Lauren Presutti

Reflections on Limerick

Lauren Presutti - Limerick, Ireland

I will never forget how beautiful Ireland truly was. Beautiful lands, skies, cliffs and castles – all surrounded by beautiful people who lived simple lives and appreciated the small beautiful things day in and day out. This charm was infectious and made my 3-week summer program at the University of Limerick an invaluable experience. 

Although this study abroad program was only three weeks in length, I had more than enough opportunities to explore multiple regions of Ireland, experiencing the ideal amount of Irish culture and gaining a wealth of knowledge on Irish society. The program allowed me to choose from five different courses, of which I chose a course in Sociology. The course was unique in that I had a different lecturer teaching the class each day, which meant that we focused on a different aspect of Irish society each day. For example, some of the topics we explored through the course included sociological perspectives of Irish families, religions, social class, education, gender roles, and more. On days that we did not have class scheduled, the program had organized field trips where all of the summer school students came together and ventured out to places like Bunratty Castle and Limerick City, historical sections of Dublin, and West of Ireland. These excursions were extremely well-organized and were meant to be a lot of fun, which they were! Each excursion also allowed us to have free time, which meant independent exploring, shopping, eating, and sightseeing. 

P1030216 copy.jpgMy absolute favorite moment during my time in Ireland was when I finally made it to the beautiful Cliffs of Moher. To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of prior knowledge on Ireland before studying abroad in Limerick, which meant there wasn’t a lot that I had dreamt of doing or seeing before I arrived. However, the one and only thing that I knew I absolutely had to do was visit the Cliffs of Moher. Years ago, I knew that if I ever made it to Ireland, it was the one thing I had to do. Back then, I never expected that I would actually have the opportunity to accomplish that goal. Once I made the decision to study abroad in Limerick, I knew that it was going to be a possibility. 

Looking over the Cliffs out at the Atlantic Ocean was easily one of the best moments of my life. I had never seen anything like it before. The pictures don’t do it justice. It was the most incredible experience and the most gorgeous view – I was speechless. It was truly a moment of realization in which I discovered how much I love to travel and how much I appreciated the beautiful Ireland. 

P1020966_2 copy.jpgAnother aspect of Ireland that I loved was having the opportunity to see castles everywhere. Just all over – we saw large castles that were historical and meant for visitors, but in addition, we also saw castle ruins all over the area. It was normal to be driving or walking down a street and seeing broken pieces of castles all throughout the luscious green lands. It really paints a picture of how old and historical Ireland is – much older than the U.S., and that was incredible to realize. An Irish student who was my age was interning for the summer program and she was very surprised that I had never seen a castle prior to coming to Ireland. I remember laughing as she said, “You mean you don’t have them all over in the States?!” 

Studying abroad at the University of Limerick’s summer program was a very positive experience that I would recommend to anyone looking for a wonderful short-term experience in Ireland. I cannot say enough positive things about the University of Limerick and how generous, helpful, supportive and kind everyone was to me. It was an absolutely beautiful country, incredible experience, and definitely something that I won’t soon forget!​