Intervarsities!

Welcome backkkkk

It’s been an exciting past few weeks here in Dublin, with the sun beginning to shine, some spring break travel, and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kicking off this weekend! However, one of the most exciting events thus far has been something I had been rehearsing for and working towards for awhile: Intervarsities!

 

Intervarsities occur across multiple societies, and it’s a type of competition in which a bunch of other teams from other Irish universities come together and compete against each other. Back in October of last year, I decided to try out for the Contemporary Dance Intervarsities Team for DUDance (Trinity’s dance society), and luckily enough I made the team! So ever since October, the girls and I had been practicing weekly to learn the choreography for our piece, which we got to compete with a few weeks ago!

 

Dancers sitting on the floor in a semi-circle
Pictures from our rehearsals at the Liffey Trust Studios!

 

This year, Dance Intervarsities was hosted by DCU, one of the other colleges located in Dublin. They have this beautiful complex dedicated to the performing arts called the Helix, with multiple stages, practice rooms, and studios. The day before the competition, we all made our way to DCU to embark in a dress rehearsal, which was so organized and run on a very tight schedule. We got to rehearse on the stage for ten minutes total, with some rehearsal time in the practice rooms after. Shout out to the contemporary captains Sarah and Cora for running those practices with such little time, it was super impressive. We were at DCU from 10am to 1pm, and then had to rush back to Trinity’s campus to grab a quick lunch before our on campus performance!

 

Screen on stage that says "DCU"
DCU stage

Since the competition wasn’t being held on Trinity’s campus, the only way for our friends and family to come watch was through a performance that the DU Dance Society put together for everyone. Although there’s no performance space on Trinity’s campus, we made do with what we had and held it in the debating chamber. It was super nice to see everyone’s friends and family coming out to support them, and my friends came to support me which was so kind of them. 

Hair & makeup before the Trinity performace

Anywho, the next day, we had to be back at DCU by 8:30am for the start of what would be a very long, but fun Intervarsities day. Hair and makeup had to be ready, so we used the two hours before the competition to stretch and get nerves out. Contemporary was the first category of the day, so we really had to be up and ready to go as early as possible. When it came to our time, the energy in the auditorium was spectacular. One of the best parts about being on a Trinity dance team was the amount of support every team gave one another, so the cheers we heard when we entered the stage were electric. This was also my first time back at a dance competition since sophomore year of high school, so I was feeling so much excitement that I hadn’t felt in a while.

After our spectacular performance (if I do say so myself), we ran back to rest before greeting those who were able to come and support us. Once the contemporary category was over, we spent the rest of the day cheering on all of the other Trinity teams in their respective categories, shaking the walls with our foot stomps. At around 6:30pm, it was awards time. Unfortunately, our team did not place in the top three for Contemporary, however our overall score was an 80/100, which is pretty phenomenal in my books. However, the Trinity Irish Team placed first in their category, and the Trinity Hip-Hop Team placed third in their category, with one of their dancers receiving an award for her performance. 

After a long, yet electric two days, we had such a fun time bonding with one another and cheering on the respective teams. It was so much fun to be back in a competition environment, doing the thing that I love most. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, which is all due to the wonderful Captain, Co-Captain, and teammates I had the pleasure of dancing with.  Feel free to watch our performance here!

 

Until Next Time,

Emilee

Beyond the City, Across the Country!

Welcome back everyone!

Hope you enjoyed my piece about my favorite lunches in the city, there are a lot of great eats in Dublin. However, speaking of great eats, there are plenty more outside of the city. One county deemed the “Food Capital of Ireland” is Cork, which I had the pleasure of visiting this past November. I went for a long weekend to visit my good friend and fellow Study Abroad Blogger Erin O’Donovan, and she made sure to give me such an amazing tour of both Cork and the surrounding towns. When I first arrived, we got some delicious food at her favorite cafe and she showed me around the gorgeous University College Cork campus. We also walked around the city and through the infamous Marina Market Cork, which had endless food vendors, living up to the city’s nickname. Beyond the city, we traveled around the southernmost part of Ireland, first stopping at Kinsale (the cutest town ever) before making our way to Old Head, which is located at the edge of the town. It was a great way to get away from the city and catch some beautiful views of the blue Celtic Sea. Later that weekend, We went to the Blarney Castle to kiss the lucky Blarney Stone, and met up with some of our Holy Cross friends for a meal.

