Hello! My name is Jessica Fleming, and I am going to be spending the summer interning at Ariel House through a program called Cultural Experiences Abroad, or CEA for short. I am currently a senior year student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the USA where I am a General Management and Human Resources Management double major. I am really interested in working in the hospitality and tourism industry, and this summer is an amazing opportunity to learn more about doing just that. While I’m here, I’ll also be attending morning classes at the CEA campus to learn about popular culture in Ireland. The class is going to be looking at cultural and historic aspects of different neighbourhoods in Dublin and is hopefully going to give a lot of insight into Irish culture!
So far I have been in Dublin for just two weeks, and I can already say I love it here. Coming from Philadelphia, I find Dublin to be a relatively quiet city with lots of green spaces and some wonderful opportunities to get out on walks. I had heard that Dublin was quite a rainy city before I came here, but so far I’ve been very lucky and caught lots of sunshine. My first few weeks here have been very busy! My first week was full of orientation sessions and getting adjusted to being in Ireland, and the second week was spent exploring Dublin and the Dublin Bay.
I started out my week in Dublin with a walking tour run by Pat Liddy. The walking tour went around all the main points of interest in the city centre, with an in-depth history and background of everything we saw. Next I climbed aboard Do Dublin’s hop on hop off bus tour for a more all-round view of the city. The live guide on the bus was excellent, and had plenty of local stories to share! While on the bus I stopped off at the famous Kilmainham Gaol and the renowned Guinness Storehouse. I spent the next few days riding the Dublin DART up and down the coast. First I went north and enjoyed a day by the seaside in Howth and Malahide. Then I headed south of Dublin to finish the day wandering through some of the Dublin Bay’s sweet little villages. Finally, I ended my week by joining Wild Wicklow Tours for a trip to the Wicklow Mountains National Park and Glendalough Valley.
It’s been a busy, but wonderful week so far! I’ll be posting more about all the different adventures I take in the future, so be sure to look for coming blog posts. Next week I’ll be posting about some great ways to spend a day in Dublin city and sharing some of my favorite sites, with more in depth details about some of the places I saw on my day in the city.
I’ll be at Ariel House this summer to answer questions and help you plan your tours, so if you need any advice or just want to chat, be sure to stop by!