Now that I’ve been in Ireland for two weeks, I’ve realized the best thing about studying abroad: meeting people. Sure, there are countless aspects of Europe to enjoy, like the landscapes, the architecture, the restaurants, the music, the food, and the fashion. However, the most enjoyable thing to do is to talk to people from other cultures. And I feel like conversations are easier to start as a foreigner. The starting topic is where you are from.
What I feel like no one expects when studying abroad is the studying part. It has been way more work than I imagined. But it’s actually good. It makes the free time that much sweeter to explore and meet new people. And one of the books we are reading is about communicating across cultures, so it has been very interesting to take into the European world.
Last Wednesday was one of my favorite nights here. Our group had just turned in a long paper and went to the campus pub—that’s right you heard me, CAMPUS pub. I met some Trinity students who told me about a great place to hear live music. My friend Will and I followed them down the busy streets of Dublin to a lively band that was a mixture between rap and jazz-fusion. We danced like crazy, and when it ended, we met some people from New Zealand who told us to follow them to a techno club to dance some more.
We entered the club, and it was like the room had a pulse. Continuous drum-and-bass disco took Will and me to another world unlike anywhere in the US. No dance moves were off the table everyone was just being themselves. At one point, Will and I broke out a dance move where we acted like we were dribbling an invisible basketball, and we passed it around the room. It was hit. Everyone in the room ended up getting the basketball. It was a good night.
I know that story might not sound particularly enriching, but it really encapsulates what is great about traveling to a different culture. Going with the flow and being open to the people you meet will open the door to so many new experiences.