Now, one of my first trips outside of Dublin last semester was to Galway, on the complete opposite coast of Ireland. Right on the water, beaches everywhere, and home of the infamous Claddagh ring, there is so much to see and do. It was about a 3 hour train ride from the city, and my friends and I planned it as a spontaneous day trip the day before we went. We first stopped at the center of the city and walked around the market that was selling amazing arts and local food. Next on our list: obtaining our Claddagh rings. The original store famous for creating the rings is called Thomas Dillon Claddagh, right in the heart of the city. However, for college students on a budget, their prices did not quite match ours. So we found an amazing family run store that sold them for a much better price, called the Claddagh and Celtic Jewellery Company. After that, we got some tea at a restaurant called The Secret Garden, which was a perfect recommendation from some friends. We also walked to South Park, which was right along the water and had beautiful views. Next time I go to Galway, I’m definitely hitting the Aran Islands.

So I’ve been to the south coast of Ireland, west coast of Ireland, and recently made my way to Northern Ireland, as one major area on my bucket list was to hit Giant’s Causeway. Two weeks ago, two of my friends joined me on a lovely weekend trip up to Belfast, making good use of our Bank Holiday weekend. We spent the first day walking around the city by visiting the Botanical Gardens, learning about the Titanic (as it was built in Belfast), and grabbing food at the different markets around the city. If you ever get the chance to try the Belfast Bap, make sure you have an empty stomach and are not planning a major meal for the rest of the day. It is a delicious, but very filling, sandwich. After exploring the city, we took the next day to adventure up all the way to the top of the island through a tour that took us along the coast all the way to Giant’s Causeway. This was one of the most beautiful areas I think I’ve ever been to and highly recommend anyone to go if given the chance. With whipping winds and crashing waves along crazy cliffs, you understand why the area is as famous as it is.

Now, I can’t finish this blog post without talking about my favorite spot outside of Dublin City. Back on the east coast of Ireland, still in County Dublin but only a 30 minute DART ride from the city, is Howth. Over the years, this seaside town has become a lot more popular, as it is known for the stunning cliff walk that takes you around the town with beautiful views of the ocean. I’ve yet to do the entire cliff walk, but I’ve been about three times thus far and look forward to the next time I go. When I need to get away from the city, or want to eat fish and chips while looking at the water, this is my go to spot. There’s also a super cute market right by the train station with vintage jewelry and delicious food I highly recommend checking out. Howth is a great place to go if you need to escape the city feel for a few hours and get some gorgeous seaside views, plus a great way to see the sunrise.

As much as I love Dublin and will continue to praise it in my other blogs, there is so much to see and do beyond the city, especially along the coast of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Thanks for reading about my coastal adventures all around the island!

 

Until Next Time,

Emilee

The Dublin Diaries: Cheap Student Lunches

One of the best parts about living in a major city is getting to try a bunch of food. The beauty of going to Trinity is that the school is located in the heart of Dublin, which means that finding good food is no challenge. However, finding good food that fits into the budget of a student provides a challenge. Therefore, I decided to accumulate a list of some of my favorite cheap eats as a student, with the focus mostly being on good lunch food for in between classes.

 

MAJOR TIP: Join the Food & Drink Society. This society comes with a membership card that includes a bunch of discounts at restaurants and to-go spots all around campus. Helps with that student budget a lot!

 

Prime area on the list: Dawson Street.  One of the best locations for takeway lunch food right across from the Trinity Arts Building.

Starting off at my personal favorite spot: Carluccio’s. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that I literally do not eat anywhere else. Every semester weekday from 12pm-2pm you can get a regular box of pasta for 5.50 or a large for 8.50.  It’s a Trinity staple, as the line is always out the door and you will see almost half of the students in the Arts building walking and eating their box of pasta during lunch time.

Picture of the speck pasta from Carluccio's
Carluccio’s, the love of my life

Next up: Tang. Perfect place to grab the most delicious Middle Eastern flatbreads (aka burritos) or salads for such an affordable price. My go-to is the chicken flatbread with regular hummus, all of their toppings (pickles, onions, lettuce, etc.), and tzatziki sauce. Perfect to hold while walking, but you will definitely want napkins to wipe up the sauce.

Picture of my spicy taco bowl from sprout
Spicy bean taco bowl from Sprout & Co.

 

And the final lunch stop on Dawson: Sprout & Co. One of the more healthier options, with delicious salads and bowls made from fresh ingredients. It’s super easy to place an order for pickup, and if you use the monthly food and drink code you get 15% off.

 

 

Next up are some of my favorite spots near campus but not on Dawson, as it doesn’t hurt to walk a little for good food.

