A Calm Week In Cork

I hope everyone is having a good week, and isn’t too swamped by studying and exams! This week has been a pause in all the craziness for once, and I’m soaking in my last week in Cork. Here are a few reflections from the past week:

UCC Christmas Decorations

On the main campus of UCC there is one main quadrangle, which I have appropriately come to call “the pretty building”. It is my favorite place on campus and is frequently decorated with different colored lights for special occasions. The building is decorated with greens, reds, and blues for Christmas, paired with a beautiful Christmas tree right out front. This provides the perfect ambiance when leaving the library after a late study session.

Cork Grand Parade

In Cork City, they have a ton of pretty decorations up, paired with a whole Ferris wheel! I have yet to try it yet, but it’s definitely on my Cork bucket list. The Ferris wheel seems to be special for the holidays, having been put up in late November. When I walk by I’ve heard kids singing Christmas songs on the Ferris wheel and having the time of their lives, as well as other people getting together and celebrating the holiday season.

HC Family Dinner at Cafe Mexicana
Shrimp Tacos at Cafe Mexicana (amazing by the way)

Last night the group of kids from Holy Cross in Cork all got together for one last dinner together before we all say our goodbyes and head home in the next few days. This was a wonderful time to get to see everyone again in one place, reflect on our semester abroad, and eat amazing food. The restaurant was recommended by our HC coordinator Aoife, who was incredibly helpful the whole semester organizing events for us to experience more local Cork culture. The food at Cafe Mexicana was amazing, the staff was incredibly kind, and I would highly recommend this place, especially as Mexican food is hard to come by in Ireland!

A Travel Filled Week!

Hello everybody! I hope you all had an amazing week, I know I did!

At the end of last week to kick off the beginning of December, I had to complete a class test for my Viking World in Ireland class. Considering there are not a lot of examinations for the classes, there was a lot of material to study and prepare for the test, but it’s not too bad considering the course materials you have to choose from are incredibly interesting.

After the test was done I got to have the ultimate “work hard play hard moment” filling my week with travel and adventures to finish off my study abroad experience and having so many cultures and countries within arm’s reach.

A friend and I traveled to France, where we spent two days touring the Christmas markets of beautiful Strasbourg and striding along the Champs Elysees in Paris. I had never been to France before, and taking a break from seeing all these amazing sites at a cute little cafe with a hot chocolate was the perfect way to release stress from my test, and prepare for the exam season ahead of me.

Christmas Markets outside the Cathedral Notre Dame in Strasbourg
Strasbourg Christmas Tree
Me and my friend Lauren outside the Eiffel Tower
The Louvre
The Arc De Triomphe

Directly after this trip, I spent two days by myself in Copenhagen, Denmark, exploring all the beautiful castles and palaces. I even took the train to Malmo, Sweden, which is only a short 40-minute ride away. If you choose to study abroad, I would highly encourage you to take some time to go on trips by yourself if you are able, because I’ve found I learn a lot about myself and do a lot of introspection, as well as discover my strengths and weaknesses in a completely foreign scenario.

Me and the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen (a core memory for me!)
Danish Hotdogs (my strongest recommendation ever)
Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen

Now, back in my abroad city of Cork, I am finishing up some final assignments and preparing for my exams in the coming week. After taking a few days to relax and explore new places, I feel ready to lock back into my studies and finish the semester strong!