Intern Chats with University of Arizona Graduate Lauren Ponsi

Summer 2017 was a blast- what an incredible few months. We wish we could rewind and do it all again! We had a pretty awesome bunch of Stinters and it’s with great pleasure to introduce Lauren Ponsi. Lauren interned at Pure Results Bootcamp, where she got lots of first-hand experience in marketing and PR. Lauren provided us with a little insight into her internship experience in Dublin.

Let’s hear from Lauren…
Tell us why you chose to do an internship?

I wanted to gain real world experience in the degree field. 

 

…and why Ireland?

The country is beautiful, the people are so friendly and the CRAIC (see here for urban dictionary explanation!).

 

The best thing about Dublin is…

You can find something to do any night of the week (Dicey’s €2 pints are also not bad!)

 

(Lauren with Stinter Madison Wallace, enjoying a craft beer)

If you could give future intern abroad participants one piece of advice, what would that be?

Don’t be afraid to venture on your own, sounds scary, but you find the best treasures when it’s just you and yourself. 

 

The weirdest thing about Dublin is…

When you’re crossing the street, cars will actually speed up! Like “Hey mate, I would have crossed in plenty of time but you had to speed up and now I broke a sweat from the mild jog!’. 

 

And of course, the most important question of all- tea of choice (Barrys or Lyons)?

BARRYS!! 

 

Lauren recently graduated and will be returning to Ireland (and Stint) as a gap year participant in 2018. Catch Lauren over on Instagram (@laurenmarie), where you can follow both her internship and gap year journies!

 

As summer ends, we are busy planning for 2018 and with that, we want to let you know we just launched our 2018 Early Bird discount. Apply to our Stint Internship Program before October 15th, 2017 and get 10% off your program fee. If you’re ready to apply, great- click here.

Gap Chat #3

Gap Chats #3

We are proud to introduce Khaki Bowman, who is our Gap Chats #3 feature. Khaki is a fashion queen (or kween…whatever you prefer!), super blogger, and all round great Gap Year Stinter. Take it from here Khaki…

 

Tell us a little about why you chose to take a gap year?

I’m not sure exactly when it was that I caught the “travel bug”. It had to have been somewhere between my junior year of college and starting my job in the real world after graduation. I knew I wanted to move abroad for awhile I just wasn’t quite sure how I could or where to even start. I just began to research (a lot) and figure out what my possibilities were. The more I researched, the more I knew I had to make it happen. To me, it was a “now or never” kind of thing, and I wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip away. 

…..And why Ireland?

Ireland had been at the top of my bucket list for awhile. I had a friend who had previously moved to Ireland on the Working Holiday Visa. She fully recommended it and gave me all the insight. I weighed out many pros and cons (against other European countries). Ireland just seemed like the perfect fit for me. Cheap and accessible travel, English speaking, GUINNESS, the greenery, safeness, the pubs, outdoor attractions, etc.

 

Gap Chats #3
(Khaki around Ireland)
The weirdest thing about Dublin is….?

The slang. Irish folks say things like “good craic” or “what’s the craic,” meaning it was good fun, or what’s happening. “Your man” referring to just any person, not actually ‘your’ man. “That’s gas” meaning that’s amusing. These are just a few of the frequent sayings, there are plenty more that I’m learning daily. They are catchy though, I have started to catch myself using them here and there.

Has it lived up to your expectations so far?
I made it an obligation to myself before moving to Ireland to keep an open mind and refrain from having certain expectations. I didn’t want to make up extravagant scenarios in my head to be let down if things turned out differently. I’d say it has worked favorably with me as I have absolutely enjoyed living in Dublin, exploring new places and meeting new people.
Explain what kind of work you’ve been doing?

I am currently doing temp work. I work with a few temp agencies here in Dublin. They set me up with office jobs (mostly reception) ranging from days to months depending on what the company needs. I chose to do this as opposed to say working in a pub or coffee shop because of the flexibility. I can accept a job and work for a couple weeks and then go travel for a while before accepting another position. Plus, I get nights and weekends off to run around town with fellow Stinters.

