To many people, spring break is an opportunity to spend time with friends that you don’t see often, bathe your skin in the sun at the beach, attend concerts and theme parks and travel to a unique location. For others, many simply use this free time to relax, finish up school related assignments, spend time with family and catch up on rest and sleep.
Depending on the region, spring break can be considered Easter Vacation, March Break, Spring Vacation, Mid-term Break, Study Week, Reading Week, Reading Period or Easter Week. How do American students spend their Spring break in a new country? Here in Dublin we call spring break, “reading week” which took place from February 21-March 1.
On a personal level, my week consisted of a lot of relaxation, getting school assignments completed and shopping for groceries. Later in the week, my friend and I went to see Selma, which was a very powerful film. After the movie we went to Eddie Rockets (similar to Sonic and Cookout) to enjoy jumbo chili dogs and St. Patrick’s themed milkshakes.
On the other hand, my two friends spent their week traveling. Kila Crook, a senior at Winthrop University, visited her family in Market Drayton (a small market town in North Shropshire, England) and Raiven Greenberg, a sophomore at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, visited Athens, Greece and Rome, Italy with her best friend Zoelle.
“Anytime I can get time off from school and work, I go to see my family. The nice thing about this Spring Break was that I was close enough to England to see relatives that I do not see often,” she said.
Crook was also able to partake in many interesting things for her reading week. “I was able to go to the spa for the first time ever! I was also able to visit various family members who I had not seen for 7 years,” Kila said.
She then explained how it differed from being in Dublin. “I was taken care of, my family cooked for me and I had my own room. It was a few comforts of home, when I am living so far away and have to fend for myself,” Kila said.
Kila also discussed how it was similar to being in Ireland.
“I would say that in some respects, England and Ireland are very similar, the two countries do share a lot of history. I think the most similar thing that I noticed was the old buildings, which are very well preserved in this modern day. I think its nice to live in a place where you have the comforts of modern life, but can also appreciate the beauty of a time gone by.”
She visited many places while in the area such as Shrewsbury an art museum and other parts of England.
“The town of Shrewsbury is a very old village; I visited the art museum there and learned about the ancient Roman influence in the town and other parts of England.” Kila’s future plans are to visit again, to see her family and explore more of the English country side.
Raiven also discussed her week in Athens and Rome. When comparing her past Spring Breaks she described her experience as, “much more intense with a packed schedule, trying to see as much of Rome and Greece as I could in such a short amount of time (4 days in each place),” Greenberg said. She also reminisced on the events that took place last year during Spring Break.
“I stayed on campus and my friends came up from California to visit me because I had to be at school for crew team practices,” Raiven said. “We had races during the week in Washington and Oregon.”
While in Rome, Raiven visited two old churches, The Colosseum, The Forums, Palatine Hill, The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, The Vatian, Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel and even participated in a cooking class. When she was in Greece she went to Acropolis, The Agora, Theatre of Dionysus, Temple of Zeus and The Panathenaic Stadium (first modern Olympic stadium). She also ate great food and shopped throughout the day, had a food tour and went on a day trip to Delphi, which is the most sacred area of Greece.
Raiven said that she hopes to one day go back to Rome and Greece to experience more of the history and culture. “Both countries were involved in the classical period of history, with new architecture, philosophers, art and important ancient leaders-they were important in developing the world into what it is today,” she said. “I also love Italian and Greek food and I wanted to get a little out of my comfort zone and go somewhere totally different from anywhere I have been before.”
Whether you travel for Spring Break or decide to stay home and relax, you should definitely make it a fun, productive and memorable vacation that you will always cherrish. Wishing all you happy readers an amazing Spring Break!