Finale: Perfect Ending to our Second Week

City Center Celebrations

On June 16th every year, Irish men and women celebrate an unofficial holiday known as Bloomsday.  The term was coined by a character named Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.  It is very popular in Irish history, so the streets are flooded with people dressed in vintage clothing and celebrating the novel.  Unfortunately, I had not prepared a costume so maybe next year (hopefully)!  However, we had just as much fun as everyone else.  We dropped by a pub and even left the city to visit the James Joyce museum on the coast.IMG_3069  It was a rainy day, so the coastline had storm clouds that made it look ominously beautiful.IMG_3081  My friends and I explored the small town and watched street performers all afternoon.  The celebrations made for a very exciting day!




Enchanting Explorations

Each week, we explore a new place outside the city, and this excursion topped the last one!  We made our way to a place called Powerscourt estate.  It was a dashing museum and had the most beautiful, manicured lawn that I have ever seen.  The grounds were pristine, and we got lost in all of the gardens and trails.IMG_3113



This one trail led us past a field with grazing horses at the base of a mountain.  The Japanese garden was so tranquil that I wished I could read my book for the rest of the day out there.IMG_3169  Once we finished our walk outside, we completed the visit with a cup of tea overlooking the gardens and fountain.

We drove on and landed in a small town for lunch at a pub.  Afterwards, we made our way to Glendalough, which means “the valley of two lakes.”  It was as beautiful as its name suggests.  The weather was perfect for touring the cemetery and church ruins.  We hiked to the lakes and goofed off by climbing trees.  After a long time, we finally reached the water’s edge and spent the rest of the afternoon there.  Pictures do not do this place any justice.IMG_3197


IMG_3237The view was magnificent, from the water to the mountains to the sky.  After tons of pictures and a little coaxing, we made our way back to the buses to head back to the city.  There was one little pit stop on the way home:  a hilltop overlooking the valley and lake that the Guinness family owned.IMG_3229  IMG_3231

The wind was so chilled that we could not stay long, but I sure enjoyed every second up there.  I could see farmland and green fields for miles and miles.  Best class ever.


Sunday Fun-day

This morning, my friends and I decided to visit a Catholic church called St. Teresa’s in city center.  We got a little lost and became discouraged but we found it hiding in a beautiful, hidden alley-way off of a main street.IMG_3251  The church was massive, and we had just made it in time before the service began.  We specifically chose to attend the service with the chorus and it sounded like angels were singing.  I really enjoyed having my friends tag along to witness such a beautiful Mass.  Afterwards, we were able to capture a few pictures before the next service and headed off into the city enjoy the rest our day!


We have a busy week coming up!  I will be working on my research paper and taking classes, so I will do my best to keep my blog updated.  Be sure to click the link to my Instagram below to see my pictures throughout the week!  Until next time!



Week Two: Losing the Tourist Persona

The weeks keep growing busier and busier!  There is so much to do in the city of Dublin, but now we have officially ventured out into the real Ireland.  Along with all the wandering and traveling, I have also been attending lectures by UCD professors and visiting with two more international accounting firms.  It has been a healthy balance of exploring places along with exploring career opportunities.

Farm Frenzy

My first week ended with our first trip outside the city!  The weekends are group travel days and last Friday began our adventure to County Meath.  There were many stops along the way:  the Hill of Tara, a famous mound where a king’s fortress was the highest point in the land, and the Trim Castle, which was used as the castle in the movie Braveheart.IMG_2896  The last destination was a place way out of town called Causey Farm.  This farm is fully sufficient and in the middle of nowhere.  I was able to see how the business is supported through not only tourism but the animals as well.  We took a long tour and visited with many animals – there were cows, sheep (obviously), and an entire litter of puppies!  The ultimate surprise came at the end.IMG_2934  After a long day of bog jumping and bread making, we were ready to head home.