Have you any advice to people considering a gap year?
DO IT. If you have the slightest urge to move abroad, I say do it. It’s not an opportunity that will always be available and you have the rest of you life to start a career. The people you will meet and the places you go while living abroad is such an incredible learning experience that you just can’t get otherwise. 
Where to find Khaki-
If there is one thing (after booking your Gap Year that is) you should do after reading this is head over to Khaki’s Instagram (@khakibowman) and personal blog for all things travel and fashion related. Khaki has been traveling Italy recently and her pictures of Sorrento, in particular, are unreal.

Gap Chats #2

Gap Chat #2 is with Kyle Kredt: a super cool gal currently living like a local in Dublin. Kyle mixes her weeks with adventure and working. In any way, let’s hear from Kyle…

Tell us a little about why you chose to take a gap year?

During my junior year of college, I had a classmate that was a Stinter intern. I remember sitting in class absolutely fascinated that she had gone abroad and worked in Ireland for a few weeks. I wanted to study abroad while in school and was never able to make it happen, but I decided the day I heard about my classmate’s experience that I was going to try out a gap year after I graduated college.

….and why Ireland?

I didn’t look into any other gap year programs because I knew I wanted to do it in Europe. Ireland seemed like a great introduction to a continent I had never visited.

Gap Chats #2 (Photo Credit: Ayla Graney)
(Dublin: close enough to Europe, yet far enough away to feel like a tiny continent in itself!)
The weirdest thing about Dublin is…?

For me, the weirdest thing about Dublin is the weather. It can change quickly throughout the day, sometimes making it hard to know how to dress appropriately.

Has it lived up to your expectations so far?

Being in Ireland and living in Dublin has been everything I thought it would be and more. The people are lovely, the culture is amazing, and there is so much history.

Explain what kind of work you are doing?

Right now I am doing a lot of reception/admin work. Since one of the main reasons I took a gap year was to travel, a 9-5 office schedule is really nice for weekend trips.

Have you any advice to people who are considering a gap year?

My advice would be to do your research. Whether you’re considering an internship or a gap year, you’ll want to be prepared.

 

So far Kyle has visited England, France, Switzerland, Germany and various parts of Ireland. I would highly recommend heading over to Kyle’s Instagram (@kylej0rdan). Her Insta-feed contains epic travel pictures, glorious food and lots of humor!

Gap Chats #4

Gap Chats #4

Gap Chats #4 brings Hayley Sawyer, a very talented creative who snaps some pretty amazing pictures of her travels. Without further delay, let’s hear from Hayley…

 

Tell us a little about why you chose to take a gap year?

I chose to take a gap year because I wanted to make the most of my time being young enough to really do big things. I’ve always had a big urge and curiosity about living abroad and I didn’t want to regret not taking the chance now rather than later!

 

….and why Ireland?

Oh man. So I traveled to Ireland a few times when I was younger with a ton of my family, so I’ve always had some of the best memories from here. Plus, the people all over are some of the kindest, most genuine people and that just makes adjusting to life away from home easier. And could you blame them with the dead gorgeous scenery all around them? I think I maybe take 500 pictures a day and when I don’t have an activity or trip planned, I spend my time looking back on old photos just to get that feeling again. That really made the decision easy.

 

Gap Chats #4
 (Some of Hayley’s amazing pictures of her travels)
The weirdest thing about Dublin is…?

The weirdest thing about Dublin is all of the lingo you have to work out. There are different ways of saying taxi, being “gas” is a great thing, and craic (pronounced “crack”) is a really really good thing!

 

Has it lived up to your expectations so far?

Dublin, and my experience thus far, has far exceeded my expectations in a lot of ways. But this experience has had so many surprises that took me to places I didn’t expect, and I really value that as well.

