Getting Settled In

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Emily Facciolo
January 25, 2024

While it’s been about 10 days since I’ve first arrived in Dublin, it feels as though I’ve already been here for months (in a good way). Going to live in an entirely new place with people I have never met before seemed jarring, but Dublin already holds a special place in my heart. It’s great having an ensuite bathroom for the first time in my life, but the bedroom itself is also very cozy. The biggest adjustment in the first few days was simply not drinking enough water (it’s harder without the ice) and buying groceries as opposed to eating out for most meals. There has been so much socialization in such a short amount of time, and not incorporating going out to eat as a way of meeting friends feels practically impossible.  

The day after we arrived, we had orientation. While it felt long, it was certainly necessary to help me get acclimated to the city and the people living in it. My apartment is on the north side of Dublin, and the IES Abroad center is on the south side, so I’ve gotten used to riding the LUAS, which is like a tram that goes up and down Dublin. This seems to be a lot more reliable than the buses I’m used to in Pittsburgh, so that has been a definite upgrade. 

Even though I spent some time trying to get my sleeping schedule back on track after not sleeping at all on my flight here, I also got to do some pretty cool things already. Some of my roommates and I did the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour throughout Dublin and sat on top of the double decker bus, which is something I have never done before. It was a super nice way to go around the city, and our bus driver was really funny and knowledgeable. One of our stops in the middle of the tour was the Little Museum of Dublin; it had so many cool artifacts and I loved interacting with some of the things in there, rather than just reading a long description of it. We also walked around Saint Stephen’s Green, which is a park in the middle of the city with beautiful greenery and an abundance of birds. There were about 4 swans that we were close enough to touch (but didn’t). 

The first trip IES Abroad organized was a quick DART ride to Howth, a coastal town right near Dublin. I had some fish and chips, which I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did because I’m not a big fan of fish, but I thankfully wanted to try it in a place where I knew it would be great. Howth had some great views of the water, and town in general. We saw a lot of people going to swim in the water despite it being a little over 30 degrees, yet most of them didn’t seem bothered by it.

As I’m writing this, I currently just finished my first week of school. I had some interesting classes that were definitely different from my business classes at Pitt, so it’s been a nice change of pace. One class that I liked much more than I thought I would was Northern Ireland Troubles, because I already learned so much after just one class. The classes that I have taken in the past have never gone such into depth of a specific country before, other than the United States, so I am eager to learn a great deal about Ireland this semester. 

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Emily Facciolo

Hi! My name is Emily and I am currently a sophomore business major at the University of Pittsburgh, but I am from Delaware County, PA. Before going to Dublin, I have been to six other countries. My biggest passions are reading and traveling. 

2024 Spring
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