My experience in Ireland
Hello! My name is Masaki, I’m from Japan. I’m 16 years old. Here, I’ll write a little about my experience and school days in Ireland, and I hope it will help you.
I’m in Rockwell college for exchange in Transition Year. This year is 4th year in Ireland, and it called TY in Ireland, and this year is for think about your future and cultivate your personality. Rockwell is boarding school, also famous school for rugby. We don’t have many girls in the school because Rockwell was a boys school until fifteen years ago, when it became a mixed school. The school is quite big, we have good facility for sports such as lake, rugby pitch, swimming pool.
In my year, we sometimes go to school trip or day trip around Ireland. First, we went to Kerry in the beginning of the year, and we stayed over for three days. We did surfing, paint ball, went to cinema in that trip. Kerry was really nice place. Our second activity in TY was cycling in Green way for the day. It was quite a hard activity for me, but it was great time to have conversations with others to help improve my English. TY is quite easy year, but activities are fulfilling. At the end of year, we are going on a trip for Northern Ireland.
During the break times, I always stay with another host family at Midleton. I was in their house at Halloween, Christmas and Easter break. I found the main difference between Japan and Ireland is celebration, and I think the biggest one is about Christmas and new year day. In Ireland, Christmas is a bigger event than new year’s day. But in Japan, new year’s day is bigger than Christmas. In Ireland, I think people begin to celebrate about one week before Christmas. In Japan, we celebrate only eve and Christmas day. In Christmas day, we eat dinner with family, eat cake, and get presents. It’s quite a simple celebration, because Christianity isn’t that main religion in Japan. We also celebrate new year with our own way. Japanese traditional culture of new year is interesting, especially food that we eat on new year’s eve and new year. ‘Osechi’ is one of good example. It’s like big lunch box, and there are many kinds of side dishes inside. Each side dish has a different meaning, for example, ‘long life’, ‘marriage’. We eat them, and we wish that year will be good year for us.
I think this is one of merits of studying abroad in Ireland. You can find different cultures between your countries, and you can learn new things. You can find new way of thinking, and you can think about new choices. Studying in Ireland will make you change yourself, and it’s really good opportunity to make yourself different. I think I changed a lot after I came to Ireland. I met a lot of people in here, and they told me about their experiences of their life. I was shocked a lot, and impressed with their opinions, because all these thinking were absolutely new things for me. If I didn’t take this opportunity to come to Ireland to study, I wouldn’t know these precious opinions from foreigners. Their opinions were sometimes about school, about personality, jobs, or lifestyle. All of these became big help for me in thinking about my future, school life, everything. Ireland was great experience for me, and it will be great memory for me throughout whole my life. I hope you can also meet great people, see great places, and have great moments from your exchange experience. It wasn’t easy, but I can affirm that the experience of studying in Ireland will change yourself and your life forever.
Masaki Masuda, Tokyo, Japan