Kelley – Ireland

February 3, 2024

Ireland buildingsNow that I have been here for about a week, I thought I would have a major culture shock during this first week but the biggest thing that I wasn’t prepared to experience being in the car on the left side of the road instead of the right side. I have gone out quite a few times just to buy everything to get started in my new country, grocery stores, clothes shopping, and other essentials. My favorite place to go so far is actually the University College Cork campus. The campus is gorgeous with some very nice 19th century architecture, as shown in the picture for this post. There are a total of about 800 other international students here that are from 25 different countries. My favorite thing about Ireland so far is the walkability of the cities, there are sidewalks everywhere so taking a bus or a taxi is not needed all the time.

With the academics here, the grading system and overall class structure is very different, they do not do a lot of periodic assignments throughout the semester, you take about 3 to 4 exams for each class throughout the semester and a final exam at the end of the semester. The International Office on campus is the most helpful resource for me, they are almost always available for students to ask questions and get help.

I did experience an initial culture shock when I arrived. My expectation of coming to Ireland wasn’t too far off from the actual experience of arriving here. I wish I would have researched public transportation a little bit more before I came here, it wasn’t hard to figure out but it did take a few days. What I have discovered with other students studying abroad here is that it took a few days for all of us to truly understand the Irish accent.

January 9, 2024

Hello I am Kelley Cook and I am a Junior at East Carolina University that is a Finance major with an Economics minor. I am traveling to Ireland to study at University Cork College in the spring Semester of 2024. I have quite a few goals with this study abroad semester, first and foremost being to learn about
Irish culture while maintaining my studies. I have done quite a bit of research about my host country and it is very similar to the United States in certain aspects like how school is conducted and everyday life.

But there are a few aspects that are different, including food, drinks, and slang that is used in everyday language. I am most excited about learning everything I possibly can about Ireland and it’s culture, but this same thing also makes me a little bit nervous. My study abroad trip is not an ECU sponsored trip and not lead by any ECU staff so I am kind of on my own for the semester but there are plenty of resources I will be able to utilize when needed. I have had a few conversations with other students that are doing

the same program that I am and we have decided to meet up so that we are not going at it alone. I have also reached out to many of the students and faculty in order to start making new connections in preparation for this very exciting journey!