I have always loved the idea of Europe, especially Ireland and the United Kingdom. My fascination with the latter is probably the product of my love affair with the Harry Potter books that began so long ago that I can barely remember how old I was the first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was really young, I know that. But Ireland has always held a sort of mystique for me because I have Irish heritage. So, for the fall semester of my senior year, I chose to study abroad in Ireland at University College Cork. I enrolled as part of the Early Start Semester program for international students. Within the Early Start program, I decided to do the history program. Essentially, the Early Start program is like intersession at Washington and Jefferson. It's one class for 3 hours Monday-Thursday for about 3 and a half weeks. Each program (I chose history but there were other options like literature of Ireland, folklore of Ireland, music of Ireland etc.) has a few field trips, which are a way for the international students to see a bit more of Ireland in an organized, somewhat educational, setting. My program actually already had one trip (I'll probably talk about it more in a different post) and we are going to Dublin this week. So to sum up this first post, I'm mostly going to be studying Irish history here at UCC. I'm a political science and history double major back home at W&J, so it should be very interesting to learn more about Irish history and Ireland politically is also very intriguing. I'm going to try to post again soon to explain more about how I got here (flying, obviously, but the details of that) and maybe give my first impressions of Ireland.
The Main Quadrangle of the University College Campus (my picture)