Hey! I'm Alexis Funaki and I am stoked to be able to blog about my study abroad experience at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland this fall semester. I currently go to Occidental College, a small private school in Los Angeles, but I am originally from San Diego, California (I actually had to buy a REAL rain jacket for the first time in my life to prepare for Ireland!). I am a psychology major and comparative literature and culture minor, and I also play on my school’s softball team. I have never travelled before, so this is going to be an incredible new experience for me. I hope you follow along these next few months as I document my Dublin adventures, but before I head on out, these are the things I am most excited for this semester abroad!
Exploring Nature I love spending the day getting outside and being surrounded by nature. Most of the natural surroundings I’m used to consist of palm trees and sandy beaches, so I am excited to see some rolling green hills and climb some mountains! There are so many beautiful places to explore in and around Dublin that I cannot wait to start checking them all off my must-see list. My sneakers are usually good enough to hold me over on my San Diego hikes, but I may need to invest in some hiking boots for Ireland…
Castles Who wouldn’t be excited to see real life castles?! I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to all the fun stuff I want to explore in Ireland, and at least half of them are castle related.
Cricket Softball is a huge part of my life, from playing in college to coaching in the summers, but I know that softball and baseball are not huge in Ireland. However, I know that cricket is! I have already watched a few YouTube videos trying to figure it out, but I may be better off trying to learn from the locals. Trinity has their own cricket team, so I am super excited to learn more about the sport, go watch some games, and maybe even dabble in it a bit myself!
My Classes I am genuinely excited for the classes I will be taking at Trinity! One reason I chose to study abroad in Dublin was the amazing classes that Trinity offers in psychology—classes like Psychology of Criminal Behavior and Social Neuroscience. Because these classes are very different from the ones offered at my home school, Trinity was a great fit for me. Although I won’t be registering for them until I get on campus (so I don’t know exactly which ones I will be taking yet), there are so many amazing choices that I know I will be happy with whatever I end up taking!
Sweater Weather I love sweaters. I wish I could wear them all the time. Oh, would you look at that, I am going to be in Ireland for three months where it is going to be a nice and cool 40-60 degrees. PERFECT!
To Be Independent A huge part of studying abroad is stepping outside of your comfort zone. That can take a variety of forms, from being fully immersed into another language to living with a family that is not your own. For me, I am going to be the furthest away from my family that I have ever been. Living in San Diego and going to school in Los Angeles meant that I always had a safety net—my family was never really that far away. Now that I am going to be 5,200 miles (wait, do I have to start using the metric system?), I will truly be on my own. While it can be scary, I am excited for this new challenge.
A New Culture When choosing a place to study aboard, I wanted somewhere with a rich history that I would enjoy studying. After doing some preliminary research on my own, I knew Ireland would be a great fit! I am so excited to learn more about Irish history and culture. Some of this will come from my classes, but studying along side Irish students and exploring the city myself will give me an irreplaceable learning experience that only studying abroad can do.
As you can see, I have a lot planned for this semester. I’ll be here, posting my photos and writing about the ups, the downs, the exciting, the challenging, and no doubt the fun I will be having during this new experience of mine. Until the day comes that I hop on the plane at LAX, you can find me on the beach taking in the last bit of sun I’ll get for a while, listening to Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl on repeat.
‘Till next time