A Home Away From Home

Erin Scanlan University College Dublin, Ireland


February 14, 2017

One of the many great things about the Arcadia program in Ireland is that you get to stay with an Irish family for a weekend, which is called a homestay.  It was one of the things I was most looking forward to during my time in Ireland, and I was not disappointed.  We stayed in a small town called Gorey in County Wexford.  Gorey is so small that the town thrives off a short main road filled with tiny shops and pubs.  My homestay parents lived a short distance from the town center, and were always happy to drive us into town. 

Grainne and Teddy were the best homestay parents I could ask for.  First of all, Grainne was an amazing cook, and what college kid doesn’t love a home cooked meal?!  She made sure that we were well fed, she even gave us dessert!  After we finished dinner, we would TV with Teddy in the living room.  He explained the Six Nations rugby tournament to us, and that Ireland was competing with Scotland the next day.  It was a must see game, for the pubs would be packed with many cheering Irish fans.  I was definitely interested because sports have always been a huge part of my life and I love watching them.

On Saturday, we decided to spend the day in Wexford city.  It definitely wasn’t like any city we have in America, for our cities our much larger.  Since it was a quaint city, we decided to just walk around going into little shops and pubs.  We planned to make it back to Gorey in time to watch the rugby match, but we had a little issue with bus schedule.  We decided to make the best of it by shopping some more! 

The nightlife in Gorey was a lot different than Dublin as well.  Since Dublin is a city there is going to be more spots for the younger kids to go out.  In Gorey however, there were only a small amount of pubs.  We went to McGovern’s, a small pub, the Friday night we arrived to meet up with everyone from Arcadia.  It seemed that it was an older audience that was left over from the game, based on the jerseys they were wearing.  We loved the place so much we decided to go to the same pub the next night, and the atmosphere had completely changed.  There were younger kids dressed up in their best clothes and club music playing.  It was so shocking because the atmosphere of the pub was so different the night before.

Overall, my homestay weekend was such a great experience.  I was so happy to experience small town Irish life instead of the craziness of Dublin.  I still wouldn’t trade Dublin for anything though, I’m too in love with this city.