High School - Ireland, High School Abroad

Last Day as an Exchange Student in Ireland; Top 10 Things I Will Miss

by Emily Syverud, CCI Greenheart Travel High School Student in Ireland

It is officially my last night, which means I have officially finished my last day as a study abroad student in Ireland. Please excuse me while I go have a brief panic attack. It seems like just yesterday I was arriving at Shannon and agreeing to go in a car with a strange man (Terry did know my name after all.) I think I can safely say these have been the 5 most amazing months of my life. I’ve made awesome friends, had great craic and I will have so many memories that will last forever. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process as well.

In a lot of ways going back is going to be harder than leaving. When I left the US I knew for sure that I would be returning on 12th June 2012. But, when I board the plane at Shannon, I won’t know when exactly I will be coming back. I can plan all I want, but nobody has any idea where we will be in a year. All I can hope is that one day I will get to come back and visit all the amazing people who I have to leave behind.

To commemorate these last months I have come up with a list:

Top Ten Things I Love/Will Miss

1. My host family – they have made me laugh, we’ve had philosophical conversations, I’ve played with some of the cutest kids ever, and I will miss them all dearly. I couldn’t have asked for a better family.

2. My friends – After we all got over our initial shyness I have made some really amazing friends. We crammed for tests together, cracked up during lunch and spent many weekends in Killarney. I wish them the best of luck next year, I’ll have to come visit after their Leaving Cert.

3. My tiny town – I love living in small town where everyone will smile at you, your chemist recognizes you and there is a friendly atmosphere. I think I may find the city a little overwhelming after my cozy, quiet town.

View Emily’s slideshow of her walk to school.

4. The mountains – I know it sounds odd, but I will miss the sight of green hills ad towering mountains that are always in the distance no matter where you look. There’s something comforting about it.

5. My school – When I first heard I was attending an all girls catholic school I just had to laugh. But, I will definitely miss the close-knit 5th year where everyone knew everyone and we all helped each other out. Not having any stairs to climb was a big bonus too.

6. The food – Oh gosh, where to start. Bacon and cabbage, honeycomb ice cream, soda bread with tons of butter, cadbury chocolate. I may go through Irish food withdrawal.

7. Tea – So much to say about tea. The fact that we had an electric kettle (just like everyone does) that heated water super quickly for my 5 cups or so a day. Nothing can compare to a cup of tea and a biscuit for relaxation in just a few minutes.

8. The accent – After five months I’ve finally puzzled out some of the various accents in Ireland. (A clue to all other clueless foreigners, pretty much every county has a different accent.) Things just sound nicer overall when they’re said in an Irish accent.

9. The peat fires – It is what I looked forward to every night, a blazing fire that took the chill out of my bones and helped put me to sleep for the night.

10. Life here – The thing I will mist the most is the thing that combines everything I mentioned above. The friendly people, the hilarious slang, the cozy atmosphere. Life moved just a little bit slower and it was just a little bit easier, I can hardly look forward to leaving that behind.

About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


3 thoughts on “Last Day as an Exchange Student in Ireland; Top 10 Things I Will Miss

  1. How did you fund the trip??

    Posted by Carlee | August 11, 2013, 1:36 pm
  2. Did you end up picking up an Irish accent because that is my dream.

    Posted by Danielle | January 14, 2013, 9:39 pm
  3. What an experience. You’ve done something most people never get a chance to do. Many of us wish we had.

    Posted by Daniel | June 25, 2012, 4:24 pm

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