Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And finally, Elisa Venturi: Cork.

These were the last words I had expected to hear for so much time. Then, the adventure began. I was giving the opportunity to live one of the greatest experience of my life. Moreover, I was so lucky I could enjoy it with two good friends! From this point, one thing was constantly in my head – Ireland.
I could already hear musicians, violins, waterfalls, the noise of the glasses in a pub and this fabulous culture that belongs to the Emerald Isle which was calling me.
Of course everything was not exactly as I had figured out. Such an experience leads you to do things you had never thought of. This is a journey full of unexpected moments and wonderful surprises.
Since the first days after my arrival, some Erasmus activities were organized. I met my two best friends in a pub on the first evening spent in Cork: the first was Almu, a Spanish girl from Granada and the second one was Irma, a Dutch student in Food Biology. We spent four months together and became friends for life after this stunning experience.

The University College of Cork is an extraordinary place, with its traditions, a huge number of societies and with old corridors smelling like a prestigious past. But the university is also a highly modern area, with a student centre, a bank, a library, a bookshop, a gifts shop, an art gallery, restaurants, etc. I had always something to do, people to meet and interesting classes to attend.
As the choice of courses was quite big, I could study different matters such as translation, literature, cinema and even music! This class of pop music was amazing and gave me the chance to speak with Irish students who considered me as one of them and not as an international student anymore.
The English Market was one of my favourite place in the city centre. It is an old covered market where you can find fresh fish, fresh meat, fresh fr uits, and in brief all the fresh food you need. Even if the sellers are less fresh than their products, people there are lovely and this place was like an oasis for me when I wanted to escape Ireland’s grey sky for a while.
In a sense, you can sometimes compare the Irish to the American - they find everything “wicked” and show a lot of enthusiasm to all what you say. But it is part of the culture and that is a good thing according to me. People try to know everything about you and your stay in their country. And when they ask you what you think about the Irish, you will spontaneously answer they are great. Like the rain never forgets to fall on Ireland, the Irish people never forget to be warm and friendly.
Fortunately, I had quite a lot of free time to go and discover more about Ireland. I went many times to Dublin, which is truly a lovely city, but also to Limerick, Waterford, Killarney and Galway. Leaving has given me the chance to take a break with my everyday life and to see things differently. I can say this experience changed me and I think it must be the case for every single Erasmus student. But while starting a new life is very great and exciting, saying goodbye is the hardest thing.

This island and all the people who have contributed to this fabulous memory will stay in my mind for a long time. Do not hesitate and just go and discover Ireland. I can promise you that you will enjoy it.

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