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Category: Clifden, Ireland

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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Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 2

Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 2

A few weeks ago, I decided to start a creative writing group at the secondary school where I’m teaching for a semester. The decision was born in part out of the realization that, compared to the students at my high school, kids here have little opportunity to express themselves creatively. I wanted to help fix that. Five girls showed up in the library for our first session; I knew a few of them already. We started off the meeting with a…

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Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 1

Rebecca Shubert | Clifden, Ireland | Post 1

This past Wednesday marked the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Whether you’re a New Yorker or not, whether you lost a community or family member or not, I’m certain that that day had a huge impact on many of your lives. For me, spending September 11, 2013 teaching in Clifden, Ireland was an eye-opening experience that inspired a lot of reflection. I spent the first two periods of the day sitting in on a…

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