Hello! My name is Lija Gaikis, and I am a third year student studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland at University College Dublin! I arrived on Tuesday, January 16th, and it has been a wild week and a half. I am initially from Chicago, IL. When I got off the plane the weather was very similar to what I had experienced at home during winter break. It was my first flight out of the country, so I was definitely nervous getting to the bus and to my accommodation, which thankfully was on campus. My accommodation was on campus, so it was really easy to get settled in and feel comfortable. On the bus ride over, I went through downtown Dublin. Much different than the US, the buildings were a lot smaller and shorter, and there were a lot less cars. Not to mention the driving on the other side of the road, which took a little bit to get used to. Everyone in Ireland speaks English, so it has been very easy to communicate with locals, and they have been very very friendly. My first week consisted of international orientation, where there were various events I was able to meet new friends at. Much to my surprise, most of the students I met during this orientation were from the states, although there were French, Canadians, and people from Asia as well. During this week, I was able to make friends and compare experiences with other students as well as explore a bit of Dublin. During this time I noticed lots of differences! For instance, Most people bike or take the bus, and they are very environmentally friendly. My roommates and I had to flip different switches on outlets as well as for our fridge and warm water. Additionally, the light in our hallway is also motion activated to save electricity. We also were given 3 different waste bins, a typical garbage bin, a glass recycling bin and a typical recycling bin. Recycling is everywhere here, and everyone cares about the environment a lot. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this journey offers me!