SOCs

Hello there!
This morning I realised that my first month in Dublin has flown by. I really cannot believe that it all goes by so fast. Dublin almost already feels like home. The church bell that plays the same melody as a Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’ song doesn’t wake me up anymore and I’ve already had to fix my first flat tire. I realised that I have already done and seen so much in Dublin. It is hard to describe my everyday life, but I’ll give you a little overview of the highlights.

The second week of the academic year is known as ‘Freshers week’ over here. During this week all societies, or just ‘SOCs’, are promoting themselves to gain new members. There are plenty of societies that can be joined for just a few Euros. Literally every hobby or sport can be done. The student societies are not similar to the ones we know in the Netherlands, so fortunately you don’t have to undergo tough hazing to become a member. It’s a very easy way to meet a lot of new people and to do something besides studying. Since nothing is obligatory and it’s up to you how much time you’ll spend on each society, I decided to sign up for everything that seemed to be fun. Coming months I’ll spend my spare time on swimming, canoeing, sailing, dancing, baking and other ESN activities. Next weekend ESN organises for example a trip to the Cliffs of Moher with up to 100 Erasmus students.

Last month the weather has been extremely good for Ireland. Unfortunately everybody is constantly telling us that they have never had this before and that it’ll change soon. Up to now we have been very lucky, so the sunny Instagram filters were not yet needed to make Dublin look even better. However, one day soon the weather will get worse, therefore we try to spend most of our spare time outdoor now.

About two weeks ago I went to Howth together with five other Erasmus students. Howth is a little village on the east coast of Ireland which is known for its cliffs. It took us about 20 minutes by train to travel from Dublin to Howth. There were several walking routes that brought us to the top of the hill, from which we enjoyed a beautiful panorama view. In my opinion the perfect trip for spending Sundays.

Trinity College is the oldest university of Ireland and because of ‘The Book of Kells’ it is very popular among tourists. Of course I had to visit this university as well. A few days before, we had met another Dutch student who is studying at Trinity, so he guided us around the university. Besides the touristic attractions he also showed us the places where we can find the local students. Especially the ‘Pavilion’, or in short ‘Pav’, is one of these places. The Pav is the university bar and is located close to a big playing field. When the weather is good, almost every student will have some drinks over there while laying on the grass.

In Ireland all museums are for free, thus besides the ‘always-partying-Erasmus-student’ I’ve already done quite a lot of cultural activities. On the culture night we went to the little museum, the fashion academy, a photo gallery and listened to the national orchestra. The national museum, science museum of Trinity College, Killmainham goal (old jail) and the modern art museum couldn’t also escape from my to-do-list.  

Since my housemate is German, of course we also had to visit the Oktoberfest. Together with a few Canadian, Italian, Dutch and Irish students we went German-style: Bratwurst & mugs of beer; what a great night!

As you probably have noticed I’m having a great time in Dublin. I’ve already planned a lot of activities for the coming months and I’m really looking forward to see my friends and family that come over!                  Life is good.