Where to study Ireland March Madness

March Madness

Jessica Tomlinson
Jessica Tomlinson
My name is Jessica Tomlinson. I am studying abroad in Ireland during my second year from the University of Alberta. I am studying Elementary Education and plan on becoming a teacher one day. I love trying new experiences and meeting new people!

The month went along with the beginning of assignment due dates. This is when I started to feel I was actually in school now.

Writing an essay is pretty much the exact same as back home with having the proper format and referencing for your essay and having all the proper content. So this made it seem a lot more structured and similar to home.

Balancing school work and travelling was a bit difficult at first. I would spend a lot of time planning things to do and then actually doing them and my homework would fall to the side. This ended up with a lot of late night cramming!

So this involved very conscious thinking of actually planning and getting my work done before I would go anywhere. Especially since my weekends were not always free, this meant I had to get stuff done during the week.

March was lucky enough to have both St. Patrick’s Day and Easter in it. This resulted in getting a two-week break.

Green for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin

St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin was the epitome of insane! There were so many people everywhere you went. You couldn’t avoid the crowd.

I was prepared and planned to get to Dublin early so that I at least had somewhere to stand and view the parade. Even though I was there two hours early I still didn’t get there first. But the wait was definitely worth it.

The parade was so unique and fun to watch. Of course, after that was all finished finding anywhere to go that wasn’t busy was not an option but that was part of the fun! All the pubs were packed with people and that was honestly the best way to spend the day. Talking to the Irish and singing along the best I could!

Scnenery of Ireland - Jessica Tomlinson - Maynooth University International Student
The scenery of Ireland

Irish countryside road trip

Throughout this break, I was able to see so much of Ireland. My parents came to visit and they rented a car which made it easier (in some ways).

We got to go to places at our own pace and see things off the beaten track. It was great to see the country from the front seat of a car. It also had its challenges as we were being guided by a map! (Yes an actual paper map that doesn’t have a voice telling you when you took the wrong turn) This was part of the fun.

We got lost a couple of times but were able to get back on the main road and on to our destination without too much time loss.

Sheep on side of road - Jessica Tomlinson - Maynooth University International Student
Sheep on the side of the road

Taking my parents around I was able to go back and show them some of my favourite places such as Galway and Donegal and explore new places such as the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry. All in all, I think they may love Ireland as much as I do.

Atlantic Coast - Jessica Tomlinson - Maynooth University International Student
The Atlantic Coast

Exploring Ruins - Jessica Tomlinson - Maynooth University International Student
Exploring the Ruins

Easter Rising Parade in Dublin

Through the University at Maynooth, I took an Irish history course and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made.

I learned a lot about the history of Ireland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and through this, I learned about the 1916 Easter Rising. This became very important to me because Ireland was celebrating the hundredth anniversary of this event. Since most of the events that occurred during the rising happened in Dublin, this is where most of the celebrations were occurring.

Every Easter Sunday a parade is held in Dublin and this year’s parade was commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising. Having learned the history behind this event it was amazing to see how proud everyone in Ireland is about their country. So much work had been done to prepare for the celebrations around Easter.

Waiting for the Easter Rising Parade

Being in Dublin for this event was a must.

They had screens set up around the city to project different events that were going on around the city before the parade as well as to showcase the parade. It was incredible to be there and feel the energy from everyone there.

Everyone was so excited and proud to be Irish. I almost felt as if I was intruding on a very special Irish moment, especially since I’m not Irish.

Being at this parade is one of my favourite things from studying abroad. I am so lucky that I got to be in Ireland for such a special event and learn all about it in school as well.

Easter Rising Parade in Dublin

March was full of fun adventures and new experiences (even some school work!) but as my time in Ireland diminishes my school work increases!