Ireland is a gem of a country all on its own, but with ample opportunities to explore the rest of Europe right on your doorstep, you might want to consider doing a little bit of travelling while you’re here. Our ambassador from Canada and student at IT Sligo, Karen Markovich shares her experience of travelling through Europe while based in Ireland.

Ireland is a fabulous choice for many students looking to study abroad and have experiences they might have never had otherwise. Like many other international students, I have been able to explore more than ever before. It is so affordable to fly anywhere in Europe from Dublin and even from smaller airports like Knock (Ireland West Airport) — making overseas travel from here easy and convenient.

Castle ruins

Karen’s Scottish adventure

At the Institute of Technology Sligo, there are many breaks throughout the school year, as well as the occasional Friday off, giving me the opportunity to hop on a plane and wing my way towards adventure! Weekend travel can be affordable with many flights leaving early on Friday and returning on Sunday as long as you book in advance.

Large silver structure of nodes and tubes

The Atomium in Brussels, Belgium

During the first semester, I was able to travel to the Netherlands and Belgium during reading week. I also went on weekend trips to Portugal and England. Similar to most colleges there are two weeks off at Christmas, providing you with the opportunity to travel somewhere new if you aren’t heading home for the holidays.

crowd gathered in front of a sign reading amsterdam in red and white

Travels in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In our second semester, fresh from exams, I had another opportunity to travel to Scotland for a quick break before classes started again. Every time I return from a trip I am thinking of ideas for my next destination! During Easter, students are given two full weeks off. To me, this is just another excuse to travel somewhere new and exciting and tick off another bucket list location. This time I chose Italy! We all know that Italian food is the food of the soul. I also took the opportunity to visit neighbouring Switzerland and made another pit stop in Amsterdam on the way home. This was the perfect way to celebrate finishing my exams before I returned home to Canada for the summer. Coming from North America, almost none of this would have been possible without taking my leap of faith and going to Ireland, the gateway to my European adventures!

White buildings with red tiled roofs with the sea in the background

An Italian escape

Studying in Ireland not only provides you with the opportunity to study in a new environment and embrace the local culture, but you can also explore everything else that Europe has to offer in a few short hours. Take the leap of faith into the unknown! The experiences you will have are worth it. If you have had any travel adventures throughout Europe, why not share them below in the comment section. Bon voyage!