My name is Estela and I am 15 years old, I am from Seville in Spain. I came to Tullamore, Ireland at the end of August. I was a little worried because I had never done anything like this before. On arrival, my first impression was that the family were very nice and kind and the house was lovely.
The first day we arrived early so we had some food and they showed me around the town. If I’m honest I found the town to be a lot bigger than I had thought it was. That day I met my ‘sister’ Holly who is the same age as me and my ‘mother’. My other ‘sister’ and ‘dad’ were not at home. In the first few days we did a lot of activities: we went for a lovely walk and I went out with Holly and her friends.
I am attending Sacred Heart in Tullamore it is a girl’s school. On 31st of August I started school. I remember feeling very nervous. The first couple of hours I felt lonely however by lunch time I had already made two friends.
I am in Transition Year; the first two days were spent introducing us all. We did various activities, we were shown how to put on makeup for an interview, we learnt a dance and we also did some meditation. I really enjoyed it and I was happy because I made new friends. Normal classes began the following week. I also met another Spanish girl who is in transition year with me. I’m very happy in school. I received good news that Amalia (one of my friends from Seville) was coming to Tullamore.
School in Ireland is very different to what I expected, some of my subjects include Choir, music, Irish dancing, business studies, career guidance, community care and public access to law. Then we have different activities like setting up our own ‘mini company’ and a competition ‘junk kouture’ where we must design a wearable costume out of everyday junk or recyclable materials. Then I have Maths, English, French, and Science like in Spain. This year in school is certainly very different but I do think it is beneficial to prepare you for your future.
After school I do my homework and sometimes I go to the gym, play tennis, watch television or hang out with my host family. Around 7-8pm we have dinner, I find the food is very different to Spanish food, but it is nice.
We had a German student stay with us, he was nice I keep in touch with him and his friends that came here too. On their last day in Ireland we had a party at my house and it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the time with the German students.
During the past few months I have been busy I have visited Galway and Dublin. I’ve taken trips to Athlone many times and I have made new Spanish friends there. While visiting Galway I met my ‘mothers’ family. I attended my ‘sisters’ graduation. I enjoy going to the cinema with my Irish friends and Spanish girls from my school. My host family are always inviting me places with them. I am really enjoying my time here.
I am excited for the rest of this experience and to continue improving my English. I feel I have already improved so much in the short time I have been here. I love my host family; they made me feel part of their family from the very first day and I am going to miss them so much! They are so kind, and Holly is like friend to me. I am loving this experience.
Packing for Irish weather can be very tricky, one minute the sun is shining and the next minute it’s raining. There is a widely known expression ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing’ Alfred Wainwright.
The best thing I can advise is to come prepared and pack for all seasons. The country is well known for being on the rainy side, however the sun does tend to make an appearance, often when it is least expected. So, I would advise that you pack for the sun and the rain that will follow or alternatively pack for the rain and the sun that will follow. When the rain stops (which it usually does) and the sun comes out, you will be completely overwhelmed by the beautiful scenery. The Irish sky after a little rain is rather striking.
The key to doing this is to pack layers, ideally the thinner the better. Include items such as vests, t-shirts, light jumpers, and of course a raincoat. Don’t forget your sunglasses too for the bursts of sunshine that do occur.
I would also recommend that you bring a sturdy pair of boots for exploring across the many farmlands and country lanes. They will be very much required once you leave the City streets and cobbled pathways of Galway and Dublin.
Other Items to include are a hat, an umbrella and a small bag to carry all your essential items around.
Finally, there is one thing visitors do expect when they come to Ireland and that is the spectacular scenery and believe me you will not be disappointed. You will most certainly want to pack a camera for your trip to the Emerald Isle to capture the beautiful landscapes and all that Ireland has to offer.