Tips & Bits In A New City

Photo credit: Daryan Shamkhali

By Lauren Mhyra

 

So you’ve taken the leap to head abroad, new country, new city, fresh start! It’s exciting but can be nerve-racking to head somewhere with a clean slate.  Much like heading off to college for the first time there are those things you wish you knew from the start. So, here are my tips and bits for starting life in a new city.

Don’t expect things

My biggest recommendation is to not set expectations for yourself. You probably have done countless hours of research and scrolled through hundreds of Instagram pages and have a must-do-list. If you block out every minute of your stay you’re likely to miss out on the hidden gems you had no clue about. You’re going to be integrated with others in a similar situation as you as well as locals so you’re going to get tons of suggestions that weren’t necessarily on the ‘Top 10 must do in Dublin’ list.  Go with the flow, try out suggestions from colleagues and talk to your housemates about their interests.

 

My rule of thumb is if I can get it at home, I tend to pass on it.

 

Additionally, mentioning expectations, completely forgo any notions about home. Dublin is a modern and diverse city. There’s going to be tons of the same things that you can find back home. But you will come to find out that your regular order from Starbucks doesn’t exist here. You’ll be in a for a BIG let down if you are constantly comparing things from back home. My rule of thumb is if I can get it at home, I tend to pass on it.

 

Get the touristy bits out of the way first

Photo credit: Trevor Cole

 

The first few days you’ll likely have some free time. Do those big-ticket tourist items first to check them off so when people ask, you can say you’ve done it.  If you make friends with locals, they are likely not going to want to do the leprechaun museum with you. This also opens up your schedule to do other things when you begin to meet people. This is also a great way to learn your new city’s history and culture so you’re well immersed when you make friends with locals. When people are talking certain historical events, you’ll understand and you can point out an awful Guinness pour.

 

Learn the public transit system

Photo credit: Nico Baum

 

Learning to use the public transportation system is going to save you so much time and make your life easier when it’s down pouring rain. I was intimidated by the bus and afraid that I would look ‘stupid’ not knowing what to do. For 6 weeks I walked everywhere and if I couldn’t walk I said forget it.  I could have slept in a little more in the mornings and think about all of the things I was missing out because it was ‘too far’. Don’t let this happen to you, it might take a try or two to get it right but after a few rides, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep.

 

It’s okay to do things alone

Photo credit: Milan Popovic

You’ve already taken the leap to move to a country on your own. Don’t be afraid to go do the things you want to do regardless of if there’s someone to do it with. There are many ways to find events happening within Dublin, utilize them! Going off on your own allows you to step out of your comfort zone. You’re not shielded by the comfort of familiarity.

 

The best stories are found in the pages of a passport!

 

Travel Travel Travel

Photo credit: Paolo Nicolello

You’re living in a country that is accessible to so many wonderful places. You could have stayed home and watched Netflix in bed for free, why come do it in a foreign country? Whether you take a bus to the next town over or you splurge on that €50 Ryanair flight, just go somewhere. I like to head somewhere new at least once a month. The best stories are found in the pages of a passport!

 

If travel planning on your own feels overwhelming, you could always consider traveling through a program. At Stint Ireland, we provide experiences for those wishing to intern abroad, take a gap year or a combined experience. Our enquiry form is non-committal and we aim to ensure you are supplied with all the right information that you will need to make that travel dream a reality.  

The Gap Year Balance

Blog by Lauren Ponsi (picture credit: JESHOOTS.COM)

 

The working holiday visa comes with immense benefits compared to regular travel. You get 365 days of living AND working in Ireland all while having fun, making memories diving into Irish culture.  In order to survive your working holiday, you have to find that that work-play balance that is ideal to you.

 

Work balance

Most likely the first thing you’re going to do once you land in Ireland is start job hunting. Think about what your goals and budget are.  For me, I registered with a few employment agencies, started off with temporary job assignments. This put me at working 35-40 hours a week Monday through Friday. This fit my goals and budget because I made enough money to pay rent, travel every so often as well as go experience the Dublin social life.  I had weekends off to travel, go out for the occasional Tuesday night trad session and even enjoyed take away a few times a week. This is what worked for my lifestyle within reason, I was able to gain work experience whilst still having fun.

