The First Two Weeks in Belfast
Jake starts of the blog:
While arriving in Northern Ireland I looked down from the airplane to find fantastic scenery comprised of beautiful fields of green farms and villages. While getting my baggage at the airport my fellow peers and I were greeted by a representative from the “IFSA Butler Program” who had a large smile and brought us to get coffee. I was groggy and tired from my plane ride but excited and anxious to enter the city of Belfast with my fellow Friars. My classmates and I boarded a large bus and began to venture into the city, it wasn’t long until we were enjoying local food and watching live music
I have never met a nicer community of people than I have in Belfast. Everyone here is so friendly, willing to help, or wants to start up a conversation with me wherever I go. Meeting and talking to locals here is great because so many people want to know about life in the US and the current political situations. I can also ask about Northern Ireland, the past history and how it impacts them today and they are more than willing to tell their side of the story. One thing I have already learned is that you always have to keep an open mind, but I think that would go for anywhere you study abroad. While I do have my Friar Family over here, it is important to reach out and make some new friends. There are students from all over the world studying abroad here so I have made friends from Germany, Hungary, and Northern Ireland. Waking up every morning you do not know how the day is going to go. Some days everyone stays around campus and hangs out, other days we take sporadic day trips to the beach, West Belfast, castles, the mountains, or even just into he city.
My first week in Ireland was jam packed with activities involving the true culture of Belfast. After moving in to school it is hard to not be consumed by the beauty and personality of the small and friendly city. While visiting pubs and restaurants I constantly found myself becoming friends with people both local to the city and other students studying internationally. It is hard to become bored while adventuring through town with your friends and finding new venues to watch musicians, eat great food, or go dancing. In addition to this, the city is filled with history. While walking through town I was surrounded by amazing architecture that told such amazing stories. I look forward to writing more as this adventure continues. Belfast has proven to be an unforgettable place.
Katie: So far I have loved every minute of my time here in Belfast, and cannot wait to see where the next day takes me.
Jake: Belfast has proven to be an unforgettable place.
Katie Shields & Jake McIlveen