Katerina Russo is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2016, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A communications and political science major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.
In this week's post, Katerina takes us along on a trip to Belfast, an excursion part of CAPA's My Global Education calendar of events.
When studying abroad with CAPA, you have the opportunity to participate in amazing “My Global Education” events that are put on a few times throughout the semester. This week we made our way to Belfast for the day where we had the opportunity to really experience the city and so much of its history.
We started off by walking throughout parts of the inner city to see murals painted onto the sides of many ordinary everyday buildings. We saw ones from both the loyalist and nationalist sides of the conflict so were presented with both perspectives of the events that had taken place.
The peace wall located further into the city was also impressive, as you were able to see that people from all over the world had left their mark on it and the kind of creativity that had been expressed here.
Being able to walk around with fellow CAPA students and share our own perceptions of what we were seeing really added to the experience even more. With only a few weeks left to the semester now, it was really a nice opportunity for all of us to come together and do something fun for the day!
Next we stopped near the city hall for lunch where there was an adorable little Christmas market right near by. There were so many different kinds of foods and everything smelled delicious. I was more than happy to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and a raspberry tart. There were also plenty of other little stalls around selling everything from jewelry, to candles, to soap, to lanterns.
The last stop on our day trip was to the Titanic museum, which I had been wanting to get to all semester, so I was more than happy to find that this would be one of our My Global Education events. It is a fairly newly built museum so there were plenty of interactive aspects to it. With such a large group of students going through together, it made the tour even more enjoyable. There was even a part of it that reminded me of going on a ride at Disney world, as you would get into a little cart with your group and move through, learning about and seeing in action the many different kinds of work and tasks that went into building the titanic and hearing stories from many of the employees. We got the chance to see so many different aspects of all the events involving the titanic, both leading up to its maiden voyage, onto its tragic sinking and the events that followed after that.
I had the chance to learn so much more about the titanic than I had known originally and was really pleased that I had to decided to participate in this CAPA event. It was certainly not a trip I would have really thought about going on on my own so I’m fortunate that CAPA gave myself and the other Dublin students the chance to learn about more of Ireland's history and experience some of it firsthand in Belfast.
Katerina's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned.