Shannon Holm - “Seeing More of Ireland”


Shannon Holm

I am from Harare, Zimbabwe. After finishing high school in Harare, I moved to Maynooth. I am an international student doing my full undergraduate degree at Maynooth University. I have been studying English and Philosophy here for two years, and have one year left before I graduate. 

After January exams, I had some time before starting classes again and I decided to use the opportunity to see more of Ireland. To get to Galway, I journeyed almost directly across the country from east to west by bus. I was interested in Galway because the National University of Ireland Galway was my second-choice university, after Maynooth of course. After seeing the city, I think I could have been happy there, but my course in Maynooth has suited me extremely well. I’m happy in the town and its proximity to Dublin, and I love that it is a student town.

I arrived in the city of Galway in time for a delicious lunch and spent the afternoon exploring the city. This trip was my very first time travelling alone, and I loved being able to spend my time doing everything that I wanted to do. The highlights for me (an English Literature student) were the Oscar Wilde statue and a cosy little bookshop overflowing with second-hand books.


Being from a landlocked country, I am always fascinated by the ocean and I was looking forward to seeing the sea in Galway. Before coming to Ireland, I had only visited warm beaches in South Africa and did not know what to expect from a beach on a cold winter. The wind and grey waves and ocean smell were exhilarating. I was not tempted to go for a swim, but it was a great view and luckily it didn’t rain and I could ramble about enjoying the atmosphere.