Abroad in Ireland

Created By:
Katerina

 
Studying abroad in Limerick, Ireland from May 23 to June 13th! When I'm not in class, I'm exploring campus, exploring Limerick city, or traveling around the beautiful country. I've enjoyed every second of exploring this country and also being on campus! Sláinte!

The University of Limerick

University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland

I absolutely love studying at the University of Limerick because of the beautiful campus and the location. It sits along the River Shannon, so there are amazing views, but also 20 minutes from the city. The weather has been unusually warm and sunny for Ireland, so I've been lucky to have had sunshine for the past week. I am taking 1 class here and it's been a great experience so far.

Limerick City and Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Bunratty West, Bunratty, County Clare, Ireland

Explored the city of Limerick and Bunratty Castle! The school organized a scavenger hunt for us to be able to fully experience the city and to meet some of the locals. Limerick City was cool because of it's character (it's Ireland's 3rd oldest city) and its location along the River Shannon. We also got to tour Bunratty Castle and see a traditional village of what Irish life was like centuries ago.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle, County Cork, Ireland

Went to Blarney Castle and even waited in line to kiss the Blarney Stone. Apparently now I have the "Gift of Gab." Definitely was worth walking up the small and scary stone steps to get to the top. Got to see an amazing view at the top of the castle before kissing the stone too!

Cork City

Cork City, County Cork, Ireland

Got to explore Cork City and do some shopping and grab food. The city was very different from the other areas I had visited so far. Cork felt more "trendy" and modern than the other cities. Great shopping!

Dublin City

Dublin, Ireland

For the bank holiday (long weekend), we spent our time in Dublin City. After the 2.5 hour bus ride, our first stop was Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. We also got to walk through an old library called the Long Room where we saw the oldest harp in Ireland. After the book of Kells, we grabbed lunch and went on a walking tour of the city. We got to see some sights like Dublin Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and some of the viking settlements. We stayed in a hostel for the weekend, which was definitely an experience. My 5 friends and I were in an 8 person room, so we had two random roommates. On Saturday, we started the day with a nice brunch with some great Bailey's coffee, which is very popular in Ireland. We then explored the city and did some shopping. Grafton Street is a great place to get food and shop, and to experience the lively atmosphere of Dublin. That night, we were able to go to the USA Men's vs Ireland soccer game. We didn't know who to cheer for, so we were still happy when Ireland won. We then got to explore the Temple Bar district and got to experience how lively Dublin's nightlife is. Dublin was very different from Limerick, so it took a bit of time to get used to. However, I loved Dublin and wish I could've spent more time there.

Belfast and Giant's Causeway

Belfast, UK

Today we took a tour up to Northern Ireland from Dublin. It also happened to be my birthday, so it was a great time to be in Dublin. Northern Ireland used to be a part of the country of Ireland, however now it is part of the United Kingdom, so it was fun going to another country. After our early bus ride, our first stop was the Dark Hedges. Pictures don't do it justice. The formation of the trees were so cool, and they were even featured in Game of Thrones. Our next stop was Giant's Causeway. Giant's Causeway are rock formations going into the water made out of minerals that are all in a hexagon shape. There are many different stories and myths of how they got there because the Irish have a myth and legend for everything! This had to be one of the most amazing places I've ever been to. It felt unreal, and that you were in a whole different country. We then drove a little ways to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. You felt like you were in a tropical country walking across the bridge. I wish we had more time to take in the amazing views. We then drove through the Glens of Antrim to see the classic Irish countryside and stopped in a cute little village called Cushendun. After stopping, we then headed back to Belfast City to walk around a bit before heading back to Dublin. I would highly recommend this tour if you ever are in Dublin and want to try to get up to Northern Ireland. [Finn McCools Tours, Giant's Causeway Tour from Dublin]

Cliffs of Moher and Western Coast

Cliffs of Moher, Lislorkan North, Liscannor, County Clare, Ireland

We spent a day going around the Western coast of the country so we could see the Cliffs of Moher. On our way, we stopped in Glensdale where we saw stone formations in the countryside. We then stopped in Burren and saw an Irish birds of prey show, which was actually interesting to see the types of birds native to the area. At that stop, we also took a tour of Aillwee Cave. This cave was different because it was completely dug out by bears.
I was the most excited to go see the Cliffs of Moher because everyone I had talked to said that it was one of the most beautiful parts of the country. That is an understatement. We had amazing weather and it was breathtaking. I could've stayed there forever. The Cliffs of Moher were the highlight of my entire experience.

