Chris Allen | Clifden, Ireland | Post 4

Chris Allen | Clifden, Ireland | Post 4

Featured image: The beautiful Connemara at dawn is something else – it’s Dawnemara. As a friend named Jeff once said, a semester abroad is a paradox: it feels like two weeks, but also feels like a lifetime. It’s typically about the same length of time as a semester on campus, but the new settings and classes zoom by at double speed. It seems like it was only yesterday that I lethargically stumbled off of an overnight Aer Lingus flight into…

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Chris Allen | Clifden, Ireland | Post 3

Chris Allen | Clifden, Ireland | Post 3

Featured image: Since 300 million BC, the Cliffs of Moher have produced over 500,000 Instagram caption puns centered around the word “more” Happy Saint Patrick’s Day from Saint Patrick’s Land! When I was a young Irish-American lad, I used to imagine that Ireland’s celebration for its national holiday would be an event beyond comparison, an explosion of all the symbols and stereotypes and sights and sounds one might expect from being in the most Irish place on the most Irish…

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Chris Allen | Clifden, Ireland | Post 2

Chris Allen | Clifden, Ireland | Post 2

Featured Image: High Street, Galway City Day 47 in Ireland. I have seen every corner of this island, I am fluent in Gaelic, and the blood that courses through my veins is now a vibrant, emerald green. Maybe not all of that is entirely true… It’s actually day 48. After a month and a half of living in the Emerald Isle, I am thoroughly settled in and I have had a handful of interesting experiences. I got lost in the country…

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Chris Allen | Clifden, Ireland | Post 1

Chris Allen | Clifden, Ireland | Post 1

Featured Image: Clifden, Ireland is not just a one-horse town. By my count, there are at least seven equines. To some degree, Clifden is a unique setting in which to study abroad: not a large metropolitan university in a place like Madrid or Paris, but a remote yet lively village surrounded by the rolling coasts and vast pastures outside the city of Galway. It’s the type of place where you might see a dog casually strolling down the street without a…

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Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 5

Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 5

This past week, Jake and I had the awesome opportunity of taking a trip to Dublin with our professor. This semester we have being studying Irish history, specifically the fight for independence and the civil war as depicted by Irish writers. We focused on W.B Yeats, James Joyce and Seamus Heaney. We started off the day touring the museum at the National Post Office to commemorate the Easter Rising of 1916. This is a brand new museum that opened this…

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Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 4

Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 4

During October break I traveled to the United Kingdom. My journey started in Edinburgh, Scotland where I stayed for four days and then took a train down to London. Traveling to Ireland for JYA was the first time I had ever left the United States, and my trip to the UK was my first solo international excursion. While in Scotland, I spent time visiting a friend currently studying at the University of Edinburgh. My JYA experience doesn’t involve much time…

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Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 3

Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 3

I am extremely fortunate that the schedule of my study abroad program makes is possible to travel around Ireland on the weekends. So far, Jake and I have made it to Cork, Galway and Dublin. In term of Ireland, these are all large, major cities. However, it is important to remember that the entire country of Ireland has a population of about four million (less than half the size of New York City), which means that they are not particularly…

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Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 2

Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 2

Studying abroad in Clifden during the fall semester involves an extra perk: The Clifden Arts Festival! The little town becomes transformed as the population doubles due to the influx of tourists. Regular school curriculum gets pushed aside by opportunities to meet with world-renowned poets, musicians, and artists. It is honestly refreshing how much the educational system here values the arts. This year was the 39th anniversary of the festival, which was actually started by my internship director, Brenda Flynn. Due…

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Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 1

Katie Nordstrom | Clifden, Ireland | Post 1

Hi! My name is Katie Nordstrom, and this fall semester I am participating in an Irish teaching internship. Jake Butter ’18 (another Vassar student) and I are living in a two-bedroom apartment above a gas station, which is common in Europe, in a very small, touristy town (population 2,609) in Western Ireland called Clifden. I am currently experiencing two firsts: Living in a country other than the United States as well as living in an apartment where I have to cook and…

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Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 3

Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 3

Daylight savings, for me, has had the curious effect of compressing time. In the last few weeks, the hours of sunlight in Ireland have shrunk, so that I wake up to blueish-gray dawn, and leave the community school in the pinkish-purple of dusk. Time itself seems to be slipping away faster than usual, too; recently it occurred to me that I have less than four weeks left in Ireland, and this came as a genuine shock. When I relayed this…

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