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!
I lived as a victim of circumstance through my previous experience as a graduate. It is that which defined me. Step one of the journey was the desire to break free from circumstance. Circumstances had held me back for too long. Our identity is so entrenched in what we ‘do’ that my studies and then lack of a job within the field had left me with a negative experience and identity which didn’t reflect my own personality. It hadn’t been my choice to be in the position I was in. I thought about this daily, continually faced internal conflict about what I wanted to be doing and what I was actually doing. I thought I couldn’t change it.
Reflecting on the choices that got me here, I was driven to this action in a way. After trying so hard to get a job in the field I originally studied – law, I was spent. I was frustrated, I was exhausted. I had nothing left, or so I thought. I actually had much more left than I thought. I channeled that energy into my childhood passion – writing.
I started to take action to change those circumstances. Instead of accepting circumstance, I made choices. Choices which led to the abandonment of a career in law. Short of being a negative, this was actually a positive. I am a firm believer that if something makes you unhappy repeatedly; it is much healthier to walk away. I stumbled along the way a little as I still experienced some of that old resentment that it hadn’t worked out as intended. It had been my identity for so long that it wasn’t an easy process, but it led to my current journey as a writing and content creation intern. I knew I could have done a legal internship, but I chose not to. My choice had already led me down a different path.
Instead of accepting circumstance, I made choices.
Under my own initiative, I wrote and published two books, I did a different degree (Communications with a specialization in Professional Writing), it became my second Master’s degree. I put the feelers out to find work experience or an internship. Working full-time meant I’d need to find a flexible placement or take a period of leave. I did the latter and I had to save very hard to fund an extended period of an unpaid internship.
Instead of trying to find an internship in my home country of Australia, I chose to focus my search overseas lest history repeat itself. Fortunately, Stint Ireland made the whole process very easy. The application process, sourcing an internship and getting visa requirements, housing and insurance sorted was a breeze. In doing this, I was able to break free from circumstance.
In doing this, I was able to break free from circumstance.
The Hearts Choice
I found my way overseas to a country I have had a connection to for a long time. I always wanted to see the delightfully green Emerald Isle. A short visit for the first time a few years ago cemented my love for Ireland and it became the obvious choice for undertaking an internship. I wanted an English speaking country as it would be easier to integrate into my new life.
As a writing intern, I needed an English speaking country as the only other language I speak, read and write in is Greek. My need to unleash my full creativity meant I needed an option that would allow me to write in my native tongue. Ireland came up almost immediately as an option. I adore this beautiful country and was fortunate to find an excellent opportunity as an intern here. That is what I am now – an intern. A slightly older intern than what may be expected perhaps, but an intern nonetheless!
In a few short weeks, Ireland has become a part of my heart. I love her pace, her beauty, her architecture, history, her music, and dance. I love undertaking this incredibly rewarding opportunity. I get to write, edit and be creative on a daily basis all while living in beautiful Dublin and having the opportunity to explore Ireland’s lush, green countryside filled with one adventure after the next. I have explored legends, historic ruins, and picturesque mountains and lakes. I have walked ancient causeways, explored charming cobblestone streets and castles, even cemeteries. What a bonus to be so close to Europe – a weekend in Rome, Paris, Madrid or any other European city is not more than a few hours away.
I have learned that circumstances are just that – circumstances that can be changed if I choose to lay the groundwork to change them. Nothing is easy but my time as an intern so far has shown me that the possibilities are endless. My only unrealistic expectation is to miraculously gain an Irish accent! This I know is not possible. For now, I will enjoy the pleasant lilt of the accents I hear around me as I experience life in Ireland.
Tia Mitsis is an author and blogger with a keen passion for travel and adventure. She is interning with Extreme Ireland in Dublin from January 2017. You can check out Tia’s blogs at When Study Goes Wrong and Greek Travel Odyssey. We are proud of you Tia!