This week was my Long Study Tour!
When you enroll in DIS and choose a core course, you and your class will go on one short and one long study tour. Study tours are integrated into the semester and give you a chance to explore different cultures and how your course content transpires in the real world. The majority of the travel costs are included in your tuition, but you are expected to buy cover the cost of one meal for each day. There are also designated free times, which you might want to bring some extra money if you want to check out museums or other tourist attractions in the area.
I went to Lund for my short tour, which you can read more about here Week 4: Lund (2/6-10). For my long study tour, I went to Dublin 🇮🇪
We started by meeting at the airport at 6 AM. Everyone was both super tired and excited. Our round trip flight ticket and a one-way ticket to Arlanda Express (high-speed train that takes you from Stockholm City Station to Arlanda Airport) were covered by DIS.
A local guide met us at Dublin airport, handed out public transport tickets, and took us on a bus to our hotel, where we dropped off our belongings. We and got lunch at a nearby restaurant called The Church. (You might be able to guess what the building was used for before it became a restaurant.) It was fun to see the big organ still there. I got a nice steak and a delicious strawberry and peach sundae.
We then went on a fun guided walking tour of the city and got back to our hotel. Dinner was on our own, so we all went to Kimchi Hop House. I got a sundubu jjigae (soft-tofu soup/순두부찌개) and the spicy broth was so good after a long and chilly day.
We spent the morning surveying people on the street about the Irish healthcare system. It was definitely out of my comfort zone, but it was a great way to develop thick skin (we got a handful of no thank yous) and speak to locals. Many people said that it was difficult to get timely and quality care without private insurance.
We then made our way to the University College Dublin and listened to lectures from Prof. Walter Cullen and Prof. Amanda McCann.
Prof. Walter Cullen is a family medicine doctor who researches community health systems and Prof. McCann studies tumor treatments and is involved Patient Voice, a project that aims to actively engage cancer patients and their family members in discussion and the decision making processes in research. Both talks were incredibly engaging and I learned so much!
For dinner, we went to The Millstone, where I got mussels and a crème brulée. It was so nice to have fresh seafood.
The first activity of our day was visiting the EPIC Immigration Museum. It was a great opportunity to learn about the meaning of heritage and the rich Irish history. As a Korean, I found myself relating to sentiments of national pride and grief surrounding Irish independence.
Afterward, we went to the Westin Hotel for high tea. It was fun to dress up with my friends and have a photo shoot.
Once we finished our tea, we made our way to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is an illuminated Latin manuscript containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. The book is estimated to have been written in 800 AD and it’s been wonderfully preserved. It is known as an excellent masterwork of calligraphy and insular illumination.
Visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral was next! We really enjoyed the free English tour that was included in our ticket and listening to the choir rehearse before mass. If you are interested in visiting, make sure to keep mass times in mind and plan ahead to catch the English tours!
We finished the day off with Tonkotsu ramen and walked around the city.
We went on a guided hike of the Howth Cliff. It was rainy and windy, but the guide’s dog and the breathtaking views kept our spirits up. We were very chilly afterward (see a picture of us huddling around the heater below) and hot chocolate was a great way to warm up again. Lunch was on our own, so we went to a locally recommended restaurant called King Sitric Seafood Bar, where I had a cup of Irish coffee and fresh oysters.
After taking a quick break at our hotel, we made our way to the Guiness Store House. The exhibit was pretty large and interactive, so I felt a little rushed for time. I regret skipping the beer tasting session (I thought I had to pay extra to get in) but enjoyed the free guiness that was also included in our ticket!
For dinner, we went to Pichet, a Michelin Awarded French restraunt, and had a three course meal. It was a really cool experience!
In the morning, I visited Dublin Castle with some friends and walked around the garden. Sweden is still a little cold so it was nice to see the blooming flowers.
In the afternoon, we visited a local university hospital and learned about the National Rare Diseases Office and genetic counseling. I also listened to a lecture from Dr. Fionn Donnelly, a public health expert in the area and got to hear his thoughts on the answers we got from our survey.
We went to Roberta’s for dinner, which was only a short walk away.
I had breakfast and lunch at the airport before flying back home.
The study tour was a tiring week but I had so much fun learning from local researchers and healthcare professionals in the area. It was also really opportunity to get to know my classmates much better and learn a little bit about Irish culture with them. I hope I can come back again!
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