Travel Log 9: “Exploring Stereotypes” by Jenna Paul. Cork, Ireland.

Studying abroad in Ireland has been an amazing experience to learn about the Irish culture and Ireland in general. Before coming to Ireland, I did not know too much about the Irish, but heard a few stereotypes for sure. I heard that they are very nice people, drink a lot, and eat lots of potatoes. I would have to agree with all of these things after being here for about two months now. The Irish are so friendly and nice in general. Of course you might come across someone having a bad day or something, but in general they are amazing people. The Irish drink a lot compared to Americans. When we first had orientation I remember them telling us to not try and keep up with the Irish students as they have been legal since 18 and for most of us this is our first time being legal. I would also have to agree that the Irish eat lots of potatoes. Pretty much with every meal, if you want it you can have chips (French fries). With a traditional Irish dinner, you might even have two different types of potatoes. Another stereotype is that all Irish are redheads. Being here I can’t say that is true, but there are more redheads than anywhere else I have seen. I have noticed that the Irish are very laid back and chill. They tend to be “running late” a lot and that is just how the culture is here. Someone visiting for a short time might not notice it that much though. Another thing someone just visiting might not notice is that the accents in the different counties around Ireland have very different vibes and also different accents. Just like in the U.S. there are different accents and ways of life depending on what coast or state you are from, it is the same in Ireland.

A surprising stereotype that the Irish have of Americans is that we are all rich. I think they think this because for them to come to America it is super expensive and they must just figure that it is the same for us. I do not think that is just the Irish though. I talked to a girl from France who was telling me how expensive it is to get a six month visa in the U.S. and she said it would be around 2,000 euro. Our visa was $300 which sounds like a lot to us, but comparing it is really not that much. Another stereotype of Americans is that we are all fat and eat a lot. Obviously we are not all fat, but I would say that in general our portion sizes are bigger. I think a lot of stereotypes can come from what they see on tv or in the news. They might not get the full story being in Europe and are only shown one side possibly. I think it is a mixture though, because there might also be valid reasons for their stereotypes. Probably 80 percent of the Irish I have talked to here have at least visited America at least once or some even have family there. Their stereotypes could be valid if they have good reasons.Unknown

The photo I chose is of two Irishmen and potatoes. Although it might be true that the Irish eat a lot of potatoes, there is so much more behind it. In my early start class, I took Intro to Irish History, which really taught me a lot about the Potato Famine and Irish history in general. There is so much history behind this great country and I am so grateful to be able to learn about it while in Ireland. The Potato Famine was a terrible time in Irish history and it is a little sad that that is how the world might view this great country off of one event. Although I understand why it happens, I think that we should all at least want to learn more about the world in general as there is so much that is unknown. Studying abroad is a great step in learning more about the world though for sure!

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2 thoughts on “Travel Log 9: “Exploring Stereotypes” by Jenna Paul. Cork, Ireland.

  1. I never really how much the potato impacted Irish culture until coming here. In so many ways the Irish famine influenced Irish history and the course of events that followed that horrible time. I was in Dublin this weekend visiting the jail there and they told us that some people who deliberately commit crimes so they could go to jail because it was guaranteed in jail that they would get a meal. I never really could appreciate the significance of this Irish historical event until I came here and learned more about it than I previously knew on a mostly superficial level.

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    • I completely agree that being in Ireland learning about the history brings everything to a whole different level. I remember when I went to visit the jail they told us that as well. It is so interesting to think about what those people went through and being here on the same streets is pretty crazy to think about. I also had the same reaction when I learned about the 1916 Easter rising and then went to visit the General Post Office in Dublin where it all happened. That was an amazing feeling.

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