Class, Conversations, & Business Casual

With week two in the works, our Monday geared us up for a busy week ahead.  I attended a lecture with a UCD economics professor who led a discussion on the Celtic Tiger, the term coined for the thriving Irish economy in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  The lecture solidified my previous research and brought forth a lot of new information.  The downfall of the Celtic Tiger and the rebuilding of the broken economy gave me an idea for the topic of my final research paper.

This week, we had the pleasure of visiting not one but two of the Big Four international accounting firms, EY and Deloitte.  Each company introduced us to their interns and created business cases to complete in teams.  At EY, we were given an hour to form an opinion on the discussion and present our findings in a PowerPoint to our peers.  At Deloitte, we took a more casual route and performed numerous activities that hit on different aspects of the company.  It was intense but extremely fun!

Long Days & Show Nights

In between all the action and company visits, we’ve managed to keep our tourist vibes.  We have traveled all over the city by now, so we are becoming more familiar each day.  The group went on a tour of the largest cemetery in Dublin, the Glasnevin Cemetery.  This is the final resting place of many famous Irish men and women from centuries back; Michael Collins, who led the revolution, is buried there.  Our tour guide had so many stories to tell, and we learned so much history in the span of only two hours.

This week, our faculty surprised us with tickets to a show called Riverdance at Gaiety Theater.IMG_3062  And anyone who truly knows me, understands how big of a night it really was.  It was opening night and I was lucky enough to witness incredible, traditional Irish dancing.  The talent was phenomenal, and I am already trying to book a ticket to see them again in the States when I get back.


With such a busy week, there is more to come!  Be sure to follow my blog to see my adventures.  Many pictures were taken, and I have been posting to Instagram constantly; if you haven’t seen them, have a look at the bottom of the page.  Until next time!


The Fun Really Begins…

Dublin Daze

My day began with sending Caitlyn off with best thoughts and wishes.  My time spent with her made me excited to have my own study abroad experience.  Today, the group traveled into city center to receive an official tour of Dublin.  We walked a total of 8 miles (around 22,000 steps for those of you with fitbits) in the span of our 2-hour tour.  The sights were incredible and the pictures do not do the city justice.  IMG_2669

Highlights included the Dublin Spire monument, Gaiety Theater (which we will be attending later – stay continued!), Ha’penny Bridge, and Trinity College.  The night concluded with a welcome dinner hosted by the professors at a fancy restaurant and yoga with friends on the lawn outside our dorms to relieve all the tension from walking – so much walking.IMG_2675

Ala-carte Activities

As part of our grade, my classmates and I are to attend a number of activities from a list of options to do on our own time; we call them ala-cartes.  Our second day, my friends and I had the morning to explore the city ourselves.  The decision was to tour Trinity College and the Book of Kells.  IMG_2723The entire experience was unimaginable.  On our tour the previous day, we looked around the campus, but today we actually joined an in-depth tour.  It certainly did not disappoint!  The campus is beautiful and old, and it felt as if I time-traveled with all of the historical buildings.  My favorite part, though, was the Book of Kells and Long Library tour.  The Book of Kells holds the four books of the New Testament and was believed to be created around the year 800.  A tour of the longest library in the world was our last stop.


Many people might recognize it because it was used as a model to create the library in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as displayed below.Star Wars Library comparison

To end our third day, we stopped to browse and rest at a famous bookstore called Hodges & Figgis, and then met the entire group for drinks at Mary Mac’s pub.

Company Visit Vibes

Day four, and on our agenda was a visit to the research company EuroFound.  The staff was incredibly welcoming and had the chance to sit in on presentations all morning to describe the company projects and goals.  We were invited to have lunch with them, and then we were off for a little while before the Irish House Party.  This was most certainly, without a doubt, my favorite night yet.  IMG_2744We all met at a hotel downtown and participated in a traditional concert of Irish folk music.  No words can describe the joy we all felt when a couple of us attempted a traditional Ceilidh Group Dance.  We all had two left feet which made it quite a spectacle.  After all the fun, the entire group grabbed drinks at a pub to complete a wonderful day.

