Sláinte!: A Semester in Ireland

Emily Rice is a Student Ambassador in her junior year studying Management and Innovation. This semester, she’s spending time abroad at Champlain’s campus in Dublin, Ireland. Here are her thoughts on the experience so far.

I can’t believe four weeks have already flown by. A little over a month ago, I was packing my bags at my home in Burlington to leave for what I believe to be the best experience of my life. Coming to Champlain College was the best decision I’ve ever made. I remember sitting in the information sessions and learning about all Champlain had to offer. Everything made sense. When I learned that Champlain had a campus in Dublin, Ireland where students would be able to study abroad, I turned to look at my mother and I just knew; I was going to Champlain.

I don’t think many people realize how lucky we have it. The fact that we offer a program for students to study abroad in Europe at a Champlain College campus is absolutely unbeatable. All of my professors are Champlain staff- just with amazing Irish accents- and I still don’t have a class that’s larger than 25 people. I’m living in apartments with all other Champlain students right in the center of Dublin. This is the life! Not only do we get Fridays off (to give us time to make travel plans in Europe), we also get to travel all around Ireland itself as a Champlain group.

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Speaking of traveling around Ireland, I just came back from a trip in the West of Ireland. We left Dublin Friday morning ready for the adventure ahead of us. We had so many great memories that weekend, but the one trip I want to bring up was the trip to the Cliffs of Moher. I’ve always heard amazing things about these sea cliffs and I was so excited to finally see them in person.

 

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There was one major downside though…saying it was pouring is probably under exaggerating. Also, being over 700 ft up in the air causes some natural extreme wind. It was miserable out. The reason why I’m telling this story is to show how great of a learning experience this was for me. Instead of everyone complaining about how cold they were, people were still in awe about the nature surrounding them. On the way back to the hostel from dinner that night (keep in mind it is still pouring), everyone was running and splashing around in their wellies (Irish term for rainboots). I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder than I did that night. When we finally got to the hostel, we all sat around the fireplace and relaxed.


This trip has taught me to be nothing but grateful. I’m grateful to have this opportunity in Europe with some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I’m grateful that I still have small class sizes that made me pick Champlain to begin with. I’m grateful to be able to just hop on a train and go wherever my heart tells me to for the weekend.

 

 

As the Irish say it,
Sláinte!

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