Lakers arrive in Erie’s sister city


Katy Vaccariello, Staff writer

As many know, Mercyhurst University strives to always provide its students with the opportunity to travel abroad. One particular trip the school annually provides is to Dungarvan, Ireland.
This study abroad is especially important because it shares a connection with the school’s history, linking Erie to its sister city of Dungarvan, Waterford in Ireland.

The opportunity is available after completing mini three semester classes and traveling abroad during the fourth mini of the spring semester.

This study abroad program provides incredible exploratory experiences balanced with regular studies. When the group is out exploring, they all follow a similar schedule, but when classes are involved, there is freedom for customization, with classes organized based on the student’s individual major.

Rose Kelly, a sophomore Dance major, is taking a ballet class and a choreography class in Ireland. Paul Cohen, a senior History major, is exploring Ireland’s cultural past.

The student shared that the first few days in Ireland were full of Dublin excursions. Some landmarks visited included Dublin Castle and the General Post Office. They additionally toured Trinity College and walked through several museums such as the Irish National Museum and the Viking Museum Dublinia. While visiting sites, the students embraced the gorgeous landscapes and scenery.

This scenery stuck out prominently to one student in particular. Quinn Cooley, a junior Applied Psychology major, said, “My favorite part really has just been the scenery. Dungarvan is a small coastal town near the ocean… If you look one direction, you’ll see giant green mountains with farms scattered across the bottom. Look in a different direction, you’ll see the town and the shimmering river.”

The adventures have only just begun for the students in Dungarvan. Many of their plans involve traveling outside of the city. Excursions will include Waterford and Galway, and one specific trip will be traveling out of the country to Barcelona and Madrid.

Small scale travels within Ireland will include the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle and Dungarvan Castle.

While staying in Dungarvan, students will also have the freedom to travel outside of the group. Kelly has planned trips to Paris and Rome with a handful of friends. Cooley has the plan to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland with his friends.

Others are considering London and Amsterdam.

“I would say the best part has been exploring Dublin, but I can’t wait for what’s to come,” Cohen said.

The simple act of traveling to Ireland brings an experience all its own. Every experience out in the city brings the students into a new cultural world. The hospitality encountered throughout the trip has been nothing but friendly and welcoming, with the beauty found in the people, city and landscape being nothing but positively embraced.

“My favorite part about being in Ireland is being immersed into a different culture and learning about the history and features of this beautiful country,” Kelly said.

While we hear the glowing reviews of this years lucky students, it is food for thought for all who might consider making the trip to Dungarvan next year. Safe travels, Lakers!