First up: Mama’s Revenge. You know the craving you get for a burrito every once in a while? When you desperately need a giant meal in one go? This is the spot to hit. They use the best ingredients they can find for delicious burritos, and if you show your student card you get a free drink with purchase.

A bereal of me with my burrito from Mama's Revenge
A burrito Bereal

Next issss The Pig and Heifer. As a New York native, I was very skeptical when my friends suggested that we go to this New York Style deli. However, I decided to take a chance, and I am very glad that I did. Although it is not a true New York deli, the sandwiches are unbelievably delicious and hit the spot every time.

A picture of the Pig and Heifer menu
The Pig & Heifer menu!

 

 

 

Finally, the true Trinity staple: KC Peaches. This chain has multiple locations right around campus, always flocked with Trinity students. The lunch options here are various, satiating any craving you may have. They have salad bars, hot foods, bowls, soups, and pastries if you’re not feeling very hungry. In general, all students get 10% off here, but if you’re a member of the Trinity food & drink society, you get 12% off.

 

Finally, it would be remiss of me if I did not mention the on campus eateries I have experienced (although I believe you can find much better off campus for the same price).

The Buttery and the Dining Hall: two great options serving the same food for all Trinity students to enjoy. They have daily meals, and if you load up your student card with money you get 10% off your purchase!

The Perch: In the Arts building (which is where most of my classes are), this cafe also has a meal deal where you can get a sandwich, chips, and drink for 7.50, which is a great deal when you don’t want to leave the building.

 

Alas, those are not all of my food recommendations, just the lunch takeaway ones. But do not fret, as there will be more to come soon. For the time being, however, you now have a cheat sheet for the best lunches in Dublin for Trinity students on a budget!

Eat your little heart out,

Emilee

Thinking of Trinity?

Welcome back!

Sorry for the hiatus, I’ve been in finals mode for the past few weeks  trying to get high marks! On the topic of grades, I figured I would go into some of the nitty gritty details about studying at Trinity, before jumping into some of the more fun stuff.

So you’re thinking about studying at Trinity? Amazing choice, I like the way you think. When reflecting back on my time applying for studying abroad, there are a few tidbits I figured I would share with you that would have been helpful to know when weighing my options. 

 

First: HC students are required to go to Trinity three weeks before first semester classes to participate in a pre semester module called the Semester Start-Up. This program teaches you all about Irish history, takes you on a bunch of field trips, and provides you with the opportunity to meet a bunch of other study abroad students before everyone arrives on campus. No need to stress, the class is super laid back and honestly is one of my favorite parts of last semester. We visited some amazing places, Glendalough being my favorite (i swear that place is magical). Plus, it allowed us to get accustomed to the city and the school way before everyone else came, so basically we were experts by the time the semester rolled around.

 

Glendalough lake
Glendalough lake
Picture of me chilling in a tree at Glendalough
Chilling on a tree in Glendalough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second: You are only allowed to take classes in the areas of study you get accepted into. This is one of the most important things to keep in mind when applying for different study abroad programs, in my humble opinion. So for me, I knew that I needed to take a bunch of Psychology classes for my major, as well as complete my Cross-Cultural and Religion common area requirements. Thus, I made sure to apply for Psychology, Religion, and Art History on my Trinity application on “areas of study”, that way I could stay on track for completing my degree on time. The only hiccup was that I wasn’t accepted into the Statistics area of study, but thankfully I had planned my degree timeline accordingly so I didn’t need to take any classes for my minor this year. So, if you have specific requirements you need to get done, keep this in mind. Trinity isn’t like Holy Cross where you can take classes in any field, as you have to apply directly to each school of study and get approved to be able to take their classes. 

SSP friends at the Hill of Tara!
SSP friends at the Hill of Tara
Picture of my friend holding the fake trophy at Croke Park
Croke Park!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third: Class structures are widely different than at Holy Cross. Rather than having smaller classes that meet two or three times a week, you typically have one class that meets for 50 minutes a week, with about 70 or more students in that one lecture. Additionally, some of these classes will also have smaller seminars that meet every other week, which take more of the Holy Cross approach of discussion based learning. For me, this was part of the appeal to go to Trinity, as I wanted to challenge myself to take on learning in a different setting. Plus, rather than getting multiple weekly assignments throughout the semester, many classes only have one or two grades total, and you get weekly readings to do on your own. So the dynamic here is widely different from Holy Cross, as there is a lot of independent work that adds up to your one chance of proving you paid attention all semester.

 

Those are just some of the key information that I figured would be vital when thinking about coming here! Now that I have the foundational ideas out of the way, I’ll be sure to jump into some of the fun stuff next time. If you have any questions about Trinity, feel free to shoot me an email! 

