Studying abroad in Ireland is a fantastic opportunity for all students. You get to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, experience new cultures and people, and expand your horizons!
But with so many things to do there’s no reason why you can’t have fun while studying abroad too! Here are 9 such things first time students should consider doing when they study abroad in Ireland!
1. Make friends with the bar staff
Meet the locals. And by that, we mean not just the people who work at your school or dorm, but also anyone else in your community.
Getting to know the bar staff can be a great way to make friends and learn about Ireland from locals. Plus, you’ll get introduced to new drinks and cocktails!
2. Learn to cook
Cooking is the best way to save money on food, and cooking in Ireland is one of the best things you can do there. Ireland has a long history of immigration, with many people coming from all over Europe to work in the country’s booming economy. As a result, Irish food culture is very diverse and delicious!
Learning how to cook while studying abroad will allow you to experience new flavors as well as become more independent. You’ll also be able to cook for friends and family back home once you return!
3. Spend a night in every city/town you visit
If you have never been to Ireland before, it is important that you spend a night in every city/town you visit. This will allow you to get more familiar with the area and also help break up your trip.
You don’t have to stay in the city center; there are many options for where to stay! A hostel is an affordable option for those on a budget. If cost isn’t an issue for you, then consider staying at a hotel or bed & breakfast (B&B).
4. Hike a mountain in every city
If you’re taking a trip to Ireland, you should definitely consider hiking a mountain. There are plenty of mountains in each city that are great for beginners and experienced hikers alike! But make sure you have the right gear before setting off on a hike.
5. Read a book outside
If you’re the type of person who likes to read, then this is one of the best things that you can do while studying abroad in Ireland. It’s a great way to relax, get some fresh air and learn about the local area. Reading outside is also an excellent way to meet new people.
If you are lucky enough to find a quiet spot with a bench or nice grassy patch at the side of a path where no one else is around, then this may be your best chance at an uninterrupted read!
If possible, try and find somewhere where there are trees around so that when it rains (and believe me it will!). They can provide shelter from those sudden downpours and keep you drier than if there were no trees nearby.
6. Have movie nights with friends
Movie nights are a great way to relax and enjoy your time with other students. It’s important to check the rating of the film before choosing it because some films might be too violent or sexual for you.
You can choose a short film but make sure it is not too scary or sad as this may cause stress in your mind and body which can affect your studies.
7. Eat incredible food and drink incredible alcohol!
This is a big one. If you’re going to be living in Ireland for an extended period of time, you’ll want to eat the local foods and try out some of their drinks. The Irish do an excellent job at making sure that there is something for everyone, even if you don’t like beer or whiskey!
You can find everything from beef stew to fish & chips, all the way through chocolate covered strawberries and whiskey cake. And don’t forget about Guinness—it’s delicious!
8. Go to a gig, theater show, festival or anything else!
There are so many events going on in Ireland all the time that it’s hard to know where to start. If you love music then we recommend seeing something live; there are so many local bands playing in pubs and clubs that it would be impossible to list them all here.
If theater is more your thing, then check out what’s on at the Abbey Theater and other theaters in Dublin like Smock Alley Theater Company and Peacocke Arts Center (both of which have more modern productions than Abbey).
When it comes down to it though our favorite thing about going out in Dublin is how easy it is just to wander around until something takes your fancy. There are always things happening somewhere nearby so no matter what mood you’re in there will definitely be somewhere for you!
9. Get lost. A lot!
Your first time in Ireland is going to be one of the best times of your life. There are so many things you will want to see and do, but don’t feel like you have too much on your plate. Trust me, there will be enough time for that!
One thing that I learned about being a first time traveler was that it’s okay to get lost. At least once per day, find yourself somewhere completely unfamiliar and explore around until you figure out where you are or what direction home might be.
Trust me when I say this: The best parts of traveling are found in the places no one else knows about, and some of those can only be reached by getting lost along the way (and making some new friends)!
As we mentioned, there are so many things to do in Ireland that it’s hard to keep track of them all. However, by following these tips and ideas, you will be able to make the most out of your time as a student abroad. Good luck!