 

Explain what kind of work you are doing?

I’ve signed up with two temporary work agencies, and I’ve had some nice success with that. I’ve spent 3 months working with a dairy company taking orders from milkmen 8 hours a day (how Irish, I couldn’t turn that job down!), and then I’ve worked with investment banks and business law firms and even a media company. The variety is pretty valuable because every position has taught me so many new skills.

 

Have you any advice to people who are considering a gap year?

Take a big leap! It will be pretty scary faced with the possibility of moving to a new country, but the fear will subside and you’ll start to learn so I have about yourself. How you work, how you thrive, and also how to take care of yourself. You meet so many new people and places that you wouldn’t have at home, and taking a gap year is the best way to do all of this. It’s important to throw all expectations out the window because better things will always come along, and take in even the smallest of moments. Be patient, really really enjoy yourself, and things will always work out for the best!

 

Hayley has traveled around Europe and Ireland, taking many beautiful snaps along the way. She recently took a trip over to Morrocco and Italy which totally gives Gap Year FOMO! If you want to more information on our Gap Year program, you can always chat with us!

Stinter Ayla Graney

Gap Chats #1

Let us introduce our Gap Chats series. Over the next few weeks, we will feature some of our Gap Year Stinters, share their stories, what they are working at and hear the advice they have to offer. Although each Stinter story is completely unique, you will see that everyone shares similarities in reasons or ambitions to do a gap year. Why did we decide to create blog posts around their stories? Well, because they are pretty awesome and we also get a lot of questions from prospective Stinters about connecting with others that are like them! So here goes…

Gap Chat #1 is with Stinter Ayla Graney. Over to you Ayla!

Tell us a little about why you chose to take a gap year?
As my college graduation date quickly approached, I knew I was not ready to settle down and find a steady job. Since studying abroad in New Zealand, my desire to travel and explore different cultures has become an important (and arguably vital) part of my life, so it seemed natural to take a gap year.

 

….and why Ireland?

There are many reasons why I chose to take a gap year in Ireland, but the two main deciding factors were my family’s Irish history and the unique visa that Ireland offers for U.S. citizens who have recently graduated from college. Other reasons include the unreal natural landscapes (which satisfies my need to sit in trees), the ever-flowing Guinness (which makes my stomach full and my heart happy), and how close I am to an airport (which fuels the travel photographer in me).

 

Gap Chats #1 (Photo Credit: Ayla Graney)
(Some of Ayla’s crazy amazing travel photographs!)

 

The weirdest thing about Dublin is…?

I love Dublin – its canals, its proximity to other coastal towns, its diversity… the list goes on for ages. I think that the weirdest aspect (but also something I have come to enjoy) is how it is not a picturesque Irish city. It, of course, has areas that have the stereotypical Irish vibe, but Dublin is different from other Irish cities, like Galway. It’s perfect the way it is, and it allows me to better appreciate the times that I am able to explore outside the city center.

 

Has it lived up to your expectations so far?

When I moved to Dublin, I didn’t really have any expectations – I think that’s a primary factor to true happiness. That said, Dublin feels like home, and I think that is the best way to describe how comfortable and welcoming it is to live in this city.

 

Explain what kind of work you are doing?

Currently, I accept temporary jobs when I can get them, but most days I go to a cafe (or curl up on the couch in my pajamas) and work on graphic design and photography freelance work that U.S. clients have assigned me. While this style of work is not always reliable, it allows me to live and travel a bit more freely. Temporary positions are also incredibly flexible, and working with different Irish agencies has been a great addition to my freelance gigs.

 

Have you any advice to people who are considering a gap year?

