Differences Between Ireland and The US

Hello! As I have now spent quite some time here in Ireland, I have come to find the many differences between Ireland and the US. Some of the differences are subtle and hard to notice, while others are very obvious and interesting to compare. Throughout my trip here in Ireland, here are the differences and a few interesting things that I have discovered so far:

  • Almost every single day here in Ireland is raining. Unlike America where we tend to duck inside during our rainy days, the Irish embrace their rainy days. They always say “there is no such thing as bad weather here in Ireland, you just have the wrong clothing”
  • People in Ireland drive on the left side of the road, and drive on the right side of the car.
  • The drinking age and the age that you are an adult here is 18.
  • They predominately speak English, but the road signs and instructions around town have the Irish language as well.
    • Slainte — Cheers or “to health”
    • Bothar — Road
    • Sraid — Street
    • Is breá liom tú — I love you (My mom hid a note in my bags after my departure and I found this on it)
  • Words with a “z” in the states, tend to be a “s” here — Globalisation
  • There are more cows in Ireland than people!!
  • The EU bans over 1,300 chemicals from cosmetics, while the FDA only bans 11.
  • Mainly all of the food here is local and can be traced to a farm in Ireland, while a vast majority of the food in the states is imported. Everything here is fresh and local, and you can definitely taste the difference.
  • People here in Ireland drink beer like it’s water! But people here are casual drinkers; they never drink to get drunk.
  • Since Guinness is brewed right here in Dublin, they are very proud of their beer and preach about the health benefits. Fun fact: After you give blood here, you are offered a pint of Guinness to replace your iron levels (if you are of age).
  • Soccer at home is called football here. And football at home escaped hand ball here. Rugby is a huge sport here in Ireland!
  • Our restroom or bathroom at home is called the toilet here.
  • Unlike America, where you ask for a ride home if you want to go home… Here in Ireland, do NOT say “I need a ride home”… Just don’t.
  • The euro is the currency used here, compared to the dollar back at home. The euro is worth more than the dollar. Roughly €.89 = $1.00
  • Everything is more relaxed and slow here, while everyone back in the states is always pushed for time. This ties along to the people here being a LOT more friendly and talkative.
  • The Irish music uses the Bodhran and Uilleann Pipes as their main instruments.
  • People cursing here means that they are comfortable in your presence, while it is vulgar back in the states.
  • The sun sets around 10:30 at night, and rises around 4:30 in the morning.

Cliffs of Moher

Finally, the sight I have spent weeks waiting for… The astounding Cliffs of Moher! Honestly, these pictures do not even come close to capturing the beauty of these cliffs. As I was standing up higher than the birds that were gracefully playing around the rocks, I had a full view of the area, and could have easily spent hours watching the waves come up and crash against the rocks.

After seeing these cliffs, I have fallen in love with Ireland even moher!


My Advice Before You Travel Abroad

When studying abroad, it is crucial to make sure that you research and understand the history and culture of the area that you are interested in before you arrive. Fortunately, I came to Ireland after writing a 3 page paper assigned by the professors regarding a timeline of Ireland’s history. Although this assignment did help broaden my understandings of Irish history, it was assigned to me to be completed by a deadline, and not on my own personal time or interests to research. Nonetheless, as I was completing the paper day by day, I found myself discovering new topics that sparked my interests, but I never followed through with digging deeper into the topics. Take it from me and learn from my mistake, once you actually hold a deep understanding of the area that you wish to travel to, you will develop a much greater appreciation and love for the culture that you will soon be emerging yourself into. If i had not been assigned to complete the paper, I would have walked right into this experience with a blind eye about how exceedingly proud the Irish are of their land. Little did I know that the Irish have been fighting since the 1880’s to become independent from the United Kingdom, and finally gained independence and became a Republic in 1949, making them a relatively new country.

Not only do the Irish emphasize their historical leaders and their stories, but the are also very proud to preserve and honor the leaders to this day. For example, the profoundly well known Irish Republican Army Regulars army leader Michael Collins signed with the United Kingdom on December 1921 to have Ireland a free state. But in 1922, Collins was ambushed and shot dead. To this day, he is now buried in a very prestige area in Glasnevin Cemetery here in Dublin, where multiple people to this day visit his grave to change the flowers and pay their respects. Although the Northern Ireland is still under control of the United Kingdom, every Irish native takes pride in who they are, and what they have gone through to get where they are today.

Now, I know I sound like a broken record saying this over and over again, but it is the absolute truth! In order to fully emerge yourself further into the country’s culture, you must understand where they came from and how they got to that point. If I would have come to Ireland without previously researching the important history of their independence, then I would not have been able to truly understand and appreciate the culture that I am emerging myself into. Along with this, I would also just be walking aimlessly by the historical buildings here, and taking a picture of it just because it is beautiful, not for what it stands for. The two main buildings that come to mind when I say this is the General Post Office, and the Fusiliers’ Arch right here in Dublin. The Post Office still has the gunshot marks on the columns from the 1916 Easter Uprising, and the Arch was built in 1907 dedicated to honor those Dublin Fusiliers’ lives lost in the 1899 Second Boer War. Since every large city has buildings that are beautiful and built just for tourist’s pleasures, it is important to understand and differentiate between which buildings stand for pleasure or historical sights.

