The more time you spend in a place, the more that it feels like it’s a part of your identity and the harder it will be to break the connections and friendships that you’ve made.

What I hadn’t realized was that the Irish take the GAA championships as seriously as many Canadians take the NHL playoffs. This was the Stanley Cup game of hurling. So, I was wrong about the atmosphere. I was very, very wrong.

Paradoxically, when I arrived home in Canada for the winter holidays, I began to miss Ireland again. Seeing family and friends is always great, but the possibilities of holidays spent across the English Channel and exploring the rest of Europe for cheap prices is a reality that’s hard to pass up.

It seems like a dream that instead of having assignments due every week and the threat of an early October midterm, professors go a little easy during the first month and encourage you to get involved in extracurriculars and the community after you have completed your day’s work.

I come from a rural town in the west of Ireland, where about 95 per cent of the population is Irish and Caucasian, so Ottawa was quite a culture shock for me. No two people are in any way similar, and I love it!