By Laís Rizental
So many worries! Farewell parties to organize, suitcases to pack, some last things to buy. One year seemed a long time to me! What kind of challenges would I find? Am I going to make new friends? Will the Irish people understand my poor English? These were some of the questions which I could not stop thinking! Anyway, the D-day came! All of my family came to the airport. Check-in done. Time to say “Bye, see you next year!”. However, it was not so easy. I had never thought about living abroad without my family and my best friends. So, how could I handle it? At this point, I did not want to think about it.
When I arrived in Ireland, I tried to get used to the idea that Cork would be my new home for the whole year. At the beginning it was hard. But the days passed and things began to change naturally. I decided to open my mind. How could I get involved with Irish people being so headstrong?
I can remember my first day studying at UCC. I was completely lost! Luckily an Irish girl helped me to find my classroom. During the class, I could understand just a few words the professor said. His accent was hard, his speaking was fast and different for me. Day by day I was getting used to my new routine. I started to fall in love with the beautiful city. I also fell in love with the people here. Always hospitable, willing to help and with a smile on their faces.
Now, I am on my own. One month away from home. A short time I know but long enough to realize the amazing experience I am going through. The opportunity to meet new cultures from all over the world, opportunity to socialize with people with different points of view. And the best opportunity to become as responsible as my mom always dreamed for me. She would be proud if she could see me cleaning my room, cooking, washing the dishes and my clothes every week! In a month I learned a lot more than I thought was possible, much more than I could imagine.
Fortunately it is just the beginning! And I am looking forward to find out what lies ahead!
Now, one year seems very little.