“My Goodness, My Guinness”

Two words:  Guinness Factory.IMG_2760  I feel that as a tourist, this should have been one of the first stops to visit when I arrived in Dublin.  I figure the fifth day is acceptable.  Earlier in the day, my friends and I completed another ala-carte activity and visited The National Gallery of Ireland – Da Vinci Exhibit.  The gallery displayed 10 pieces of Da Vinci work, including sketches of famous murals, notes of thoughts, and actual paintings.  Other artists’ work was presented; one of my favorites was the Portrait of Dona Antonia Zarate by Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes.  It was a gorgeous painting, and a picture online will not do it justice.  After the art gallery, we made our way across town to visit the Guinness Factory.  I was surprised to see people from all over the world speaking numerous different languages.  The factory was 5 stories tall and featured a sky bar at the top.  We made our way up the floors to the taste testing rooms, the official lesson on how to properly pour a Guinness, and a sky lounge party.IMG_2777  When the festivities ended, our professors hailed us horse carriages to take us to the Brazen Head Pub, the oldest pub in the city.IMG_2812  After dinner, my friends and I somehow ended up on the incorrect bus which drove us an hour out of town and away from campus.  Never have I been so excited to see city center in Dublin after driving aimlessly around neighboring cities for hours.  No worries; all is fine and lessons have been learned!

Don’t forget:  follow my instagram to view all of my personal snapshots of the city and see everything through my eyes.  Until next time!

First Impressions

Next Stop:  Dublin!

This week has been the longest week of my life so far.  I arrived in Dublin on Sunday, June 5, and it has been a whirlwind experience up until now.  I am thankful for keeping busy – it helped with the dreadful jetlag – but it prevented me from reaching out to everyone through my blog!  Good news, though; now that I am settled in, I can officially begin my IMG_2611story!

Airport Arrival

The plane ride over here was a smooth as could be.  It was not my first international flight, but I was still not prepared for the flight ahead.  Out of the 8 hours on the flight to Dublin, we all were able to get about 1 and a half of sleep.  And boy, were we in for a long first day.

UCD Campus Craze

Sunday, we pulled up to campus and were situated into our dorms.  Our rooms are very cozy, and I absolutely enjoy my view of the soccer field outside.  In order to fight the jet lag, we received a long orientation and tour of University of College Dublin campus to stay awake.  (We calculated later that we were up over 24 hours!)  One of the highlights of my day was having my best friend, Caitlyn, come visit me from Brighton, England!  We had not seen each other all semester, and I was thrilled to have this experience with her.  Later that day, our professors, Leflar and Terrell, took us on the first bus ride of many to the city and organized a scavenger hunt.  The hunt was truly successful because now we are pretty familiar around the city.  To top it off, the first day ended with a trip to The Duke, and we had our first official pub experience.  Cheers!


Be sure to follow my instagram for more personal experiences and a first hand look at my adventure!

Welcome To My Travel Blog!

Hello family and friends!

I have eagerly awaited this week because soon I will be joining fellow students and staff members in traveling all across Ireland!  Our planning process has been months in the making, and now it is hard to believe that this time next week I will be overseas.

To give a little background on myself, my name is Meghan Zanone, and I am an Accounting major with a minor in Enterprise Resource Planning at the Sam Walton College of Business.  My senior year is fast approaching and will involve everything from calling the hogs at home games to preparing myself for graduate school.

Both sides of my family are of Irish descent so, naturally, I have always wished to travel and visit distant family.  My grandmother was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States.  She has been the one to encourage me to experience it all myself.

During my stay, I will be attending UCD (University College Dublin) to study topics ranging from economics to international business.  We will be meeting with local businesses, visiting accounting firms, and enjoying the Irish culture.  Be sure to follow my blog and Instagram each week for more exciting details!

I want to thank everyone for their support and best wishes!  Please know that it is appreciated.  I am overjoyed about my trip and hope this will kick-start an incredible senior year!

Until next time!