On the evening of Wednesday, June 20th, I embarked on my journey to Dublin from Philadelphia. This summer, I will be participating in the Dublin + London Dual City Summer program through the Foundation for International Education (FIE), spending five weeks in each city. I planned this trip with my friend Maggie, who is also attending the Dublin + London FIE program, so we traveled together via Aer Lingus. We arrived at the airport in Philadelphia with a GREAT deal of luggage. Luckily, we just barely made the 50-pound weight limit. Hey, ten weeks is a long time for high-maintenance girls!
We took a 7-hour red eye flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Dublin Airport in Ireland and touched down at around 5:30 am local time. As we arrived, we were greeted by the FIE staff with “céad míle fáilte,” an Irish phrase meaning “a hundred thousand welcomes.” It was chilly, but the sun was shining and the skies were clear as can be. Pauline, the Assistant Resident Director with FIE informed us that this type of sunshine is extremely rare for Dublin. We felt extremely lucky to have this weather for our first day here in Ireland.
We were then shuttled to our home for the next five weeks, and Pauline showed us around the area. FIE is housing us in beautiful (and newly refurbished) off-campus student housing near Dublin Business School, where we will be taking classes. We are staying in the heart of the city, along the main drag of the Portobello neighborhood of Dublin. This area is within walking distance to many of Dublin’s iconic tourist attractions including Temple Bar, the Ha’penny Bridge, St. Stephen’s Green, Whelan’s Pub and Trinity College.
Once the other students in the Dublin program arrived, we decided to explore the city together while gathering essentials like groceries and cleaning supplies. Along the way, we came across St. Stephen’s Green, a gorgeous public park located just a few blocks from our housing. We sat down for a little picnic here for lunch and got to know each other.
After shopping for supplies, we were all absolutely exhausted from traveling. We had all been awake for nearly two days, but rather than go to sleep, we needed to adjust to Ireland time. We decided that we needed something to keep us awake to avoid jet lag. We are in Ireland, so naturally, we went to the pub! Whelan’s Pub, known for its appearance in the 2007 film P.S. I Love You, is directly across the street from where we are staying. So before heading home to sleep, we ordered a few pints of Guinness… and it was pretty delicious!