GRIP, Research Abroad First Impressions of Ireland

June 9, 2022
By Josée Iyonsaba, Nursing '23

Nursing Research in Dublin - Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Before even setting foot in Ireland, I knew it was a beautiful country with a rich history and culture. When they announced we would be landing in Dublin in a few minutes, I felt excited. I was eager and ready to immerse myself in the new environment. Here are a few of my first impressions of Dublin during the first two weeks.

People are friendly
You have probably heard somewhere that Irish people are friendly, and it is true. When I landed in Dublin, my first impression was how friendly and welcoming people were. My taxi driver from the airport was agreeable. I asked him many questions about the weather, cuisine, the Irish culture, places to visit, the countryside, where to get a SIM card, etc. I had many questions, but the driver was patient, polite, and offered all the information. I have since come to realize that most people are like him. I found all the people I interacted with to be friendly, engaging, hospitable, helpful, and have a great sense of humor.

Ireland is so green
There is lots of grass and trees. I learned that Ireland’s nickname, the Emerald Isle, is because Ireland has green landscapes- bright green like emerald. During the summer, it is warm and rains a lot, hence, favoring the growth of trees, grass, and bushes. I love taking walks in the parks and gardens, and when the weather is nice, I sit under a tree or in the grass and read a book or work on my project. Image of Ireland

The weather is unpredictable.
The hilarious description of the weather someone gave me was that the weather is moody, and it is true. You can experience all four seasons in one day. You may experience warmer air, cold air, drizzle, heavy rain, wind, and sunshine, all within the duration of an hour. I always remind myself to check the weather app and carry a jacket and an umbrella whenever I leave my apartment.

Ireland is a beautiful country with a rich history and culture.
I cannot count how many wows I have said since I arrived in Dublin. There are many fascinating sites, each with a unique and interesting history. So far, I have been to the Howth Cliff Walk, a few museums (EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, The Little Museum of Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland), parks (Phoenix park, Saint Stephen's Green, Merrion Square park), the Book of Kells exhibition in the Old Library of Trinity College Dublin, restaurants, and shopping centers. There are also many bridges and architecturally fascinating buildings, most of which also have a peculiar history of their own.  

I was overwhelmed the first week as I tried to explore everything all at once. I learned to take a little time off to relax and absorb all the beauty and energy of the country, culture, and lifestyle, but I still have a lot of sites to visit (especially the countryside) and more to learn about the history and culture of the country.

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The Global Research and Internship Program (GRIP) provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to intern or conduct research abroad for 8 to 12 weeks over the summer. Participants gain career-enhancing experience and global exposure that is essential in a global workforce.