 

I was able to gain work experience whilst still having fun.

 

FYI: If you know you hate mornings and sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day will drive you crazy, then temp jobs won’t be your thing. Dublin is such a diverse city, there are all kinds of jobs you can apply for. You don’t want your gap year ruined because you’re at a job that is not on par with your expectations.

 

Photo credit:  Angela Compagnone

 

 

Ballin on a Budget

Along with your gap year expectations, comes the price tag. When you’re thinking about the lifestyle you enjoy and the goals you want to accomplish in the year think about how much things cost.  Create a budget for yourself, what are the things that you can’t live without, how much do you need to save for travel and what are those extras you can forgo. Plan out the trips you want to take in advance, this way you can pay a little at a time or put extra cash away each paycheck. Also, Ireland likes to give everyone a little 3 day weekend every now and then called bank holidays. Utilize these to your advantage because it’s a free paid day off in most Monday to Friday jobs.   

 

Budgets are a good habit to get into, and it helps you become aware of how you’re spending your money. If I want to do more traveling I will maybe limit my take away and cook more, or skip out on that Wednesday after work drinks event. And that is a great benefit to taking a gap year, you don’t necessarily have to be go-go-go all the time. It’s fine to take a weekend off to save a little extra for that beach trip next bank holiday weekend.

 

Photo credit: Jess Watters

 

 

Work Hard Play Harder

So we all aren’t going on a gap year to strictly work, of course,  we want to meet new people and jump right into the Irish culture. The Stint Gap Year Program is a great way to kick-start your year in Ireland.  Before you even land in the country you’re already being linked with people on the same path with their Facebook community. Here you get the chance to make friends and find those who are similar interests as you.  With Stint, you’re never alone and there will always be someone who would be interested in doing stuff with you.

 

Along with Stint, there are so many social applications such as MeetUp, GirlCrew and the Facebook Events section are a few of my favorites because it allows me to filter by interests. You can find weekly hiking groups or what events are going on that week in the community and even get involved with some locals.

 

Photo credit: Kinga Cichewicz

 

A working holiday gives you the freedom and flexibility to grow into a new culture. You create an everyday life in a new country and can find yourself amongst the locals. Find the balance the perfect balance of travel, work, and friends to create the best year ever. Interested in hearing more about The Gap Year Program? Fill out a super-short form and we will give you all the infomation you need. 

A Gap Year

(photo credit: Ian Schneider, Unsplash)

By Lauren Ponsi (Stint community manager)

 

College is coming to an end, the countdown to graduation is on (or in some cases passed!). Friends are accepting those big kid jobs or committing to graduate school. Neither of which seem to take your fancy.  The world is calling your name and you decide that a gap year is what you need.

 

Well, here are some things you should know:

 

Money (…& Work) 

Finance is the first thing that comes to mind when considering a gap year.

 

“How can I afford to spend a year traveling whilst living at the same time?” A working holiday visa is a great way to spend your gap year.

 

A working holiday visa is a residence permit allowing travellers to undertake employment while supplementing travel expenses. Take up a job in a bar, or cafe to make some extra cash. Employment agencies are also a great way to balance work and travel. They work with the schedule you want- say you work one month then take off the next month to travel. Having a stream of income makes financing a gap year less stressful and putting international work experience on your resume is a BIG bonus.

 

Solo travel

(photo credit: Steve Lewis, Unsplash)

Don’t be afraid to be alone

You will be starting fresh in a new city, and probably know no one there. This is the most intimidating idea of taking a gap year. Even for the most outgoing people, being in a foreign city and making friends can sound terrifying. But you’re already out of your comfort zone, what is the worst that can happen! Going off on your own is the best way to learn about a new city (and yourself). You’re not reliant on anyone else and you can do whatever you want to do. Sit at the cafe reading your favorite book, spend hours in the art museum or take that Irish step dancing class.  Just go for it!

 

don't be afraid

(photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash)

There will be ups and downs

You are probably daydreaming of that perfect hollywood-esque gap year where you meet Paolo and become an Italian pop sensation- come on, we’ve all been there! Being honest, things aren’t always going to go as planned. If you have a hard checklist of everything you want to get done, you’re going to be highly disappointed. Because with life ‘sh*t’ happens.