Luckily, I am studying abroad on a program with amazing professors that made sure that we did our research before crossing the border. But for those who have never traveled abroad before and are planning to travel to a location overseas, this is for you. In order to get the most out of your trip abroad, do your research beforehand, and you will be able to add onto the information you have already learned once you arrive at your location. As you spend time in the country, you will slowly but surely find yourself meeting locals and emerging yourself in their day to day activities and culture. For me, I came here absolutely hating dark beer, like Ireland’s Guinness, so I expected to leave here hating it. But now, as I have only spent two of my four weeks in Dublin, I am sitting down for a meal and actually ordering a Guinness! Although it is just a simple change of taste, I found this intriguing since I came here against drinking dark beer, yet alone drinking any beer at all! As a result of branching out from my norms and emerging myself in the Ireland culture, I was able to try something that I was not used to, and ended up loving it!

All in all, the point that I am trying to get across is to do your research beforehand, and branch out beyond your norm to fully get the most experience out of your time abroad. As one of my professors here in Ireland said, “there is a big world out there, you have to see the world.”


Slainte, Rachel Klun

Two Weeks Down, Two To Go in Ireland!

It is sad for me to say that I have already spent two of our four weeks in Ireland, but nonetheless, it has been an amazing two weeks. Since my last post, we have visited many scenic sights including Glendalough and Lough Tay, and have done my fair share of shopping and eating!

So far we have had one class that covered Ireland Economics, regarding the celtic tiger and the causes the crash. On the schedule for tomorrow, we have two classes (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), followed by a literary pub tour at night. It is no doubt that the professors keep us busy, but there is absolutely no reason to not be, since we only have two short weeks left.

Although my homesickness continues to grow each and every day, I hope to post enough exciting pictures and events to convince my family to take a vacation here at some point in the future (wink wink hi mom and dad)

Slainte! Rachel Klun


Picture Updates!

Multiple picture updates!

First picture: View of the astounding Lough Tay, otherwise known as the “guinness lake”. As we stepped off the bus to tour the lake, my breath was taken away (literally, it was THAT cold). The astounding natural beautify of this lake truly made me fall in love with Ireland even more.

Second picture: Half of the backyard view on the Powerscourt Estate. The other half included a pet cemetery, round tower, and a Japanese garden! This area was so big, that I got lost in the gardens trying to find the tower! Unfortunately, the inside of the estate has been gutted so the original rooms are not there to be seen, but I am sure the inside was as beautiful as the outside.

Third picture: Taken at the Glendalough lake. As we were touring around Glendalough, we learned about all of the ruins there including a tower, cathedral, and St. Kevin’s Cross (seventh picture). The land is now being used as a cemetery, but is open to the public to visit! The water was FREEZING, but it made for a great picture!

Fourth picture: The Fusilier’s Arch on St. Stephen’s Green. This arch was built to honor those Dublin Fusiliers’ lives lost in the second boer war war.  As you can tell by my business dress, we were on our way to visit one of the many accounting firms here in Dublin! On this day, we visited Deloitte, and met some of the lovely interns that they have!

Fifth picture: Enjoyed mass on Sunday morning at the beautiful St. Teresa’s Cathedral! I am not catholic, but I can confidently say that you need to visit a cathedral here in Ireland if you are wanting to emerge yourself into their Roman Catholic culture! I was turned around for a little while trying to find this hidden beauty, but nonetheless it turned out to be worthwhile!

Sixth picture: Breakfast at M&S on Grafton Street! I came to Ireland just liking tea, but enjoying “tea time” here has made me love drinking tea much more than I ever have before! I now find myself ordering tea instead of my usual coffee!

Seventh picture: St. Kevin’s Cross taken on a tour of Glendalough!

Eighth picture: Looking back at the beautiful Ireland pier. My breath was taken away at the first sight of the pier. Although the weather was windy and sprinkling, I enjoyed walking along the coast and hearing the water crash up against the rocks. After walking along the coast for a while, we reached the James Joyce museum and enjoyed a man reading a chapter of Joyce’s famous book, Ulysses, for their huge event Bloomsday. Not only this, but all of the pubs and streets were lit up with music and food specials all revolving around the book! I found this very interesting to emerge myself into such a huge Ireland event, specifically Dublin!

Ninth picture: Taken on a tree at Glendalough!


The Possibilities are Endless!

Hello hello, today marks one week of being in Dublin, and I am back to post another update of my study abroad experience! I hope to post as often as I can, but it will more than likely be around 2-3 times a week due to how busy we are!

Today is another lazy day for the group, so I happily slept in and caught up on my sleep this morning before attending Mass at the Church of the Sacred Heart (second picture) with Dr. Leflar and 5 other students. The interior of the church was just as beautiful as the exterior because of the abundance of stain glass windows! Following church, Dr. Leflar, another student and I enjoyed a cup of coffee (first picture) at Cafe Nero as we remininced about the days we have spent in Dublin thus far.

