The life of a college student residing in Spiddal, Ireland is highly simplified compared to that of a student studying at St. Ben’s or Saint John’s. While a student’s schedule in St. Joseph is plagued with various activities, meetings and homework study groups, a typical day in the life of an individual in Spiddal, Ireland is much more calm and relaxed. I have yet to experience a moment of a high level of stress while abroad. The Irish enjoy a simple way of life and a favorite pasttime consists of having neighbor or family member over for tea. Because of the plague years ago, they are highly focused on spending quality time with family members and daily meals are important times to gather to reminisce.
While a college student at home grabs a meal on the go and considers food an afterthought, the residents here in Cottage Six plan nightly roommate dinners and chat for hours in our lovely breakfast nook. Food is not seen as a burden but rather as a means of comfort and enjoyment. Rarely does a meal pass in which food is not shared amongst friends.
Also, taxicabs and buses are not solely a means of transportation. Our cab driver here, Rory, is always a source of entertainment and lively company. A native Irish citizen, Rory constantly provides amusing anecdotes and recommendations. Many here wish to purchase a cab ride simply to enjoy his company, and are more than willing to pay the five-euro cost.
Overall, the residents of Spiddal have been gracious, hospitable and generally pleased to see us in their town. On our numerous walks into town, we have received several honks and waves. Additionally, the owners of our lodging have gone above and beyond to create a comfortable first week here in Ireland. They truly care about the well-being and safety of my fellow abroad friends and myself.
It has been a wonderful experience thus far. I highly recommend the experience to all who wish to escape the monotonous and somewhat stressful routine of CSB/SJU, and we’re only a week in!