JWU Student Blogs

The Emerald Isle: A Weekend in Cork & a Blarney Stone Kiss

2/5/16 Samantha Riley’s travel abroad journey in Ireland lands her in Cork and Blarney Castle. Along the way, she pops into a proper English market, smooches with the Blarney Stone and thinks about her studies.

The rose-tinted glasses are still slightly perched on my nose, but even without the perfect view through them, Ireland still remains just as magical.

The Latest Course Offerings

The_group_of_us_during_our_excursion_to_the_Blarney_Castle._Credit_Samantha_Riley

Event Management has assigned a final project that consists of creating, organizing and managing a live event for charity. Fear not, to the drawing board it is to brainstorm possible ideas.

Irish Folklore began discussing the factors that caused the death of tradition in Ireland in the 18th century and the country’s reaction to progress. Even to this day, Ireland, like many other countries, struggles to be part of the modern world while also endeavoring to hold onto its past.

Irish Studies for International Students started covering subjects such as Irish language, music and film. Learning about these topics has not only been personally intriguing but proven vital in gathering a fuller understanding of the Irish culture.

The newest addition, Reading Irish Literature, has quickly made its mark. Instantly earning my seal of approval, the entire first class was spent discussing the present day status of bookstores, and planning a tour of the local bookstores in Galway. The focus for the class is to examine the literary works of Irish writers and as person whose love of books runs deep in her veins, the class is a dream come true.

A Weekend Trek to Cork and Blarney Castle

Just when I had finally settled in and become comfortable with my surroundings, I uprooted myself once again. With a desire to venture out of Galway and explore more of what Ireland has to offer, it was a unanimous group decision to visit Cork. We arrived there late Friday afternoon and settled into the hostel, anticipating the promise of all that Cork had to offer.

 Blarney Castle shrouded fog. Credit: Samantha Riley

Saturday was greeted with a cup of tea and in an instant, we were off. This time it was to Blarney, home of the famous Blarney Castle. We leisurely toured the castle and the grounds where we learned about the remarkable history of it all. As well, I, of course, couldn’t leave with kissing the Blarney Stone. The next stop was back to the city center which contained the English Market full of everything from exotic fruits to homemade pastries and unique boutiques. Then, using the last of our internal fuel resources, we headed over to the gorgeous University College Cork and Fitzgerald Park.

The_English_Market._Credit_Samantha_Riley

 

Sunday, some of us opted to visit the beautiful churches of Cork like St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, before meeting up with everyone else at the Cork Butter Museum. Finally, as difficult as it was, we bid adieu to Cork. The silence heard on the bus ride back signified another successful and memorable weekend abroad, with many more ahead.

Topics: Study Abroad