First Impressions and Packing

Mackenzi White University of Limerick, Ireland


January 22, 2020
Currently Studying at: University of Limerick, Ireland
Homeschool: Hilbert College

Hello everyone! It's been a long couple of days since I landed in Dublin on Monday morning. After having my flight delayed in Buffalo, I ended up missing my connection to Dublin at the Newark airport. If that wasn't horrible enough, I ended up not receiving my luggage until late night Tuesday. After finding out my luggage wasn't at Buffalo, I discovered that the airline swapped my luggage with another passenger and put my luggage in her name. After over 60 phone calls, I was finally able to find the swap out, and then another 60 phone calls to get the bag finally delivered to me at the University of Limerick. I've learned now that I definitely should've left a day earlier to get more time in Dublin. Living off one pair of jeans and two shirts has made me realize I won't be backpacking through Europe anytime soon.

After that fiasco, I definitely have a bigger appreciation for my clothes and hygiene products. Branching off of that discovery, I have some helpful tips for packing for your four months abroad. Before I left home, I spent hours googling the must-haves for packing abroad and found a lot of my research useless. Mostly because a lot of videos and blogs were centered around warmer countries, and people who overpack to the extreme. From only a couple of days, I now can tell you that hygiene products are a must! Bring a 2pack of deodorants, shampoo/conditioner, razors, perfume, face wash, etc. The bathrooms in your bedroom (YES your OWN bathrooms!) are gorgeous but unfortunately don't come with towels or soap. Make sure to pack these if you desire to spend less money on items. Bedding and sheets are provided, so no worry there, but hangers are a must and are only 1 Euro at certain stores in Ireland. Try not to overpack on clothes, I think I may have brought not enough sweaters/sweatshirts (5 total) since its relatively chilly here with the breeze. I ended up bringing a piece of medium luggage, and my clothes were jam-packed with all the toiletry items I brought. Other students in the program tended to bring a lot of luggage from a duffle and luggage, to even someone bringing two suitcases. Try not to go crazy, and you won't regret it; after all, you want to bring stuff home.

​What I found kind of shocking was the fact that Ireland is relatively cheap. I expected the prices to be similar to New York, but basic items are usually less than 2 euros, especially if you shop at Aldis, Euro Giant and Penneys for clothes. When we went shopping the first day, my two grocery bags (bring reusable!) were overflowing, and it only cost me 24 Euros in total. The items are super cheap, and I recommend saving your money on travel because that's where it'll cost you more. In addition, when in Dublin for orientation (if you don't plan on coming back), make sure to buy some Dublin apparel, and maybe even a SIM card because its relatively cheap. Go to the pub and make sure to ask locals where they suggest since a lot of pubs are now touristy. Overall, although my luggage was stressful the first couple of days, the cost of Ireland was a relief that made up for the bad airport experience. If looking for a cheaper place to study abroad, I highly recommend Ireland as the place to go.