Two Study Abroad Students and Their Groceries

Hello there!

My name is Sarah and I am a third year Communications major. First things first, I absolutely adore Champlain College.

Sarah Steward - Champlain Abroad Dublin Fall 2015
Sarah Steward – Champlain Abroad Dublin Fall 2015

Over the past three years, it has made me who I am in many ways, and I’m excited to see where my academic endeavors take me while I study abroad with Champlain Abroad Dublin. The next four months will hold a ton of adventure and learning experiences; I am grateful that I get to share them with you!

Every day I fall more and more in love with Ireland. Everyday I also learn to accept that the things I may have once viewed as oddities are now a part of my new daily routine. Sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Exhibit A:

Two girls walk into a bar…

Scratch that.

Two American girls walk into a bar grocery store. In Ireland.

The ‘in Ireland’ is essential here. When going to the store, there are two things that will shock us Americans. One being that food goes bad so quickly. This is because there are no preservatives in food here which is great. Food just tastes so much better!

The second thing that is surprising is that one will actually be charged for needing plastic bags to tote their groceries. Yes, you essentially get rewarded for bringing your backpack to the store. It’s quite a fantastic set up if you ask me. Reusable bags are lightly pushed in the states- so it’s time to step your game up, America! Ireland is way ahead of us in the grocery game.

It should also be known that groceries in Ireland are relatively cheap. For roughly 30 euro, 4 college students can get their essentials (milk, eggs and bread), snacks for the week, and 3 dinners. Oh, and throw in some cereal, fruits and veggies for good measure.

Even with all these awesome things, one can still get a bit frazzled when going up and down the grocery aisles. Instead of making one grocery list for the week, the norm in Ireland is to shop a few times a week. However, my determined three roommates and I try to go once and only once. That never happens.

Every Monday, my roommate Nicole and I go out with our handy shopping list to get all of our food essentials. This past Monday we were determined to get all that we needed in one trip…

Monday’s trip took two backpacks, a reusable shopping bag and the dreaded plastic bag to get all our goodies home. Fun fact: cashiers don’t have to bag your items since you aren’t relying on their plastic bags.

We both decided to get things for ourselves on top of our communal grocery list. We tried our best to split things up, ultimately leaving with three transactions. Nicole and I scrambled to pay for our things and also sort them accordingly. Our cashiers waited and waited- and waited for us to get out of the way to move the line along. Even with all their “It’s ok, loves” as reassurance, I was convinced they were thinking “Get the feck out of here already!”

Nicole and I sat on the floor and hurriedly tried to pile all our things into our bags. I’m sure- actually I for a fact- that we looked absolutely crazy. Two American girls studying abroad in Dublin trying to figure out how to lug all of our crap home, sitting on the dirtiest of floors as people walked in and out with all their groceries like pros.

What a fun way to start off the week. But hey, when your weekly groceries come out to be around 30 euro, who cares about dirty floors and all the people around you experiencing second hand embarrassment? It’s all a part of the experience!



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