Ring of Kerry

Ring of Kerry, County Kerry, Ireland

Today we toured the Ring of Kerry. It was hard to figure out how we were going to get around and see all of the sights, so we decided to go on a tour. We stopped first in Killarney and walked around the cute town. I wish we could've stayed for longer. On the tour, we stopped in Waterville, Dingle, Coomatloukane, and saw Torc Falls. This tour was mostly just seeing the views as we drove around the Ring. My favorite part of the tour was stopping at Dingle beach.

Galway

Galway, County Galway, Ireland

Galway was by far my favorite city in Ireland to visit. Unfortunately I only had a day there, but I would highly recommend staying there for at least a couple days. There is so much to do, see, and eat there, we didn't have enough time to take it all in. We first started out taking a tour of the city and seeing some famous sights like the Spanish Arches, and walking around the city streets. Another stop on the tour that I thought was really cool was the fact that there is a shopping mall built around an old castle. So, you can literally eat your lunch in the food court while sitting next to an old buttress of a castle. We then spent the rest of the day shopping and exploring the city on our own. We found a carnival with games, rides, and food by the beach outside the downtown area so we stopped and went on a couple rides and hung out at the beach. Then, we went back into town and my friends and I all bought Claddagh rings to commemorate our time in Ireland. We waited to buy them in Galway because that was the city where the ring originated. My favorite part of Galway was the atmosphere there. It was so lively and exciting, there were street performers everywhere singing (unfortunately, couldn't find Ed Sheeran though)

Eating in Ireland

University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland

Being someone with dietary restrictions, I was nervous traveling abroad for a long amount of time. However, Ireland was the perfect location to travel! If you're gluten free, Ireland is the ideal place to visit. I ate most of my meals on campus, but I was able to try lots of new foods and drinks when I ventured off campus on the weekends. It wasn't hard to find gluten free options to eat or drink while we were out. Another great thing about Ireland is they're not just known for great beer, they're also known for great Irish ciders which are all gluten free. The teas and Irish coffee were also a highlight of the trip.

 

The University of Limerick

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University of Limerick, Castletroy
I absolutely love studying at the University of Limerick because of the beautiful campus and the location. It sits along the River Shannon, so there are amazing views, but also 20 minutes from the city. The weather has been unusually warm and sunny for Ireland, so I've been lucky to have had sunshine for the past week. I am taking 1 class here and it's been a great experience so far.
 

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Limerick City and Bunratty Castle

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Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Bunratty West
Explored the city of Limerick and Bunratty Castle! The school organized a scavenger hunt for us to be able to fully experience the city and to meet some of the locals. Limerick City was cool because of it's character (it's Ireland's 3rd oldest city) and its location along the River Shannon. We also got to tour Bunratty Castle and see a traditional village of what Irish life was like centuries ago.
 

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Blarney Castle

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Blarney Castle, County Cork
Went to Blarney Castle and even waited in line to kiss the Blarney Stone. Apparently now I have the "Gift of Gab." Definitely was worth walking up the small and scary stone steps to get to the top. Got to see an amazing view at the top of the castle before kissing the stone too!
 

View on Map

 

Cork City

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Cork City, County Cork
Got to explore Cork City and do some shopping and grab food. The city was very different from the other areas I had visited so far. Cork felt more "trendy" and modern than the other cities. Great shopping!
 

View on Map

 

Dublin City

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Dublin, Ireland
For the bank holiday (long weekend), we spent our time in Dublin City. After the 2.5 hour bus ride, our first stop was Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. We also got to walk through an old library called the Long Room where we saw the oldest harp in Ireland. After the book of Kells, we grabbed lunch and went on a walking tour of the city. We got to see some sights like Dublin Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and some of the viking settlements. We stayed in a hostel for the weekend, which was definitely an experience. My 5 friends and I were in an 8 person room, so we had two random roommates. On Saturday, we started the day with a nice brunch with some great Bailey's coffee, which is very popular in Ireland. We then explored the city and did some shopping. Grafton Street is a great place to get food and shop, and to experience the lively atmosphere of Dublin. That night, we were able to go to the USA Men's vs Ireland soccer game. We didn't know who to cheer for, so we were still happy when Ireland won. We then got to explore the Temple Bar district and got to experience how lively Dublin's nightlife is. Dublin was very different from Limerick, so it took a bit of time to get used to. However, I loved Dublin and wish I could've spent more time there.
 