My biggest advice to individuals who are considering a gap year is to be entirely open and take the time to get to know yourself. I started this gap year thinking that I knew myself quite well, but after taking multiple solo trips and spending many days alone, I have become even more independent and self-aware than I was previously. Being comfortable with yourself also makes traveling with others a lot easier, as it gives you the independence to go off on your own if what you want to do doesn’t align with the group mentality. Traveling with friends is an incredibly fun experience, but having an understanding of your own mind makes everyone happier – trust me 🙂

 

Ayla is currently exploring Ireland and Europe whilst freelancing. We highly recommend following Ayla’s gap year journey on Instagram (@aylagraney), her pictures will give you all the wanderlust feels!

A Gap Year: Is It Really Worthwhile?

Dear Potential Gap Year Stinter,

Today I thought of you. I thought of you and the choice that lies before you: do I take a leap of faith and partake in a gap year in Dublin? This is no small decision. It must be weighed on personal, spiritual, financial, practical and social levels.

 

“But what I want you to know — what is imperative that you understand — is that taking this step is the single most loving gesture you could make towards your own personal growth”

 

I thought of you as I listened on my walk to my Wednesday afternoon podcast, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. The hosts were discussing what it means to protect and love something or someone. And Casper – I say his name as if we are close friends – Casper said, “To protect something, you need to love it. And to love it, you need to know it.” And I was almost halted in my tracks as I realized that before my time in Dublin I didn’t know myself, not really. If I had known before I moved the girl I was, am, and will be, I had lost sight of her for a time.

Back home, I felt stuck. I had graduated from college with two degrees and honors, and yet I was waiting tables and moonlighting as a science fiction editor. I was still piecing myself together after my greatest heartbreak to date and the subsequent return of my clinical, and nearly fatal, depression. I was living at home and felt my youth was being wasted on my claustrophobia-inducing small town. Looking back on it I know that this isn’t an uncommon sentiment for someone my age. There’s a reason Taylor Swift sings, “We’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time.” I felt trapped and I wanted out.

 

A Gap Year: Is It Really Worthwhile

A Gap Year: Is It Worthwhile

 

 

“That’s who I was when I applied to the program. That’s not who I am anymore”

 

 

 

 

Travel, Live, Grow.

I’m nearly to the six month anniversary of my arrival in Ireland. I’ve traveled all around the country and then some. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone and I’ve hiked through the Wicklow mountains. I’ve toured the Ring of Kerry and I’ve traveled by rickety plane over to the Aran Islands. I’ve danced the night away at Flannery’s and seen a concert at Whelan’s. I’ve traveled north, stood on the Giant’s Causeway, walked the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and even met Kit Harrington. I’ve jetted over to Edinburgh and climbed Arthur’s Seat, and I’ve even traveled to London to see my future school.

 

A Gap Year: Is It Worthwhile 3

But it’s not the physical journeys that make up my Stint experience. And, although I love them dearly, it isn’t my Stint family either. It’s my Sundays.

This Is Why It’s Worth It…

On Sundays, I wake up at 10:30 a.m. and walk the quarter mile to the gym. I get on the bike and I ride with a room full of strangers through what is always a humbling workout. Then I go to church in all my sweaty, panting glory. On my way home, I stop by Brother Hubbard South and pick up a scone, jam, and butter. And then I feast at the kitchen table with my housemates recounting our last two nights. I boil myself a cup of tea and I breathe.

 

For what feels like the first time in years, I am content.

 

Sometime during the day I go to Lidl, just twenty minutes away, and pick up my food for the week. I listen to James Bay serenade me through my headphones on the walk by the canal filled with swans. I meander through the grocery aisles and then stuff my reusable grocery bags (because that’s all they have in Ireland) with sweet potatoes, chicken breasts, and barbecue sauce.

Back at the house again, I start to work a new freelance gig, happy to have some contact with the industry that I love. Around 5:00 p.m., I FaceTime my parents. I tell them I love them, that I’m grateful for their support, and that I’m happy. I mean all three.

