Kathrin in Carrigaline

When I was a little girl I always had the dream to go to Ireland and my parents gave me the opportunity to make my wish come true. And now I´m here in the most beautiful country in the world: Ireland or also called „The green island“. As soon as I arrived here I realised that Ireland is completely different from Austria which made my stay here very interesting. But I was open for everything new and I wanted to gain as much experience as possible. So I went into my first adventure: school One of the main differences between the school here and the school in Austria is the school uniform. I wasn´t used to it and I have to say that I had imagined it worse than it actually is. At the beginning, I had some difficulties to like it but with the time I got used to it gradually and now I can´t actually imagine going to school without a school uniform anymore. And with my school uniform I experienced the next very important part of my stay here: the first day at school. Of course I was so excited and also afraid because I didn´t know what I had to expect from school and if the people would accept me. I already had read a lot about the nice and friendly Irish population and indeed I have to say that that´s absolutely true. The students in school treated me very nicely and welcomed me from the beginning and they were one of the reasons why my stay here was so amazing and unforgettable. But I also have to mention that the teachers were really great as well. They always listened to me and I could go to them and ask them when I wasn´t able to follow their lesson and they immediately helped me. Yes, I really enjoyed school in Ireland and I will definitely miss it a lot with all its teachers, students and traditions. But of course school is not the only thing that is different. There are some things you should know before you come to Ireland and I have to admit that I learned my lessons soon. First of all, never trust the Irish weather and secondly never ever trust the Irish buses. I can remember lots of times when I went outside without a jacket or without an umbrella because I thought that it would stay dry and that it would be a lovely day. But as I mentioned before you can´t trust the weather and therefore I ended up standing in the rain for about 1000 times and I got soaked. Most of the time the Irish weather is bad but when it is a good day Ireland is just stunning and I will never forget the way Ireland looks on a sunny day - just amazing and unforgettable. But not only the weather was a problem I had to deal with. You can also not trust the buses and so it happend  that I as well as some of my friends missed the bus because the buses usually come like 15 minutes too early or later than scheduled.. But I got used to it and so I started to leave the house like 20 minutes earlier, just in case the bus might not be on time. Some people might think that these two points are annoying but for me they are one of the things I will miss about Ireland even if I´m looking forward to be able to leaving the house without the fear of getting wet. Another very important point which made my stay here so great are the friendly, funny people. They are full of vitality and I can remember some Irish nights I went to see people playing Irish songs and dancing traditional Irish dances. The people love their culture and they are proud of their country. I wanted to be part of this culture and so I tried out some Irish dances and of course I learned some Irish expressions. In addition I went to a gaa and a hurling match. I had a great time and I really enjoyed trying out some new things. But the most important thing that made my stay here in Ireland become unforgettable is my amazing host family. Right from the start, I felt accepted and welcome in this family and in my opinion there is no better host family than mine. They always helped me, we had a lot of fun together, they showed me some beautiful parts of Ireland, they assisted me in improving my English and because of them I got to know the tradition of drinking black tea with milk a bunch of times daily and of course  the sometimes strange Irish humor which I love by now. Ireland changed me and I became a different person. I got stronger, more self-confident, self-dependent and now I know that I can handle things on my own even if it is sometimes hard. The six months in Ireland will always be an important part of my life. I found lots of amazing new friends which I will miss so much, I gained new experience, found  a second family and the most important fact is that I found a second home in Ireland because ``home is where the heart is``. Kathrin