Submitted by Global Ambassador, Brendan Bond, in Galway Ireland
The name’s Bond, Brendan Bond… now that I’ve got that joke out of the way, let me introduce myself a bit. I’m a 21-year-old rising senior at Loyola University Chicago, home of the Ramblers. I’ve lived in the Chicago area my whole life and while I’ve been fortunate enough to travel all over the United States, I have never gone overseas.
That was something I had always planned to change while I was in college. My top two choices for studying abroad were always Ireland and Australia, in that order. The best time for me to go was the summer before my senior year. So when I found a five-week program in Galway, Ireland through USAC this summer, it all came together perfectly for me to go.
The great thing about my group so far is that there are people from all over the country. West Coast, East Coast, the South and the Midwest. It’s interesting to hear from people in different parts of the country. To me, I’m getting to learn about living in Ireland, and living in other parts of the country as well.
People also talk about the Irish accent and rightfully so. I’ve been here about 48 hours and every thought I’m having in my head is in an Irish accent. But the opposite is true too…others notice my Chicago accent. The others in the group and some of the Irish people have too. I’m now known as Brendan from “Che-CA-go,” but I guess that’s true. That’s where I’m from and where I was raised and I’m proud of it. Sometimes we lose our sense of identity and it takes going away to kind of regain that sense of self.
I’m in Dublin for a few more days before the group goes across the country to Galway for five weeks. Already there have been so many interesting moments and places visited, and I’m sure there will be many more. I’ve visited the pubs, the theatre, the national cemetery, multiple museums and Trinity College and it’s only been a bit over two days. I’ve gotten to hear so many great stories already. It’s true that the Irish love to talk and tell stories. Unfortunately, that kept me up on the flight over here because the woman sitting next to me thought an overnight flight was a great time to tell stories of her youth. Not that I’m complaining too much. They were very interesting.
I’m getting ready for a Friday night out on the town of Dublin, with the first stop being dinner. This is the time where I really miss being home and the food. As the Chicago representative of the group, I feel like I should have brought over some deep-dish pizza as a way to represent me and where I’m from.
And because I’m craving it right now!
Until next time, cheers, mates!
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