DUBLIN, IRELAND — After wandering through numerous areas of Ireland over the few weeks, I cannot imagine a place I would rather study for the next four months. Studying abroad is a rare and thrilling opportunity. When somebody is preparing to board their flight overseas, there are millions of thoughts bouncing around in their mind. For example, how is the climate? Are the natives friendly or standoffish towards foreigners? What are the popular food dishes? What is the currency exchange rate?

Personally, the unanswered questions fumbling around in my mind vanished the moment I boarded my flight from JFK to Dublin. The Irish accent has a way of soothing the mind, although it varies from region to region throughout the country. As I exited the airport and descended towards the bus that would escort me to my temporary location for the next seven days, I was greeted by a chilly gust of wind and ominous clouds. Immediately, a smile spread across my face. When choosing to study abroad in Dublin, several people approached me about the dreary weather, but I love the rain and those overcast days that encourage me to curl up in bed with a candle, a good book and a cup of tea — three things I have found very common on the streets of Dublin thus far.

Dublin is an easy and enjoyable city to navigate due to the constant buzz of street musicians trying to earn a little extra change and the vibrant reflection of flowers off of the already colorful buildings. Grafton Street, Temple Bar and St. Stephen’s Green are trendy areas constantly bustling with people of all sorts. As I was exploring, I was delighted to stumble across the various resources for books available to the public, from the book stores lining the streets to the library at Trinity College to the open air book market on Saturday mornings in the Temple Bar area. This is not surprising knowing that Dublin sprouted a few of the greatest writers of all time: James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats.

Ireland, home to the notorious Guinness and Jameson Whiskey, offers an array of unique restaurants and pubs where the public can relax, have a good time and relish in delicious food! The nightlife is humming with music, laughter and storytelling, for which the Irish are renowned. There is so much to be said about the city of Dublin and Ireland as a whole that it is impossible to include all of my thoughts at once, but as of now, I have been fortunate to experience my first two weeks of gorgeous sunshine, great conversation with the locals and a new appreciation for the term hospitality. I look forward to making new friendships and exploring the rest of the country to see what it has to offer me and my Irish roots!