The other day, the group went on a trip called “extreme Ireland” to Hill of Tara, Trim Castle, and Causey Farms (fourth, fifth, and seventh picture). To say the least, the entire trip lived up to our expectations of “extreme” as we learned more about the history of Ireland, and milked a cow after jumping in a bog at the farm! Note to self: vegetation and rain water mix does not come out of white clothing!!!

Nonetheless, I am still waking up each morning in disbelief of what I am spending a whole month doing. Back many many years ago when I first discovered my desires to study abroad, I never imagined myself actually having the chance to even come close to having this opportunity. To me, traveling the world has always been one of my biggest fantasies, and something that I had high hopes of achieving, but never knew it would be even remotely within my reach. But now, as I am posting this blog post on June 12th 2016 at 5:00 PM on a warm Sunday Dublin evening, I am sitting in my apartment on UCD campus with amazing friends who are just as thankful as I am to be here.

If there is one thing that I can truthfully say about my dream of traveling abroad… It would be that if you set your entire heart, soul and energy into accomplishing something that you desire the absolute most out of ANYTHING in this world, then you CAN and WILL make it happen. Just like the quote in the Guinness storehouse said, “good things come to those who wait”.

Slainte, and have a lovely night!

Rachel Klun


Historic Sights and Great Company

Hello all! It is now day six of my adventures in Dublin, Ireland… And I can honestly say that each day that passes continues to get better and better. Experiencing the beautiful mild weather and lovely group of 20 instantly makes my heart so full and happy knowing that I am actually here doing what I have been dreaming of for years. Every morning when I make up, I have to pinch myself to make sure this is real! As much as I think about, and wish I could be back in Wichita with my family, I am not holding back from taking in every opportunity I can get while in Dublin, since our time is limited here and I do not know when I will be returning.

I have an array of pictures from the days that we have been here; actually too many to count! So far I have visited historic sights dating back to the 1100’s, the Eurofound business, and coffee shops that serves coffee better than anything I can ever get back in the United States.

Regarding the pictures that I have attached;  The first picture, the Celtic Cross, is located at the Hill of Tara in County Meath. The cross was created by St. Patrick as a way to make the transition to Christianity more acceptable. The cross is linked to many other historic buildings and churches here in Dublin, as St. Patrick’s transitioning of Dublin to Christianity is a very large and important event that happened.

The remaining pictures are from sights that the Dublin tour guide, Keyan, brought us to! We were very lucky to have such a knowledgeable tour guide to help us grasp the importance of every sight here in Dublin. My advice for anyone studying abroad, or even simply going on vacation abroad, is to find a tour guide to take you around town the very first day you arrive. Having this tour guide helped me understand the culture and historic sights here in Dublin that I would not have known otherwise!

With each day that passes, I find myself wishing for more time to go out and explore the town or hangout with the other students I am here with. In Ireland, the sun rises at 5:00 am and sets at 10:00 pm, which seems like a very long day of sunlight, but time passes tremendously quick when you are busy sight seeing and having the best time of your life. Since I have now been here for a week, I have become accustomed to how to get around the town, which saves me time to spend on seeing Dublin and not worrying about where I am or how to get on the right bus!

We had a free day to ourselves today, so I had time to sit down to catch up on blogging. My hopes are to find enough time to blog more often throughout my trip!

Slainte “to health”!


Departing for Dublin, Ireland

Leaving Wichita!

Saturday June 4th, departing for Dublin, Ireland!

Leaving Wichita was tough, as my family will be moving to a different state after living in Wichita, Kansas for 13 years while I am in Dublin. It has been great living here, but it is time to go off and start a new life in Arkansas!

The First Blog of Many

April 14th 2016

Hello! My name is Rachel Klun, and I am from Wichita, Kansas! I am currently a Sophomore at the University of Arkansas enthusiastically pursuing a degree in Accounting and Finance, and I’m sure you are all wondering… Why am I so excited to announce my major? Well, my major is actually what brought me here to write this blog post, as it has turned my spark to study abroad into a flame.

After a year and a half of thinking about studying abroad, I finally carried through with my desires, and attended a Study Abroad Fair through Sam M. Walton College of Business. As I shuffled through the programs, I found one in particular that best suited both my major and interests; the U of A Faculty Led Business Seminar in Ireland. I had heard about how beneficial this program is to Accounting students from one of my previous professors, so without hesitation, I filled out the required information and submitted my application. Not long after, I was scheduled for an interview, which consisted of meeting the professors in charge of the program, Mrs. Terrell and Mr. Leflar, and having them determine whether or not I was best fit for this program. After weeks of anxiously waiting and checking my email, they notified me that I was I was chosen to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland!!

From this Accounting based program, I hope to meet the employers of some of the top Accounting firms in Dublin, and grasping a global concept on how others do business to incorporate in my career down the road. By acquiring this knowledge, I hope to find a career back in the United States that sends their employees internationally, as I know my love for traveling will only flourish once this program is over. Along with this, I also have high aspirations of letting this excursion work its’ reputable magic, and finding who I am as a person while abroad.

Thank you for reading my first Study Abroad blog post, and stay tuned for more updates, as I will be departing for this excursion June 4th!

Rachel Klun