Jenny Chang - “Ireland - My Serendipity”


Jenny Chang

An overly sensitive Taiwanese girl, aged 22. Like dogs, food, poems, and traveling.

Two years ago, my pet dog passed away. She was my friend, and coming home to her furry embrace and wagging tail always gave me indescribable joy each day for the past twelve years. Without her company, I grew very sad and lonely, so I tried to pull myself together by taking different part-time jobs while studying. However, the  busier I got, the more loneliness I felt. Gradually, I didn’t feel at home anymore in my college, my neighborhood or even in my own home. That’s when the idea of studying abroad came into my mind, and Ireland seemed to be the best choice for me because I honestly knew so little about it that I was curious enough to have any kind of adventure on the one and only green island. 

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Arran Islands in September

New vibes

One thing I’ve noticed when I’ve lived in Ireland for a few weeks was that people, even strangers, smiled at each other whenever they made eye contact. This was a big change for me: coming from a culture background where people are more reserved to strangers, looking at people in the eyes and exchange smiles are quite rare. Let alone that, “how are you?” was the most common way to initiate conversations, and I absolutely adored the fact that Irish people greeted each other with a question and just let the conversation easily flow. Ireland, or say especially in the small town Maynooth where I had my one-year exchange program, really gave me the feeling of home with these cute traits that naturally gave people a closer tie, and thanks to that, I rarely felt homesick.

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Beautiful Maynooth