Student Ambassadors: Celebrities for a day
Study abroad has been an exciting time for Elizabeth Smith – a whirlwind of ambassador duties, award ceremonies and even the Griffith Ball! Read about her amazing experience being an Education in Ireland Student Ambassador for Griffith College Dublin…
Studying abroad in Ireland was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. When I first went over, I never thought I would be able to return just four short months after leaving. I was lucky enough to be able to return to Dublin in April after leaving Ireland in December for the Education in Ireland awards ceremony. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful to everyone at Education in Ireland and the international department at Griffith College for making this happen.
I arrived early Thursday morning in Dublin, and was soon reunited in the airport with one of my best friends during my semester abroad, Chelsea. She was also a Student Ambassador and had returned for the awards ceremony too. To be back with her and in Dublin was so surreal, it felt like a dream, but also like we had never left.
Friday morning we were up bright and early for the awards ceremony. The event took place at the Farmleigh House, a gorgeous estate that was once owned by the Guinness family (as in the famous beer) and now is a public space. Located in the middle of Phoenix Park, the venue was absolutely gorgeous.
The rest of the day was spent having a light lunch and snacks while being presented with awards, hearing speakers, and best of all, a visit from the Prime Minister, or Taoiseach in Irish, of Ireland. Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave a speech, then mingled, or rather was swarmed by students for questions and photos. I was lucky enough to shake hands and get a nice shot with him.
As the ceremony was wrapping up and we prepared to head to a pub with the group, our liaison at Griffith, Claire, decided she was going to get us into the Griffith Ball which was that night. Shocked but excited, our day continued to be filled with exclusive events.
We still went with the others to the pub, the Brazen Head, which is the oldest pub in Ireland. After a pint (or two!), we headed into town to shop for outfits for the ball.
The theme was Alice in Wonderland and the venue was beautiful at the Doubletree Hilton. We also were lucky enough to get to sit with the president of Griffith College. He and the others at the table were great company to have and we had a great time enjoying dinner with them. Then a band came and we were off to the dance floor for the rest of the night, until it finally ended and we headed home to rest.
The weekend was such a whirlwind and an unforgettable experience. Words cannot express how honoured I am to have been able to have all of the experiences that I had during my semester abroad. I’m not sure where or when my next adventure will take me, but due to my extreme wanderlust, I have no doubt that the next big adventure is right around the corner.