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Learning to live like the Irish

February 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

Elizabeth Smith, our Griffith College Dublin ambassador gets to grips with living in Ireland like a local…

Even though Ireland is very similar to America, there are still a lot of minor differences I’ve noticed during my semester abroad. Some of them I’ve gotten used to, and others I still find myself pondering over.

Here are some of my initial thoughts and observations:

1. When I first arrived at Griffith, I felt like a freshman all over again. That dreaded feeling of hoping you find the right classroom, a seat and a friendly face when going to class for the first time came back and was not enjoyable.

2. In my Media Marketing class, they talked a lot about the European Union, football matches, and local stores and brands. Even though they were speaking English, it felt like a foreign language when they went chatted about all the different rivalries.

3. Telling people you are from Boston gets interesting feedback. In my Digital Media class I said I was from Boston and one of the Irish boys said, ‘Oh, like Charlestown? I’ve seen The Town. It’s a good movie’. I’m not sure if equating Boston to The Town and Ben Affleck movies is going to give me a good rep, although the city does claim a strong Irish heritage.

4. Everyone wakes up early here and says ‘half eight’ instead of eight thirty. So when I said I woke up at nine thirty one morning, not only did I sound clearly American, but everyone gasped that I had slept that late.

6. The Irish do not appreciate peanut butter as much as Americans. As an avid consumer of the delectable spread, I found it hard to come by and it’s not quite as good as the American brands.

7. When people talk about craic (pronounced ‘crack’), they are not talking about the drug at all, just referring to what’s going on, or something fun.

Even with all the differences, Ireland and Griffith have become my home away from home and I’ve learned to adjust to the cultural differences, and I’m really enjoying myself in a new place!

Do you want to study in Ireland? Check out the Education in Ireland website for all the info you need.



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