Not many students get the opportunity to travel miles away from home to study in a beautiful country of their choice. On the verge of graduation, I decided to pursue an International Business Degree, and what is better than doing an International Business Degree “internationally”, and did I mention it’s in Europe. I knew an opportunity such as this does not come around too often, so I was both intrigued and excited. Thus without any hesitation, I seized the opportunity, and on January 20th I landed in Dublin, Ireland. My name is Jeff Drouillard, 22-year-old student studying International Business and Marketing at DIT, Dublin Institute of Technology.
Going to a foreign country at my age seems a little mind boggling, stepping out of my social norms and taking on this foreign country seems a bit intimidating, nonetheless I was ready to take on the adventure. I prepared myself to be surprised and not expect the norm. I expect Dublin to be, well, quite “foreign.” Surprisingly, some of the features of Dublin actually remind me of New York City. Although Dublin isn’t nearly as big as New York and does not have any skyscrapers, the City Centre where DIT is located reminds me of SOHO and the village. The highest point in Dublin as advertised is at the Guinness Distillery Store House, which I visited in my second week in Dublin. There is this little area that even reminded me of Times Square, well somewhat. One particular area would be Temple bar, which is composed of tons of pubs and clubs. It is known to be the biggest tourist attraction here. It was the first place I was able to enjoy and also be able to refrain from any culture shock, which sometimes we all know can be a bit overwhelming (at least in the beginning). One of my Irish lads informed me that if I went anywhere else in Ireland, I would have had a major culture shock.
Even though there are places I grew accustomed to, there are still some adjustments needed. Especially when it comes down to time, currency and paying for shopping bags. Most places open around 10a.m. and close between 5p.m. - 6p.m. They have a late day, which is Thursday which stores close 2 hours later. The euro to the dollar is something I still can’t get used to. Everything here is more expensive than New York, especially when thinking in terms of dollars; the current exchange rate is 1 euro for every $1.33. When going shopping, it is suggested to bring your own bag; if not, one would need to pay for a shopping bag for their items. The first time I went grocery shopping, I was lucky I had my book bag. So far Dublin is “grand” (Irish terminology equivalent to Ok or Cool). Classes are “grand” as well. The people are great the weather is gloomy, but it’s great so far and it only has begun. But besides the adjusting I still need to get used to, I am truly enjoying my stay here and the new experiences.