When I was considering studying abroad with the university, I looked at the different programs that were offered more than I looked at the locations of those programs specifically. So, when I chose to go to Ireland with the English program, I knew little to nothing about the city (Galway) or the university (National University of Ireland, Galway) to which I was headed.

This is perhaps a good thing, because I never would have chosen Galway, Ireland as a destination of choice. Now that I’m here, going anywhere else would have felt like a mistake.

There are a lot of things that I love about this city: the food, the music, the weather, the atmosphere, the fact that I can walk everywhere, the art, the pulsing vitality of the place itself.

But all of these pale in comparison to how much I love the people here. I could have never dreamed of people being able to match the level of southern hospitality in which I was inundated in Alabama. These people come close.

Everyone that we have met, in every single place we have gone to, even just walking around downtown, have taken us in and made us feel welcomed, made us feel like we belonged in this new city.

They have made us feel at home in a place that is four thousand miles away from the home that we are used to.

The people have been the most beautiful and crucial part of my time here in Galway. They will be what I miss the most.