Aug 31, 2012

Finally on the outside looking in

Yesterday, I attended the international students’ orientation.  This was just the kind of official, structured welcome that I’ve been waiting for over the past few days.  After the expected exhortations to live each day of this short experience to the fullest, to interact with the Irish students, and to get involved in campus events, I heard a series of presenters speak all morning on topics like registration, “societies” (clubs), and volunteering.  At this point, I was vividly reminded of how it felt to be a first-year at Union (especially during that first month).
I'll always be partial to Union, of course...but this place isn't too shabby-looking, either.
Despite the crazy amount of introductory information being thrown at me, though, I was relieved to finally hear a sort of overview of what life here is supposed to look like.

Aug 29, 2012

Finding my bearings

As promised, here are some photos of the apartment, now that we’re all settled in…
This is a better shot of the outside than the one I got yesterday.
A little foyer...
We moved the dining table so that it sits beside these windows...and now, natural light spills through and floods the apartment all day long.  It's a welcoming space for quiet time, especially in the morning when the birds are just waking.

Getting to Galway (Part II)

Hi, friends!  I’m writing to you from the beautiful two-bedroom apartment I’m sharing with my housemate Teresa.  I’ll include pictures soon…that is, as soon as we’re done shifting furniture, unpacking, and generally settling in.  It’s no palace, but it is ours – which is what counts.

Aug 28, 2012

Mailing address

A quick addendum, friends: I just found out that Teresa (my housemate) and I can get mail delivered straight to our door here.  I love mail - please send me mail!  Here's the address:

127 Gort na Coiribe
Headford Road
Galway, Ireland

Aug 27, 2012

Getting to Galway (Part I)

Me: Are you sure you can't come with me?
Sanjana: *fixing her hair and pretending she's not going to miss me*
There's really nothing like having a little sister.
Classy, as usual.
Greetings…from somewhere over the north Atlantic!  The first leg of this trip has just begun – it’s about seven hours from JFK to London, a two-hour layover, and then ninety minutes from there to Shannon.  (From Shannon, I believe that the bus ride to Galway is about two hours.)

Aug 14, 2012

This road that we travel

Today, my mother took my sister and brother to Dorney Park, a water park near Philadelphia.  It’s great fun – I’ve been there a few times myself, and highly recommend it if you’re up for a road trip.  Speaking of road trips, I was thinking today about the weekend trips that my group will be taking while we’re in Ireland.  These excursions, which are organized by NUIG and linked to the Irish Culture and Society course, will give me a chance to see much of the country.  Here’s the tentative schedule:

Aug 27
Arrive in Shannon and travel to campus
Sept 3
Classes begin
Sept 9
Full-day trip to the Aran Islands
Sept 21-23
Weekend visit to Dublin
Oct 5-7
Weekend visit to Kerry
Oct 19-21
Weekend visit to Cork
Nov 2-4
Trip throughout northern Ireland

I can’t wait to see these places and take lots of pictures…

Aug 11, 2012

Please don't stop the music!

(That's right, friends...I did just make a Rihanna reference.  What can I say?  The woman's got style!)

Riddle me this: one class, seven books.[1]  How does that make sense?  I guess this is a taste of what it’s like to be an English major.  Being a Biology major, I’m used to buying three or four textbooks for an entire term – and sometimes, I can use one book for two different classes!  Crazy, I know.  Oh...I should also mention that as a Biology major, I'm also used to teasing English majors :)

Aug 7, 2012

Down to the wire...

Hello, friends!

Here’s my story in a nutshell: my name’s Sonika, and I’m a senior at Union College (Schenectady, NY) studying Biology and Music in the Leadership in Medicine (LIM) program.  This fall, I’m going to be studying abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway.  This joint-degree “straight med” program is the main reason I’m going abroad at all…but more on that later.  First, a few tidbits about me: