Amherst College Abroad: Gina Lambiase ’16 Takes on Dublin
Q: What program/what city are you participating in and what are you studying?
A: I’m at Trinity College Dublin with IFSA-Butler! I got here a couple weeks early to do the early Semester Start Up Program, which was a class all about Irish culture and history. I’m currently taking a few Irish and British history classes, forensic psychology and Greek and Roman mythology.
Q: Do you speak the native language?
A: I’d like to think I speak the native language pretty well, although sometimes the accents aren’t the easiest to understand. Also, Irish hipsters are making Gaelic cool again so a lot of the slang is in Irish. Like the word for a good time is “craic,” which can be confusing if you don’t know that beforehand and someone asks you if you wanna have some craic.
Q: Why did you choose this location/program?
A: I chose Dublin because I nearly failed elementary Spanish. But actually, I chose it because of such a rich history and culture condensed into such a small country. As an anthropology major, I wanted to be somewhere where people would be willing to share their experiences with me and I could develop a thesis topic from their stories. After only four months here, I feel like I could write a book about all the amazing people I’ve met.
Q: What is your living situation?
A: I live in an apartment with two other girls from my program right in city center. We live in the same building as the other IFSA early start kids and the walk to school is only ten minutes.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in the city in your spare time? Do you have a favorite street/square?
A: I love to get coffee at a couple different places and either read or chat with the baristas. Pubs are also so fun to grab a pint and just catch up with friends. My favorite area of Dublin is on the South Side of the river in all the little side streets off Grafton and St. Stephen’s Green. There are a million cute shops and always the most amazing street musicians playing. Like don’t need to be playing on the street amazing. They also just hung Christmas lights between all the buildings, so it’s extra magical now.
Q: What is you favorite native meal?
A: Can’t go wrong with Leo Burdock’s fish and chips!
Q: Is something you did that you never expected to do?
A: I went to a food themed speed-dating event put on by the Food and Drink Society with a few friends, and it was actually really fun. Aside from having to finger feed baby food to a really “hangry” blind folded stranger, it was a great way to meet people at the beginning of term.
Q: Do you have any travel plans for the semester?
A: I’ve been to Prague, Munich, Galway, Killary, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Ghent and Belfast. I also really love taking the train out to the coastal villages around Dublin and hiking along the cliffs or grabbing amazing seafood for lunch. I’m going to Cork in a couple weeks for a concert, but other than that I’m pretty much travelled out.
Q: Why would you recommend this program to an interested Amherst student?
A: It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Dublin. That being said, I think the best part about Dublin and Ireland as a whole are the people. I’ve never met a more universally friendly and good-natured crowd (not everyone, just most people I’ve interacted with). I think if you’re the type of person who enjoys conversation and meeting new people, it’s 100 percent the place for you. Also, you can’t beat the Irish countryside/coast.
Q: What do you miss most about Amherst?
A: I miss my team and friends so much! I also secretly miss Val a little. You take for granted how nice it is to have your meals made for you until you’re shoved out into the real world.