First Week (Arriving, exploring, orientation….etc)

So crazy start to the first week, spent the entire day of August 29th in airports I was lucky enough to have just missed hurricane Irene that paid the east coast a visit, so all of my flights where on time. I think I hit every Starbucks in the airport.

I landed in Shannon, Ireland on the 30th I was extremely tired since I didn’t really sleep on the plane due to the fact that the movie ‘Water for Elephants’ was playing and I really wanted to watch it…….so I guess in the end that was kind of my fault.

The drive from Shannon airport to Galway was about 1 hour long. My taxi driver was extremely nice and told me stories about ‘fairies’, ‘fairy trees’, and also some history behind the city. He also told me where I could buy food, bedding & electronics along with showing me the general direction of where the school was.

After getting settled into my apartment…..okay more like throw my bags in my room. I decided to start walking around town to get to know where everything was at……it was either that or go to bed and it was only 12pm, but due to experience going to sleep that early makes it take forever to get over jet lag.

I went all over town getting adaptors, a phone, bedding, and food. Oh and something that I learned the hard way, because I don’t have a vehicle while over here you have to carry all the food items you buy back to your apartment. Where I buy my food is only about a five minute walk away from where I live…..but when you’re carrying a heavy load of food the walk seems to take forever. And another thing that’s extremely different from America is that you have to buy grocery bags & bag your own food……that was quite different. I now have a stash of plastic bags under my sink that I stuff into my back pack so if I need to go to the store after class I don’t have to buy more bags.

The food place that I buy my food at is actually kind of neat…..it’s like a mini mall. There’s a bakery, clothing store, bank, hair salon, and fabric store all in one place.

It took me a while to learn to look “left then right” instead of “right then left” because the cars drive on the other side of the road. And with roundabouts it’s like playing leap frog because I don’t know when cars that are on the roundabout are going to get off. I’ve gotten used to it though being here for a couple days.

Homesickness kind of kicked in for me a lot this week……missing my family, missing my horses extremely badly. I’m able to IM my sister all the time so that helped a lot being able to always have someone to talk to and she herself participated in a study abroad program so she kind of knows how I’m feeling.

It was kind of hard being in the apartment by myself a day or so without roommates…….although one of my roommates arrived at the apartment at 12:30am. And she hardly spoke English she was from Spain and spoke mostly Spanish. The other two roommates arrive the next day.

Orientation was kind of a blur. I was still trying to get over jet lag…..I think next time I would arrive a week earlier. It was helpful but a lot of information to take in.

One of my roommates and I discovered a back road to the college that cuts the walking time in half AND I get to walk by horses……it’s hard not to be able to play with them but it’s nice to be able to see them. Although when it rains I would advise not walking that way as every vehicle that passes by splashes you with water…..the umbrella doesn’t even help lol.

This week I was having a tough time with the timetable concept and picking classes and also discovering that I will not be able to take any accounting classes over here, but I managed to figure out a schedule (having both MSU-Northern course book & NUI Galway Visiting Student modules open). I got so frustrated trying to figure it out that I decided to take a tour to the Cliffs of Moher instead (lucky it was a weekend). That helped a lot to just get away and take pictures with my camera……oh and the best part was not only did the tour bus pick me up and drop me back off at my apartments, I got a card so that I can take their tours for free the entire rest of the time I’m here. The tour guide was awesome to!

When I got back I still struggled with the timetables but managed to get a schedule put together. And I listened to the Celtic Woman song Níl Sé’n Lá which means “Seize the Day” ……club & society day is on the 14th & 15th and I’m extremely excited to join some clubs!

Today classes started…..my Mondays are pretty easy so far with only one class in the afternoon until the Irish language course starts at the end of the month. I actually really enjoyed the lecture. It was neat to get a different perspective on Human Resource Management.

I have a feeling that I should be blogging about every couple of days because by the looks of it I have written a small novel. I might have forgotten a couple of things but for now that’s all I can think of. It is now almost a quarter to 11pm and I should probably be thinking of getting to bed.

I’ll be posting pictures a lot. I already have over 700 and have just started editing them so I’ll try and post a couple a day because after all a picture is worth a thousand words right?

Until next time,
Karlie Kafka

Dunguaire Castle

Dunguaire Castle

One of the horses I walk by on my way to class everyday.

I walk by this on the way to class.

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One Response to First Week (Arriving, exploring, orientation….etc)

  1. Mary Wagner says:

    Karly, I have been thinking about you since you left my classroom. You are so brave to do this and I admire you for it. You will get homesick, but each day will get a little easier. I have a project for you when you get back to Havre. Remind me that is has to do with my mom and dad’s wedding photo if my mind forgets by the time you get back. Keep me posted on things. I am so envious of your life right now. Have fun, keep blogging and talk to you soon. Love Mrs. Wagner

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