CEA has led many excursions and hosted many events throughout the semester, including trips to Galway and Glendalough, as well as offering Irish Dancing lessons. One of my favorite events put on by CEA at the beginning of the semester was International Food Night.
Hosted in January, the idea was simple: Students would bring food or drinks known to their nationality. For the ‘American’ table, we brought Mac n’ Cheese, brownies with Oreos in the middle, and homemade Rice Krispies. Tables also present included the French, Dutch, German, and Irish. I wish I could tell you what each table had, but honestly I couldn’t even pronounce some of the names, let alone spell them. I can say that one unsurprising feature of the French table was croissants and the Irish and German tables both had sausage.
|Some pastries from International Food Night|
I think the night was one of my favorites because it was the first CEA hosted event of the year, so it was the first night everyone was brought together. Up until that point, most people had been interacting with their own nationalities simply because there’s no language barrier and, for the most part, we don’t live in the same housing area so we don’t see each other much outside of school. Nothing brings people together more than food, and the casual setting was perfect for relaxing and talking with one another!
I learned that this was something not every CEA program gets to do, which makes it an even more valuable experience to me. Some CEA programs are only offered to North Americans, so the fact that my program was able to have an international food night separates it from others. Additionally, being with international students makes everything more exciting and really gives you the feel that you’re abroad, even in an English-speaking, Westernized place like Ireland.
|My roommate and friend, Sloan, at International Food Night|
Going to events hosted by your program is really important for a lot of reasons. I know that usually school-hosted events have low turnout and are awkward, but it’s different abroad. Nearly everyone went to International Food Night and it’s still talked about months later! It was memorable and a good bonding experience for everyone, we are all lobbying the professors to see if we can host another one!
Alice Corcoran is the Spring 2016 MOJO Blogger in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently a junior at Texas A&M University.
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