Enjoy the time that you have, the bumps in the road will pass and the ups will outweigh the downs.

You have to learn to go with the flow because when you miss your connecting flight and are stuck in the East Midlands (middle of England!) airport for 24 hours, there’s nothing having a meltdown will do to fix it, but it will make a great story later on.  Enjoy the time that you have, the bumps in the road will pass and the ups will outweigh the downs.

 

A gap year is ultimately what you make of it. Experiencing a new country, new city, and a new culture is terrifying yet exciting. The best part of it all is you get to experience all these from a locals perspective. You melt into everyday life just like someone who was born there.  You have your favorite Chinese food place not on the must-try tourist lists, you’ll know the bus routes like the back of your hand and even find yourself speaking the slang in everyday conversation. So what’s holding you back, just take the gap year!

Considering A Graduate Program?

Graduate school can seem a little intimidating. You’ve just spent the guts of FOUR long years doing your undergrad. The thoughts of more all-nighters, increased student loans, and a pretty competitive jobs market- boo!

What if there was an option that was lower in cost, took less time and came with some pretty sweet perks…sounds too good to be true?! Well, it’s not. Here’s why you should consider a graduate program in Ireland.

 

(photo credit: unsplash)

Timeframe…

Time is money and money is being able to get that guacamole on your burrito, win/win! You’ve spent at least FOUR years as an undergraduate, the thoughts of two, three or even four more years to gain a masters degree is killer right?! Fear not- most graduate programs in Ireland take one or two years maximum. Short and sweet!

 

Cost…

Program costs can vary depending on the course and university, average costs are between $10,000- $20,000 per year which is significantly lower than in the US (medical based graduate programs can be higher). Sidenote: you will also have the ability to earn some cash while you study, more on that next. 

 

(photo credit: unsplash)

Opportunities…

Employment

You will also have the ability to work while you study! Those on graduate programs are permitted to work 20hrs (part-time) per week during university terms and up to 40hrs (full-time) during the holidays. Graduates can also avail of an extension of up to 24 months after their program finishes. Currently, graduates with skills in STEM, Accountancy, and Law are in high demand. 

Resumè boost

Your resumè will get a big ol’ boost too. Graduate school alone looks good on your resume, but graduate school abroad looks even better. This shows employers you’ve super skills in areas such as maturity, working/learning in a diverse setting, and much more.

Language barriers

Embarking on a graduate program in Spain or Italy sounds A-MAZ-ING, until you realize that language can be a huge barrier. Let’s not beat around the bush here, settling into a new city and school can be stressful enough. As English is the spoken language in Ireland, you won’t have to worry about a language barrier…just make sure you know all about having the “craic” and a cuppa “tae”.

 

(photo credit: unsplash)

Experience…

Away from the classroom, the experience will be awesome! Live in a new city, immerse yourself into local culture, connect with people from all walks of life and take the opportunity to travel across Europe too. Weekend hop to places like London, Edinburgh, Barcelona, and Paris with cheap flights from Dublin airport.

 

Bet you still have a million thoughts and questions!

If you’re worried about financing your studies, check out this helpful how to get scholarships to study abroad blog.

There are programs that can help with the application, arriving and settling in process. The Stint Ireland Graduate Program which is in partnership with UCD, one of Europe’s top universities, offers a program packed will all the support you will need to help you get set up and settled into life in Dublin.

How to be a digital nomad

 

 

Here at Stint Ireland, we are always challenging ourselves and what we do. When we say that we provide tailored experiences, we mean it. We recently caught up with Stinter Caroline Burden. Caroline is working remotely for a startup in Washington D.C. whilst on a working holiday visa in Ireland. Although not a very traditional way of experiencing a gap year, it is a pretty cool way!

 

“But how?”- we hear you ask.

 

We’ve got a three-part series where Caroline discusses all things remote work and living in Ireland. 

Part One

In the part one Caroline covers how the merging of her working holiday and remote work came about.

 

Part Two

Part two Caroline tells us what an average day looks like and how connecting with the startup scene in Dublin has been beneficial.

 

Part Three

And lastly, in part three, Caroline provides us with her top three tips for combining a working holiday with remote work. 

