Ireland — Galway 2017

Kate Giitter

This semester I’m attending the National University of Ireland Galway. NUIG is paired with UMBC’s exchange program and allowed me to continuing studying English Literature while abroad.At NUIG I’m taking three literature courses to fulfill my English degree, in addition to two other lectures which complete my course load— a psychology course and an Irish Culture course. Courses here are conducted slightly differently, classes are held in large lecture halls and the grades are determined by one or two assignments near the end of the term. Among my literature courses I’m taking an American Literature course— it has been an interesting academic experience to learn about American Literature through another perspective. I have especially enjoyed my exposure to multicultural authors in the Contemporary Literature Course (I highly recommend Animal’s People by Indra Sinha to anyone in need of a good book).

NUIG welcomes a large international student population, from the States and all across Europe. I’ve had the pleasure of making friends with students from Denmark, Finland, and France. While I have not yet had the chance to travel outside of the Republic of Ireland, I have visited Cork and Dublin—I’ve made trips to kiss the Blarney Stone and visit the Trinity College Library, respectively.

Galway city is located on the Western coast of Ireland, near the Connemara, so it’s a lovely combination of mountains and ocean; on a recent trip with the Mountaineering club, I hiked Mweelrea Mountain. We’re about a two hour bus ride from the Cliffs of Moher, which is absolutely stunning on a sunny day. I really love the city itself; Salthill beach is beautiful, and I’ve become a regular at a local tea shop. Galway also has a lovely market on the weekends, which is highly attended by Galway’s canine populace.

I’m glad to have the opportunity to study in Galway. It’s a charming city, and an experience I’ll never forget!