 

A Gap Year: Is It Worthwhile 4

 

Sundays are my favorite days because they are the days when I feel at home. And that is no small feat. I’m very aware of the sacrifices I have made, the trials I have endured, and the active choice I continually make to keep living.

 

I have reinvented myself from the nothingness that I previously felt I was, and I have formed myself into a young woman I am proud of.

 

I choose this life every day. I have a life I know, a life I love, and, as Casper predicted, a life I want to protect. And I make every effort to engage in those little daily acts of self-love.

And When It’s All Over

I know one day I will have to get on a plane and return to Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.A. I know one day I won’t be walking down the street with a scone in my pocket and my face towards the sun – which, by the way, is visible a lot more than the Irish propagandists want you to believe. I know one day I won’t wake up in this “dirty old town,” that one day I won’t be able to stop and marvel at the fact that I’m actually living in Dublin, that I’m actually doing it. One day it will be done. But I have gained more from six months as a part of Stint than I gained in four years of university and eighteen years before that. I’m never going to be able to replace the journey I have had during my time here.

It is because of my Sundays that I urge you to take a leap of faith. Make that gesture of self-love and give yourself a chance to grow into the person you truly are. I promise you, stranger, that gifting yourself this confidence is priceless.

With all my love and best wishes,

Rose

Rose Friel is a self-proclaimed ENFJ with a love of whiskey, books, and being an utter cliche. She graduated from Villanova University with a double major in English and Communications and will be matriculating to London College of Communication in September 2017 to pursue her masters in publishing. Check out her occasionally published works on Thought Catalog (http://thoughtcatalog.com/rose-friel/) or her flora legia style blog (http://www.theexpatmusings.com/). our journey! We are super proud of you Rose. 

My Journey to Interning in Ireland

by Tia Mitsis

For many young students a semester overseas, a gap year or internship sounds exciting. It sounded exciting to me too as a young university student. At the time I didn’t have the financial ability to do it. I yearned to have an exciting international adventure, I looked through the various semester abroad brochures at my university but it was a dream I knew I could not realize at that point in my life. Fast-forward a few years and here I am; an intern in the vibrant capital of Ireland, arguably one of the literary capitals of the world.

 

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

You don’t easily make the decision I came to. It is a risk to essentially walk away from a job and life you know to go overseas and work in an entirely different field. The decision required much soul searching and a keen sense of adventure. Everyone told me I was brave. I didn’t see it that way then. I saw it as a risk. A risk compared to the more predictable goings-on of daily reality. It is the fear of the unknown compared to the known. It was a risk I was willing to take. Now I embrace the ‘brave’ label proudly. It is brave to choose to live overseas for a period, complete an internship and experience a different life and culture.
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Going Against the Grain: Why I Chose to Intern Abroad

by Anna Schuttenhelm

 

 

From the posters in school, to my friends’ stories, to the pictures I pinned on Pinterest, studying abroad was on my mind for a long time.

 

To me, it seemed like everyone has studied abroad. Barcelona, London, Paris… I’ve heard all the stories. But as my college years progressed, the idea of studying abroad started to fade away. With each new semester, I became more and more invested in my major, my jobs, and the clubs I was a part of.

 

While I loved all of the amazing study abroad opportunities out there, I knew that a full semester away would not be possible unless I wanted to give up many of the things I worked so hard to achieve. That did not kill my want to travel and spend time abroad though.

 

There had to be another way.

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Home Is Where the Dessert Is

by Jacqueline Sirois

 

 

When living abroad in Dublin, you’ll find yourself wandering the stony streets of Dublin. Through the hustle and bustle of the city centre, you’ll soon transition from a wide-eyed tourist to being a local, learning to zigzag through the slow crowds in your path. You’ll become accustomed to this fast-paced way of life, getting used to the bus beeping at you as you scamper across that pesky third lane. But even once you take to your new surroundings, every so often, you’ll find little breadcrumbs along the stony streets taking you back home.

 

For me, that place in Dublin is Queen of Tarts.

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