Final moments: we all had an early rise Saturday morning. Everyone met at the airport for .
It was nice because we had some time allocated to say our good byes and for some "see you soon" as some people have planned to come back and visit Ireland in the near future. As the time drew closer to, the tears kicked in for some, as our new best friends were about to walk through into customs. It really was hard saying good bye and not knowing who you will see again, but that's all part of our experience.
Not long after their flight from America was over, we were all interacting over snapchat, Facebook and twitter finding out how the flight was and telling everyone how we missed them!
Were all shocked that the exchange is over, but it has changed our life's a lot, and the experience is one that will never be had again. We have made amazing friends, and amazing memories!
Today everyone was up bright and early and on the bus for on route to Doolin. When they reached Doolin they boarded the Ferry to Inis Mòr... or so they thought. Not knowing the ferry stopped at Inis Oirr before reaching Inish Mòr all the teachers and students got off the boat only to realise it was the wrong Island! In the end it didn't matter because it was just as much fun. Everybody rented a bike and was giving free time to explore the Island. They split into groups and headed off to visit the hills, castles and even the shipwreck featured in the Opening scene of Father Ted! When people had finished exploring they all got back on the boat and went back to Galway. They all checked in to the Connaught hotel, had dinner in the hotel restaurant and headed off for a well deserved nights sleep.
Day 9: Free day with host families
Today the students spent that day with their host families. Some students took this opportunity to explore Limerick city and the Crescent shopping centre.
Day 8 Free day with host families
Today was a free day with the host families. Some students went to see the Munster vs. Glasgow match in Thomand Park and there was a surprise birthday party for Amanda Curtin that night!
Today everyone was up bright and early for a trip to Clare! All the students were on the bus at eight and heading for Lahinch.
When they reached Lahinch they were met by our 2 surfing instructors. They gave them their wet suits and surf boards and they all went down to the beach for a lesson. There we learnt the basics of surfing and after a quick safety brief they were all heading into the water dreading the cold!
After lunch in Lahinch everyone was back on the bus bound for the Cliffs of Moher! After a short bus ride they headed off on to the cliffs and explored one of the natural wonders of the world. Both the Americans and Irish were astounded by the beautiful sites and got some great pictures.
They then went to Bunratty. After a tour of the ancient castle they went out and explored the beautiful folk park and gardens. The Americans then got the chance to buy all their souvenirs in Meadows & Byrne or sample some Irish cuisine in Dirty Nelly’s!
Today was the Americans students first time visiting UL and we also had our annual sports day on! They were very impressed with the grounds and excited to take part.
Some of the activities the Americans won were: wheelbarrow race, basketball and tug of war. They also tried out rugby and had a match with a mix of all years! However, the Irish were victorious in the Ireland V USA tug o war challenge!! They met with loads more students from school and made new friends!
Today the Irish had classes as usual from periods one to four while the Americans put the finishing touches on their presentations that were to be presented later.
For periods five and six the Americans worked with Mr. Kelly and the Media and Production super option team to record their ‘Shout Out!’ video.
At two o’clock the Americans made their presentations to a group of students and teachers. There were presentations on slang, food, history, sport, pastimes and music! They even got the treat of hearing Stefanie Jacobson sing an American classic!
At half seven all the students on the exchange, their families and friends and even some teachers all met up in the Locke bar for a night of traditional Irish music! The school trad band was excellent as usual and we even had some students sing. It was a great night enjoyed by all!
Today was a very eventful day. The American students shadowed the Irish kids for the first class until where they enjoyed the options Irish have including history, business, physics and much more. After the first class the Americans along with the ambassadors headed off too The model school!
Everyone enjoyed the model school. We were greeted by the principle where students showed the Americans how to play hurling and football. It was then followed by a brief history of the school. The best was saved for last though, we then got to interact with all the students at lunch time. Kids were excited to meet the Americans and learn about them. Before we left we went into the 2nd class where they preformed some of their first holy communion tunes on the tin whistle. For some of the Americans it was their first time hearing Irish traditional music and they all loved it!
We then returned to the school at where we got lunch and everyone changed from their uniform into normal clothes to get ready for the evening activity which was a visit to Blarney castle and Blarney Stone.
Our first stop in cork was Blarney Castle. We were greeted by beautiful gardens and scenery. Everyone proceeded to go to Blarney castle and kiss the stone. We were all taken back by how high up we were and the processes of kissing the rock! We took plenty of photos and videos while visiting.
After visiting Blarney Stone we had two hours to explore cork city. We split into small groups there. Some people shopped and got some food! The Americans also got to experience the English Market and other attractions around the town!
We had a great day over all, everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and are now exhausted!