Moving to Dublin this past September wasn’t only my first time moving outside of the U.S., it was also my first visit to Ireland. Although exciting, learning to navigate a new city and country is certainly challenging. Thankfully I have had the support of all my fellow scholars to help navigate it and inject fun and friendship into the experience.
Within the first weeks there was so much to figure out, but doing this together made them enjoyable. Figuring out which rain shoes to buy introduced me to my friend Elle at Trinity’s Global Room and turned into a fun shoe shopping excursion together. Scheduling immigration appointments became group hangouts while we all called to get appointments. Identifying gym hours became the foundation of our gym group chat. And, visiting the sports store convinced us to sign up for the tennis society together and prompted many impromptu tennis matches, which is easy to do since my bedroom window overlooks the courts.
Now that we’ve settled into campus life and our new home for the year, we are more comfortable navigating Dublin without the strength in numbers we relied on during earlier days. We spend just as much time together, except now our time is spent making the most of our time in our home for the year.
Swati, Aadi, and I visited the Book of Kells on Trinity’s campus and learned about the upcoming restoration. Dolapo and I scour Dublin’s culinary finds trying different restaurants from our ever growing ‘foodie finds’ list. Some of our highest reviews awarded include Xi’an Streets, Bread41, The Little Pig, and Ninja Sushi. Swati and I venture between historic libraries, museums, bookstores, and cafes in search of the location with the best ratio of workspace vibes to convenient walking. And Fares and I go on long walks along River Liffey to take in the views while reviewing Taylor Swift tracks.
As we continue to learn Ireland, we continue to prioritize time with each other and come together to share our experiences and ourselves with the Mitchell Scholar community we continue to build. Most every Wednesday, we all meet for dinner or drinks. On Wednesdays, I am fortunate to learn about public policy and biomaterials from Sam, machine learning’s ability to recognize language from Dolapo, and upcoming space events from Swati. We swap podcasts and make plans to visit Cork.
My time so far in Ireland has been wonderful, packed with culture, learning, and beauty. However, all these experiences are greatly enriched by the incredible company of our Mitchell Scholar community, which never fails to impress me with their thoughtfulness, curiosity, and bright minds. Throughout my year here, I look forward to traveling through Ireland in the company of this scholar community we continue to grow.