Part of me feels like I’ve still got ages until it’s time to go home. But most of me can feel each day passing so quickly. On the 29th of April I’ll have only 28 days until I fly home. And while I’m incredibly excited because it’s been nine months since I’ve seen my family in person, I’m also still sad to leave all this behind. So here, in no particular order, are somethings I will undoubtedly miss from my time studying abroad in Ireland.
1. My friends
This one seems kind of obvious, but it’s true. In the past eight months I’ve made some amazing, and hopefully lifelong friends. To be honest, its almost astonishing to think that just eight months ago I was dubious that I’d ever really make friends here.
For about the first month I was here, I often felt like an outsider. When I would hang out with the other foreign students, I’d feel out of place because I spoke English as my first language, and with the Irish I’d feel awkward because most of them had been friends for years and I was new. But eventually I got to know people, exchange students and Irish, and I’ve made friends that I feel like I’ve known a lifetime.
2. The Scenery
Ireland is beautiful. Everyone says it, but you don’t truly understand just how beautiful until you visit in person. Everything is always green here, there are hills, mountains, forests, waterfalls – everything you could imagine and more.
The natural beauty of this country is breathtaking. And yeah, it’s a bit cliché, but I have completely fallen in love with Ireland. Even just walking around town shows me some beautiful and wonderful sights.
3. The Greenness
One of Ireland’s stereotypes is that everything is extremely green. This is one-hundred percent true! From August till April, I’ve seen nothing but green grass and bushes. Autumn had some amazing colored leaves, and winter had a bit of snow, but throughout it all- the grass was green.
4. Living So Close to the Ocean
Where I live in the USA, it’s a good nine or ten hours to the ocean, but here, we drive about 20 minutes and we’re right on the coast. Sure, it’s not warm and I don’t swim in it, but it’s till amazing. I love being able to walk along the beach and watch my host family’s dog run in the water. I can collect sea-shells or run along the sand-dunes. I never say no to going to the beach!
5. My School
My school has a little of 200 students. Total. While at first this seemed like too small to even imagine, I’ve grown to like being able to know everyone in my class. It’ll be quite an adjustment to go back to my much larger school. The school here has a lot of little quirks and odd things about it, but they only make it more interesting.
6. My Host Family
Of course!! How could I not? This family has gone to great lengths to ensure that I was happy, comfortable and at home here in Ireland. They’ve included me in family events and celebrations, we’ve had many interesting experiences and conversations together. While it will be very strange to leave them behind, I know I’ll be back.
With so little time left until I leave, I find myself anxious to get home and also very sad to leave Ireland . Its been an incredible adventure so far, and it hasn’t ended yet! I’ll be doing my best to make sure I make this last month count!
Kayla Trowbridge is 16 years old and lives in Zionsville, Indiana. Her goal during her study abroad program is to “create relationships that will continue throughout my life and develop a new understanding of the Irish culture.” Follow Kayla’s adventure in Ireland on her blog post updates throughout her program.