 

Until next time,

Emilee

First Weeks in Dublin

Welcome back everyone!

To kickstart this blog, I figured I would do a recap of my first few weeks in Dublin, talking about the move-in process and some fun adventures I did along the way. 

Photo of an Aer Lingus screen from my plane saying "Thank you for Flying"
Photo of my screen from my flight to Ireland

My mom and my uncle flew with me to move me in to the start of this lovely academic year. We took an overnight flight from JFK to Dublin Airport, which meant we landed two days before the start of the Semester-Start Up Program (this is an early start class Trinity runs for students before the semester). This year, HC students were put into very nice accommodations about a 20 minute walk away from campus. Although it would have been nice to live on campus, this accommodation is super nice and also allowed me to get to know other parts of the city well. My biggest advice for those who do this program is to buy everything here, because it is so easy to grab everything you need from home stores like Dunnes and TKMaxx. If you find any of the student packages online that can be sent to your accommodations, do not buy them, because chances are they won’t come in time (unfortunately I’m speaking from experience). 

Photo of Trim Castle in Ireland
Photo of Trim Castle in Ireland

So after we gathered bedding and towels and toiletries despite the package hiccup, we explored the city a little bit, and I prepped for my first week of the Start-Up Program. This week was great, as we learned a lot about Irish history and were taken on a field trip to Trim Castle, which is where my header picture is from! I met some amazing people from all over, including Canada, Australia, and a lot of Americans from various states.

 

 

Photo of the Notre Dame marching band during halftime at Aviva Stadium in Dublin
ND marching band during halftime

Once my mom and uncle left, my dad and some extended family members flew to Dublin for a very exciting American football game. Notre Dame football was playing Navy at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, and my family ensured that they bought tickets when they found out I was applying to study abroad at Trinity. 

 

 

Photo from the boygenius concert in Dublin
Boygenius live

On top of an American football game, I went to a concert at the Royal Kilmainham Hospital venue! Back in April, I bought concert tickets to see boygenius with my HC friend doing the same study abroad program. By the time the concert rolled around, we managed to convince a bunch of our friends we met from the Semester-Start Up to also buy tickets, so we all had a blast together listening to some great music at a historic landmark.

 

I have to say, my first few weeks in Dublin went pretty well. I had never traveled outside of the country prior to this, so it was definitely an adjustment. However, the city is full of such wonderful people and is pretty easy to figure out, as long as you’re open to it. That’s all for now! I have some fun blog ideas planned, so stay tuned to hear more!

Until next time,

Emilee

Introducing Me!

Hello everyone and greetings from Dublin! My name is Emilee and I’m currently writing this from the Arts Block at Trinity College Dublin (TCD for short). I’m starting this blog exactly 3 months and 5 days after living in Dublin, which is super exciting, and I can’t wait to share all that has happened thus far. But before jumping in, I figured I would write this introductory post to let you know a little bit about me and the program.

Emilee at Trinity College Dublin in front of the Campanile
In Front of the Campanile!

I’m currently a third year Psychology, Statistics, and Pre-Business student at Holy Cross who choreographs for Dance Ensemble. However at Trinity, I’m studying Psychology, Art History, and Religion as a way to get the rest of my Common Area requirements completed. That was part of the reason that I chose to study at Trinity, as it allows me to take classes (which they call ‘modules’ here) that align with my academic requirements. Other than meeting my academic needs, Trinity also has so many clubs (called ‘societies’) that align with my extracurricular interests. For instance, I’m a member of DUDance as a member of the Contemporary competition team and a member of FilmSoc, which has weekly movie showings. These have allowed me to really experience the school culture not just in the classroom but also in everyday life.

Photo of St. Patrick's Cathedral as the sun is setting
St. Patrick’s Cathedral on my walk home from school

 

Beyond the school itself, living in Ireland, specifically Dublin, has been such a dream. The Semester Start-Up Program we did prior to classes and the Holy Cross Cultural Advisors have been amazing at showing us Holy Cross students around both Dublin and Ireland, through different field trips and shows. These past three months have been so joyful and fun-filled, I cannot wait to share it all with you.

 

 

Photo of a building in Dublin during sunset. Blue skies on top fade into orange and pink.
Dublin during sunset

 

In the meantime, that’s a little bit about me and a brief overview of Trinity! I’ll be keeping this blog updated as much as I can with different topics and stories about my time abroad, so stay tuned for more.

 

 

Until next time,
Emilee