taking numerous pictures. As a guy, I took maybe 1:8 the amount of pictures the girls took, but that’s because they’re girls. Point is, take A LOT of pictures, because you’ll want to look back and remember how your trip to Ireland was and reminisce the past!
So that concludes my excerpt of suggestions and comments about the Irish Life Experience and Ireland itself. Trust me-you will have no regrets coming on this Program. It has changed my life and continues to do so everyday I reflect upon it. Enjoy your stay in Ireland. If you stay in Dublin at the Boarding School, King’s Hospital and there’s a summer camp with different groups of kids from Denmark France, Germany, Italy and Spain-tell the Spanish girls “Hola,” for me.
-Ryan Cuellar-Chicago, IL-ILE 2011