Arriving in Northern Ireland

This is the post excerpt.


Two days ago, I arrived in Coleraine, Northern Ireland where I will be spending this semester studying abroad.

On Tuesday evening, I flew out of Springfield, Missouri to Dallas, Texas for a long, overnight flight to London. Keep in mind that this was my first time flying alone so the whole trip was sort of nerve wracking-I was constantly thinking “Am I going the right way?” or “What if something goes wrong what do I do?”

After being told in the United States that I would go through customs in the Belfast Airport, I quickly found out that I would have to go through customs and security in London. I had to quickly organize all my visa information, passport, and all other important documents to give to a guard where then I was only stamped to be permitted to stay in the United Kingdom for ONE MONTH (something wrong happened here and is being fixed).

While waiting in line to go through security, I happened to run into a girl from Oklahoma. After talking to her, I figured out we would be rooming together on campus.

After the both of us flew on our final plane from London to Belfast and took an hour bus ride from the airport, we were finally at what we now call home until the end of January. Along with the girl I met from Oklahoma, I am living with 4 other girls from the Midwest (Colorado and Missouri).


These past two days have been a giant whirlwind of orientation, jet lag, and trying to get settled it. Being six hours ahead of home is kicking my butt right now; I’m wide awake at 3 am (because it’s 9 pm in Missouri) and I’m tired at 10 am (4 am in Missouri). These past two days have been jammed pack of international student orientations from morning to late afternoon. Some of the activities that we have done are been on a school tour, gone shopping, picked out our classes, listen to speakers talk about the school, go to IT to set up wifi and passwords, and etc.

Luckily this morning, amongst all the chaos that’s going trying to get settled in, my housemates and I were able to walk to the town centre and enjoy the town that will be staying in until the end of January. We went to a small museum (within the picture below) that gave us some of the histories of the area, walked around and enjoyed the shops, grabbed some lunch, and figured out how to use public transportation.



I know this isn’t much, but stay tuned and I promise I will write more! It’s 12 am here right now and I’m trying to get accustomed to the time difference.




Happy 10-day-adversary

I have been living in Northern Ireland for 10 days now and in many ways in feels like I have lived here for months, if not years. The days have been long and full of adventure, and I have seen and done so many things in such a short amount of time. There are nights where I miss my own bed and pillow (which is partly because the bedding arrangement in my accommodation isn’t as comfortable as the one at home). I get on social media during the morning and see all of my friends from back home have done during the previous day. Every day I text my family members to let them know what I did or what I saw that day so they can see it too. However, none of these things make me homesick or anything of that sort, but rather remind me of how lucky I am to be 4,000 miles (or 6437.4 km) away from and to have the experience to live in a foreign country and to do things that I normally wouldn’t be able to do and see.

Within the past 10 days:

  • I tried Guinness (sorry mom and dad).
  • I have used public transportation (even though I’m still trying to get the hang of this one)
  • I walked along the Causeway Coast
  • I saw Dunluce Castle
  • I went to Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne, Castlerock
  • I went to the Beach
  • Went to (London) Derry to experience Culture Night
  • Learned how to walk to the town centre and back to get groceries
  • Learned how to do the mental math to (roughly) convert pounds to kilograms, Fahrenheit to Celsius, and miles to kilometers

Furthermore, within the past week and a half, I have experience and see things that are so different than that of the United States and the only word I can use to describe living here is the word “different.” The food isn’t as salty and is less sweet. I have yet to see a truck here, and most if not all of the cars are sedans. Instead of stop lights, roundabouts are often, if not most of the time used. Milk and eggs aren’t refrigerated and the fruit is less abundant. There’s a bar located in the Student Union and designated smoking areas for students to smoke. Public transportation is the norm and is a part of everyone’s everyday lifestyle.  Besides the word “different” I suppose I can call this culture shock because I haven’t seen stuff like this before.

Besides everything, I just feel so blessed to be here in this beautiful country and experience this because living in the United States I wouldn’t have the opportunity