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My First Ever Bank Holiday Weekend and Other Adventures

Bert van der Veen
Bert van der Veen
My name is Bert van der Veen and I am a 24 year old European Studies student from the Netherlands. Currently I am interning as an Erasmus intern at the International Office of Maynooth University. I will be staying in Ireland until the end of February and after that, I will go to Berlin for five months to study international communication.

Two months have passed since I first arrived here and sometimes it still feels like it was only yesterday that I entered this office for the first time. By now I’ve settled down quite well and I’m really getting used to my Irish life over here, so that’s a good thing.

So, October was quite busy and filled with loads of interesting things. Perhaps that’s the reason why this month flew by so fast.

Instead of exploring Ireland I decided to do a lovely trip to Barcelona where I met up with some friends from back home (one of them does an Erasmus+ internship over there).

Barcelona was really great and warm (man, I really do miss the warmth and sun sometimes) and I had a chance to see some really cool things like Park Güell and the Sagrada Familia (as my friend lives 50 meters away from the Sagrada). I also met some really nice new people over there and, for the first time in my life, I tried out a Segway. That was so cool!

Trip to Barcelona

When I came back to my internship at the International Office it was full-on right away.

Our annual Study Abroad Fair was only a week away so there were many things to do. One of the things was completing the new study abroad brochure (which turned into my precious baby!).

And besides that, we of course needed to make sure that all our ordered stuff would be there, the helpers knew where to be on what time and (really important) we had enough promotional material because you know, it’s nice to really show something from our partner universities. Assisting in organizing an event like this was a really nice experience and it definitely helped to improve my organizing skills more.

Of course, besides my Barcelona trip and all the working, there was enough time left to, again, do and see some nice things here in Ireland.

During the autumn break in the Netherlands, two of my friends came to visit and we did some really nice (and so touristy) things.

We had a really good dinner in The Church bar in Dublin (the setting was SO cool) and we went to the Kilmainham Gaol (I keep on adding ‘things you should really visit while you here’ to the list because this is another must see in Dublin).


We also went to the dog races which was actually really interesting to see, but I again discovered that betting is not something for me, because all the dogs I put my money on ended at the very last position… Anyhow, we had fun and money can’t buy that of course ;).

Friends visiting

The month ended with a trip to the Farmaphobia, Halloween and the Bank holiday weekend*.

The Farmaphobia was extremely good. The actors were pretty scary, the haunted houses were really well put together and thanks to a certain someone… we could laugh a lot.

Experiencing Halloween for once was a really interesting experience. The kids were dressed up so nicely, but I didn’t expect so many fireworks (and mess) everywhere. Anyhow, it’s interesting to see, especially because back home we (almost) don’t celebrate it.

So I’m ending this blog by writing about my first ever Bank Holiday weekend. I was not used to the concept of Bank Holiday, but now I’ve had my first ever Bank holiday, I completely fell in love with the concept of it. It was really great to have an extra-long weekend in which we could explore Dublin’s nightlife just a little bit more ;).

Going out

November has started, the Halloween decorations can go back to the attic and it’s time to get the Christmas lights out! (can’t wait!)

*for those who are just like me and have no clue what Bank holiday means, it is a national free day in the United Kingdom and Ireland and its name comes from the tradition of banks not doing businesses on certain religious days. A few examples are Easter, Boxing Day and St. Patricks Day.