Experience Abroad: Cork, Ireland

My name is Hayley Berry and I am the past Social Media Director and an Assistant Editor for Her Campus Bryant.  This semester I am studying abroad in the South of Ireland and in the second largest city on the island, Cork. 

I never thought I would study abroad for a whole semester, which is why I took part in Bryant’s Sophomore International Experience (which is a MUST if you ask me), and spent two amazing weeks in Italy.  After talking with many upperclassmen and seeing everyone’s abroad experience on social media and hearing about their experiences, I eventually realized it was a no-brainer. 

The application process may have been one of the most stressful processes, and once I was accepted, that stress then carried over to making my class schedule.  Once the academic pieces were out of the way, then came the stress with picking a program and housing.  Looking back on it, I laugh at how much I was stressing at the time, and wish I was in those shoes again.  Little did I know that the best semester of my life was about to begin.

I traveled with the program Arcadia, and for the first few days in Ireland, our orientation was held in Dublin.  When we finally arrived in Cork, I was overwhelmed with this newness of it all.  The preparation and anxiety of classes was taking over, along with meeting all my new roommates and just meeting new people in general.  The most shocking experience was the amount of culture shock.  Although Ireland speaks English, it is an entirely different world – in the best way possible.

My new group of friends and I traveled all over the island for the first month.  Here you can see some of the beauty Ireland has to offer (and this does not even cover half of it)!

Kinsale, Ireland

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Kerry, Ireland

My first out-of-Ireland trip was to Munich, Germany, for the beloved Oktoberfest.  Here, I met up with my roommates from Bryant and ran into many fellow Bulldogs along the way.  This is a MUST if you study abroad for during the fall semester.

Retired HC Treasurer Jenna Bonasoni and me

My next trip was with my program, Arcadia.  This is an important thing to remember when picking an abroad program – you have to look at their excursions!  They are usually much cheaper than what going to these places would cost you on your own.  This trip was to County Wicklow in Ireland (and yes – this is where Holly gets lost in P.S. I Love You)

I continued to travel to London, Cobh, Galway and Belfast (in Ireland) and Budapest!

My favorite trips thus far would definitely have to be Galway and Budapest.

In Galway, you can see the location where Ed Sheeran recorded the music video for Galway Girl (see below)!

Budapest was just an amazing experience and I would highly recommend to anyone!

With Thanksgiving approaching, it does get a little depressing while you are abroad.  But, my friends and I are taking a trip to Amsterdam and are going to make the best out of the day!

Overall, if you are apprehensive about going abroad, do not worry – everyone feels that way.  I could not believe I was actually doing it until I found myself on the 8-hour flight, and even then, it still did not set in.  I would have to recommend Ireland to anyone who is considering!  If you love Ed Sheeran, Game of Thrones, Star Wars or The Titanic, this is the perfect place for you.  Almost any time you travel somewhere in Ireland there is a filming location!  Ireland is many times overlooked and its beauty unappreciated.  I am here to tell you it is one of the most AMAZING places!

If anyone is ever curious about studying abroad in Ireland or just the abroad experience in general, feel free to e-mail me any questions you may have at [email protected]!

All pictures credited to Hayley Berry