“First Impressions and Arrival to Cork”- Abbi Hansen, UCC Student Ambassador

UCC Student Ambassador, Abbi Hansen, shares her first impressions of Cork with the UCC International Blog!

Abbi 1I made it through 4 airport securities, 2 twelve hour layovers, 4 connecting flights, and the overall seventeen-hour  flight to finally arrive in Ireland. As I passed over, the sun was beginning to set and I saw landscape detailed with lush green fields bound by stone walls everywhere I looked. I sat back in my seat in pure awe. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A PLACE THIS GREEN?!  I thought to myself. This was the most beautiful country I had flown over and I was ecstatic to see what else was in store for me.

After unboarding, my roommate, Addie, and I made our way to the front of the airport in search of some sort of transportation. Outside the airport was a line of taxi cabs. I had never been in a taxi before so I cautiously approached one of the vehicles and the man rolled down his window. He was a dark man with a very deep voice. I asked if he would be willing to give us a ride into Cork and he looked at our luggage on the curb and replied in a thick accent, “that will not fit in my car “. I said okay and stepped back to tell Addie what he had said. We then stood there for a few minutes looking for a bigger taxi cab , but all the ones in the line were sedan cars.


Two  police men then approached us and said in a thick Irish accent, “Can I help ye ladies?” We told them our situation and they looked back at our over-packed  load of luggage and said “ye ladies sure packed an awful lot”. We laughed and agreed. They then went up to 3 different taxi cars, got the okay from one man and loaded our luggage. They were so kind. We were shocked. Little did we know that almost every person we came in contact with across all of Ireland would share the same jolly, friendly, and helpful demeanor .

Abbi 2We then arrived to our accommodations fifteen minutes later after a very eventful drive. I had seen Google  images of the narrow roads here but this was a whole new extreme of narrow. I would equate an Irish two lane road with a US one  lane country road. The cab drivers also drive so fast! They are some of the most skilled drivers I have ever been driven by. Never the less, we had arrived and our new apartments were very nice. We would be living in The Spires. It was gated on a narrow street just up the street from the breathtaking Saint Finn Barre’s Cathedral with a cobblestone driveway. It was surrounded by the cutest houses anyone ever did see and was an easy five-minute walk from University College Cork. We had made it. My heart fluttered with excitement as we fell asleep on unmade mattresses in our new home .

Who I am:

I am third year, pre-nursing student at Chico State University in California. Being able to go to Ireland was the most amazing opportunity, especially because I am a pre-nursing student. They told me initially because of my major that studying abroad may not be possible due to the demanding class load of pre-nursing students. I, however, was determined to make it work. I was able to take upper and lower GEs while abroad and I do not regret a single decision I made. I am a very adventurous, hardworking, and driven individual. I look like a typical blonde haired California girl, but most of the time you can either find me in the library or adventuring somewhere.



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