View on Map

 

Belfast and Giant's Causeway

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Belfast, UK
Today we took a tour up to Northern Ireland from Dublin. It also happened to be my birthday, so it was a great time to be in Dublin. Northern Ireland used to be a part of the country of Ireland, however now it is part of the United Kingdom, so it was fun going to another country. After our early bus ride, our first stop was the Dark Hedges. Pictures don't do it justice. The formation of the trees were so cool, and they were even featured in Game of Thrones. Our next stop was Giant's Causeway. Giant's Causeway are rock formations going into the water made out of minerals that are all in a hexagon shape. There are many different stories and myths of how they got there because the Irish have a myth and legend for everything! This had to be one of the most amazing places I've ever been to. It felt unreal, and that you were in a whole different country. We then drove a little ways to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. You felt like you were in a tropical country walking across the bridge. I wish we had more time to take in the amazing views. We then drove through the Glens of Antrim to see the classic Irish countryside and stopped in a cute little village called Cushendun. After stopping, we then headed back to Belfast City to walk around a bit before heading back to Dublin. I would highly recommend this tour if you ever are in Dublin and want to try to get up to Northern Ireland. [Finn McCools Tours, Giant's Causeway Tour from Dublin]
 

View on Map

 

Cliffs of Moher and Western Coast

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Cliffs of Moher, Lislorkan North
We spent a day going around the Western coast of the country so we could see the Cliffs of Moher. On our way, we stopped in Glensdale where we saw stone formations in the countryside. We then stopped in Burren and saw an Irish birds of prey show, which was actually interesting to see the types of birds native to the area. At that stop, we also took a tour of Aillwee Cave. This cave was different because it was completely dug out by bears.
I was the most excited to go see the Cliffs of Moher because everyone I had talked to said that it was one of the most beautiful parts of the country. That is an understatement. We had amazing weather and it was breathtaking. I could've stayed there forever. The Cliffs of Moher were the highlight of my entire experience.
 

View on Map

 

Ring of Kerry

Explore
Ring of Kerry, County Kerry
Today we toured the Ring of Kerry. It was hard to figure out how we were going to get around and see all of the sights, so we decided to go on a tour. We stopped first in Killarney and walked around the cute town. I wish we could've stayed for longer. On the tour, we stopped in Waterville, Dingle, Coomatloukane, and saw Torc Falls. This tour was mostly just seeing the views as we drove around the Ring. My favorite part of the tour was stopping at Dingle beach.
 

View on Map

 

Galway

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Galway, County Galway
Galway was by far my favorite city in Ireland to visit. Unfortunately I only had a day there, but I would highly recommend staying there for at least a couple days. There is so much to do, see, and eat there, we didn't have enough time to take it all in. We first started out taking a tour of the city and seeing some famous sights like the Spanish Arches, and walking around the city streets. Another stop on the tour that I thought was really cool was the fact that there is a shopping mall built around an old castle. So, you can literally eat your lunch in the food court while sitting next to an old buttress of a castle. We then spent the rest of the day shopping and exploring the city on our own. We found a carnival with games, rides, and food by the beach outside the downtown area so we stopped and went on a couple rides and hung out at the beach. Then, we went back into town and my friends and I all bought Claddagh rings to commemorate our time in Ireland. We waited to buy them in Galway because that was the city where the ring originated. My favorite part of Galway was the atmosphere there. It was so lively and exciting, there were street performers everywhere singing (unfortunately, couldn't find Ed Sheeran though)
 

View on Map

 

Eating in Ireland

Eat Drink
University of Limerick, Castletroy
Being someone with dietary restrictions, I was nervous traveling abroad for a long amount of time. However, Ireland was the perfect location to travel! If you're gluten free, Ireland is the ideal place to visit. I ate most of my meals on campus, but I was able to try lots of new foods and drinks when I ventured off campus on the weekends. It wasn't hard to find gluten free options to eat or drink while we were out. Another great thing about Ireland is they're not just known for great beer, they're also known for great Irish ciders which are all gluten free. The teas and Irish coffee were also a highlight of the trip.
 

View on Map