Conversations on Studying Abroad

Home for the Holidays - Wrapping up a Fall Semester Abroad

Dec 21, 2018 4:05:27 PM / by Jessica Kisluk

In this week's post, Jessica arrives home for the holidays and looks back on her fall semester in Dublin. While goodbyes were aplenty, she shares how she and her friends captured the essence of the city that they've called home for the last few months by doing their favorite activities and traversing their usual spaces one last time.

The last week consisted of many goodbyes. I completed all my exams by Tuesday and on Thursday, and we had one last Christmas dinner with our CAPA program and the advisors at a restaurant right around the corner from Griffith College’s campus. I said one last thank you to the whole group, our advisors, and wished everyone good luck in their futures. It was crazy that these past few months flew by.

Friday was my last day at my internship and I said goodbye to my supervisor. Afterwards, a few of my friends went out for dinner for the last time at Nando’s. If you don’t know, Nando’s is famous for its Portuguese-style chicken dishes with loads of sauces to choose from. It became a thing for us to go out to Nando’s together a lot, so we had to do it for our last night together in Dublin.

Program advisors Susanne, Darren, and Hayley.Dublin will hold a special place in my heart.
Here I am with CAPA Dublin program staff Susanne, Darren, and Hayley.

A few of us even bought some of our favorite sauces to bring home. There are a few in the U.S. but only in cities like Chicago and Washington D.C. We took a walk for the last time around Temple Bar, down Henry Street, and finally made our way home by walking down Camden Street for the last of the many times we had walked down it these past months.

Bought my Nando sauce to bring some comfort food from abroad home with me!Bought my Nando sauce to bring some comfort food from abroad home with me!

We finished packing that night. Vacuum bags saved my life when it came to trying to fit everything in my checked bag. Regarding my type 1 diabetes, my supplies lasted the whole semester and I still had many leftover. It came convenient for packing that I did use most of my supplies, however, because all the extra stuff I bought in Dublin took up that space in my carry-on bag.

A few of my friends and I got our last coffee together in the morning. We were unable to stay at the campus until after 12 that Saturday, but some of them got an Airbnb and stayed a few extra days to say goodbye to Dublin.

As I said goodbye to my last flatmate as I rushed onto the bus, I took one last look at Camden Street, and O’Connell Street, and made my way to the airport. As the plane took off, it hit me that I was not just taking another weekend trip and coming back to Dublin in a few days, I was going home to New York.

Dublin One's Christmas tree.Dublin One's Christmas tree.

I landed in Toronto because it is cheaper to fly from there than from Buffalo. Two hours later I finally made it to Buffalo. It was nice finally stepping into my house for the first time in months. I slowly started meeting up with friends I have not seen in awhile. They laughed at me when I would casually use phrases like ‘thanks a mil’ or ‘grand’ in a conversation, but it was what I was used to saying in Ireland. I did get sick after my flight, so I suggest making sure you take Vitamin C tabs a few days before and after the flight. Besides that, now that I am home, I am kicking into full Christmas mode and helping my family make pierogi, bake cookies, and wrap presents. It is so nice to be back with them right in time for the holidays.

One of my first foods I ate when I got back was chicken wings.One of my first foods I ate when I got back was chicken wings.

Dublin will hold a special place in my heart and don’t think I can go long without visiting again. The only thing I really missed was my Buffalo food—especially chicken wings, but the few months without chicken wings from Buffalo were definitely worth the time I had spent in Ireland. I already miss the people and the hustle and bustle of Dublin.

Thanks for keeping up with me this semester—I hope you’ve learned a lot about the culture and the many things to do in Dublin and around Ireland!

Thanks, Jessica!

Jessica Kisluk

Jessica Kisluk is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Broadcasting and Mass Communication major at  SUNY Oswego, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

See more of Jessica's journey in Dublin.

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Topics: Dublin, Ireland, Local Culture