 

 

Note: Currently Dublin is booming with startups, tech companies and much more. There is a huge need for graduates with skills and experience within computer science, web development, data analysis, web architecture, data mining, cyber security, SEO/digital marketing, mobile development and much more.

 

If you’re interested in hearing more about our working holiday program simply fill out our enquiry form

Fancy an early Christmas present?! Well…

We teamed up with Go Abroad to give one lucky person a working holiday experience of a lifetime! 

 

To give you a little insight into what your working holiday could look like, we caught up with Khaki Bowman, a gap year Stinter. Khaki tells us all about why she decided to take a working holiday (a.k.a gap year) to Ireland and much more. 

 

What Could I Win?

We want to give one lucky person the experience of a lifetime!

Grand prize:

  • Stint Ireland Gap Year Program
  • 365-day Medical & Travel Insurance provided by Volunteer Card
  • 8 weeks shared accommodation in Dublin
  • International flight stipend from StudentUniverse
  • Weekend trip in Europe from Andy Steves Travel

Am I Eligible?

If you are from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, and the USA, then you are eligible to enter our Gap Year Giveaway. As the conditions and eligibility criteria differ for each country, participants must double check the eligibility criteria for their specific nationality on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

How Can I Enter?

Simply visit the Go Abroad Gap Year Giveaway competition page.

Team Stint would like to wish the very best of luck to all participants that enter!

Stint Ireland Adventures

Alumni Catch Up With Sarah Moffit

Last week caught up with Stinter & University of Utah graduate Sarah Moffit. Whilst in Dublin, Sarah interned with vStream Digital Media as a member of their production team. Sarah gained vast experience throughout her time with vStream. Whilst her hard work and passion did not go unnoticed! vStream rewarded Sarah’s efforts by allowing her to take the lead during the production of one project. Enough from us, let’s hear Sarah’s news…

 

Tell us why you chose to do an internship in Dublin?

I wanted to go to Ireland desperately, but I wanted to do more than just visit for two weeks. I wanted to know the locals and work with them. When my school connected me with Stint, I knew it was going to be the perfect set up.

 

(Sarah enjoying dinner with fellow Stinters!)
Did you enjoy your time in Ireland?

That’s a crazy question! I loved it!! I loved living in a house full of interns talking about our different work experiences and our family and friends back home. I loved traveling with these same strangers turned family. I loved our nights out on the town and our nights in with a glass of wine and a good movie. I loved working at my office and with my coworkers. I learned so much in those three months, about myself and what I want to do. I got the chance to be on set with a project I worked on all summer and play a necessary role as well! I saw each coast of Ireland and a few places in between 😉 I made lifelong friends and built quality relationships with my coworkers. I loved my time in Ireland.

 

I loved living in a house full of interns talking about our different work experiences and our family and friends back home. I loved traveling with these same strangers turned family.

What are you doing now?

I am actually continuing what I started in Dublin! I work for a post-production studio in LA and have recently been offered a role as a post-production assistant working hands-on with projects! It’s similar to what I did in Ireland and I’ll add that my experience during my Stint played a huge role in getting my foot in the door. I keep in touch with my coworkers, my supervisor, fellow Stinters, and my favorite admin at the Stint HQ 😉

(Sarah made the most of her time in Dublin)
Did your internship help you reach the job you’re at now?

100% You don’t get interviews unless you have relevant experience. That’s how it goes. The woman that interviewed me asked specifically about my Ireland experience and reflected that I would be a good fit because I had experience at a post-production company. That same experience also recommended me for the role I was just asked to fill as a post-production assistant. My internship through Stint gave me the confidence to pursue this career path. I gained so much experience at Visual that I felt comfortable applying to jobs I probably wouldn’t have post-grad! When I first arrived in Dublin, I was trying it out to see if it might be something I would want to pursue. Now, a year later, I have graduated from college and am about to transition to a full-time position as a post-production assistant working toward my dreams!

 

Any advice for future interns?

Take advantage of every opportunity! Get to know the people you live with and work with, they could be lasting friends.

 

We want to say congratulations to Sarah on her new job, you are awesome! Head over to our YouTube channel to see Sarah Moffit during her internship and many other intern stories. Visit our intern abroad page for further information on our internship program. Oh and remember our 10% Early Bird offer is ending on October 15th!

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!