Few students get the opportunity to travel abroad during their time in college. Those who get the chance, soak up the experience completely. Junior Alison Palmeri is one of those few.
On March 2, Palmeri arrived in Ireland as a part of the Mercyhurst in Ireland study abroad program.
“Ireland has always been one of the countries I hoped to visit one day, and this was the perfect way to make sure I was able to spend a good amount of time there and really get to experience the country and culture,” Palmeri said.
Palmeri, as well as the other Mercyhurst students on the trip, are staying in Dungarvan. It is a smaller town with a different environment than a city like Dublin.
The first few days in Dungarvan there were gatherings to help students get to know each other and the locals.
“Everyone has been very welcoming and takes the time to chat with and get to know us individually,” Palmeri said.
As a part of her experience, Palmeri takes classes four mornings a week and is able to explore the town and surrounding area in her free time. She has had the opportunity to bike around the countryside, enjoy local music and travel to Dublin. There they visited places such as Trinity College, the Irish Parliament Building and the Guinness Storehouse.
All of the students will get the opportunity to learn sports such as rugby, hurling and Gaelic football. In return, they will be teaching local teenagers how to play softball.
While she is studying in Ireland, Palmeri has big plans. She is planning on weekend trips, learning more of the local culture and travelling to other places in Europe with the Mercyhurst group. She is most looking forward to learning the Irish language, a type of Gaelic, through her Language and History class.
She is also hoping for extra time in order to visit parts of England, Scotland and Germany as well.
“I am really enjoying the experience so far. The people and community are extremely hospitable and go out of their way to make sure that you are settled in and enjoying your time here,” Palmeri said. “I can’t wait to go out and see more of the country and make friends with more people within the community.”
The Mercyhurst University students will be returning from Ireland May 10.