Irish and American worlds combine

By DeeAnna Haney | Mar 13, 2013

A student at Western Carolina and a graduate of Pisgah High School, now 23-year-old Casey Moseley was ready for an adventure when she set out to study abroad in Ireland last year. Having never lived away from the home where she grew up in Clyde, it’s safe to say her five-month stay in Galway changed her life. Looking back on her adventure, here’s what Casey had to say:

Q: What was your favorite experience in Ireland?

A: "Going to the Cliffs of Moher. I just stood in awe and total silence the first time I saw them. It's almost like a fairy tale because everything is so green and gorgeous."

Q: What was the biggest culture shock?

A: "It would have to be between having to walk or take a bus to go everywhere and having to turn on the hot water heater when I needed hot water and wait half an hour for it to heat up to do dishes, shower or cooking. It was no fun when I forgot to turn on the heater in the morning!"

Q: What was your favorite meal?

A: "I lived in Galway Bay so the fish and chips were always delicious. Or garlic cheese fries from the Irish fast food restaurant, Super Macs."

Q: What was your least favorite part about Ireland?

A: "The weather. It was always cold, wet and gray. It only got warmer than 50 degrees one week out of the five months I was there."

Q: What was St. Patrick's day like in Ireland?

A: "I loved St Patrick's day, we woke up at 9 a.m. to eat and drink and didn't go to bed until 3 a.m. We watched the big parade that lasted nearly two hours and spent the rest of the day jumping from pub to pub all decked out in our green attire. It was an awesome day!"

 

While studying abroad Casey met Sean Frawley, a Galway native who was also studying art. The two became close friends and kept in constant contact after Casey came home in June 2012. Sean made his own trip abroad to visit Casey for eight weeks starting in January. Sean fell in love with everything American and Southern, from the delicious food to even the television commercials.

He is now back in Ireland waiting tables at a restaurant until he can save up enough money to get his work visa to live and work in America. Here’s what he said about his time living in Haywood County:

Q: What was your favorite experience while you were here?

A: "I loved everything about it. I loved visiting everything — Cherokee, Cataloochee, Biltmore House, the Casino and Asheville. I especially liked Cherokee. We don’t have that over here. We don’t have Native Americans and it was just something I had never known about before."

Q: What was the biggest culture shock?

A: "It was a big culture shock. There was nothing that was the same, except for McDonald’s. The biggest shock was the general size of everything. The cars were bigger, the roads were bigger the people were bigger. And driving everywhere instead of walking or getting a bus was as change as well."

Q: What was your favorite phrase you heard while you were in the South?

A: “Bless your heart.” That was so funny, I had never heard that before. If I said I’d never heard of something before they would say, “Bless his heart.”

Q: What was your favorite meal?

A: "I loved everything. The New Year’s Day dinner that Casey’s dad made was the most interesting with the black eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread. I had never had cornbread before."

Q: What was the best part about America?

A: "Everything is newer and technology is more accessible there. The people are way more friendly. They’re more talkative and more polite and they actually sound like they care when they ask how someone’s day is."

Q: What was your least favorite part about America?

A: "Some people are a bit more close-minded. Americans take things a lot more seriously, like politics and religion. You’re a lot more dedicated to it, whereas we’re kind of like “meh, whatever happens will happen.”

Q: What is St. Patrick’s Day like in Ireland?

A: "Parades are terrible because we don’t put a lot of effort into them. But we always have a lot of fun and drink on the streets, even the garda (police)."

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