The Rocky Road to Dublin

Greetings from the Emerald Isle! I’ve been in Dublin now almost 2 ½ weeks, with getting paper work sorted, starting classes and learning what grocery stores sell the cheapest beer.

Average Dublin courtyard
Average Dublin courtyard

But before jetting on down to Dublin, I made a small detour, in the form of a 1 ½ month trip around Central Europe, travelling around the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to name a few.

Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Bruges
Bruges

For my first big trip out of Australia, the proximity of everything is mind-blowing. Especially from Dublin, Ryan Air is a girl’s (or guy, they don’t discriminate) best friend, with cheap flights to most places.

The International Team at Dublin City University are great, and not only picked us up from the airport but sent us away on a daytrip trip to an Irish farm, where we learnt Irish life skills like hurling (think a cross between American grid iron, soccer and hockey),

MVP
MVP

baking soda bread, tramping through peat bogs and playing the Irish drum, the bodhrán (said bow-rawn).

I have no idea what i'm doing.
I have no idea what i’m doing.

Similar to UTS, DCU was founded in the late 20th century, and while it doesn’t have the impressive buildings of Trinity, or the literary history of UCD, DCU does have chicken goujons and chips at the Uni Bar, and my god, I’d swap them for all the James Joyce in the world.

Deep fried goodness.
Deep fried goodness.

DCU is set in the suburbs, a 40-minute ride on the Dublin Bus to town, but I managed to get a room in Shanowen Square, student accommodation just up the road from the main campus. The leafy tree- house ratio is incredibly high in Dublin suburbs, with lots of green areas to chill, on campus as well as the surrounding suburbs. Coming into autumn, the colours in the trees and vines around the campus are really beautiful.

2015-09-16 14.10.05
What happened to the old DCU you say? We don’t talk about it.
2015-09-15 13.48.23
One of the parks near DCU.
2015-09-21 15.41.53
Autumn vine.

The centre of Dublin is where the nightlife is though. Dublin’s population sits at just over 500,000 but it feels much bigger, with so many amazing museums, historical monuments, parks, pubs, music venues all crammed into the centre around the winding River Liffey, it’s been pretty easy to spend a casual day wandering the streets, especially with the Indian summer Dublin is currently having.

Jameson Whiskey Tour. Daytime Drunk.
Jameson Whiskey Tour: Daytime Drunk.
O'Connell Bridge over the River Liffey
O’Connell Bridge over the River Liffey
2015-09-24 18.51.13
Molly Malone and her exquisite bronze décolletage

However, its not all beer and sunshine, as I am here to actually do some study. Although at home I’m a science student, here I am studying Humanities. I was a bit apprehensive at doing something different, but so far it’s been great. A lot of my classes are mostly international students, so they understand we don’t know every little detail about the Irish University system. But the classes where there are a lot more Irish students are great craic (fun), even if a couple of the in jokes kind of fly over my head.

I’ve still got at least 20 pages left in my passport, an Irish bus pass and a need to do and see everything (also a sneaky membership to the DCU Harry Potter club), so who knows what will happen this semester.

Rosemary Hulak

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