Five Reasons To Love Ireland

By Lauren Mhyra

Céad míle fáilte– Irish for ‘a thousand welcomes’ which cannot be true enough when stepping foot into Ireland. Everything about Ireland welcomes you as if it were your own home. People always ask “why Ireland?” and I can never pinpoint it to one exact reason.  Whether you’re doing an internship, studying abroad or spending your gap year in Ireland you’re going to fall in love and here is why.

 

Rich in History

Ireland is packed with history from eras throughout thousands of years dating back to the Vikings who settled the first towns and ports to the Normans who built castles and cities and eventually, the English who dominated the island. Walk in the paths of literary genius’ and revolutionaries who have shaped Ireland like it is.  From the abandoned castles in the countryside to the bullets still in the GPO you’ll be mesmerized by how much can take place in such a small country. Forget about textbooks and the internet and actually see these historic places while you learn.

(Photo by Stephen Bergin)

The People

The stereotype holds true, the Irish are the friendliest and welcoming people in the world.  You can go anywhere on this small island, you’re practically guaranteed to find a friend.  Even in the big cities, you have that small town feel, that makes everyone so well connected. You go to a pub on your own, chat up the couple next to you and leave with dinner plans next week. Everyone is welcomed and the Irish make sure you feel it too. I’ve never met an Irish person who wasn’t nice.

(Photo by Kevin Dowling)

The Scenery

Breathtaking cliffs, rolling green hills, and picture-perfect sandy beaches Ireland has it all.  Make your way down the Wild Atlantic way swerving down the country roads lined with sheep, indulge in gastronomic gems and simply embrace the scenic vistas.  Living amongst such beauty makes it hard to leave.

(Photo by Nils Nedel)

 

Something for everyone

You can always find something to do here. Even just going out to the pub for some music. You have loads of really cool festivals,  surfing in Donegal or can even go for a hike in the Wicklow mountains.   Any given day or night of the week you can find something to do and you’ll never be bored living in Ireland.

(Photo by Luca Ambrosi)

The Craic

Just the overall vibe of the country makes you never want to leave. From touchdown to take off, you feel as though Ireland is home. No matter who you are, you can find something to love about Ireland.  Everything about the Emerald Isle is indescribably unique. The possibilities are endless and the moments are never dull. From the countryside to the hustle and bustle of a Dublin trad session you feel the spirit of the Irish embrace you.

(Photo by Kelan Chad)

 

Overall, there are a million and one reasons to fall in love with Ireland and I’ve attempted to narrow down the main points but come for a summer internship or a year-long gap year to experience what I am talking about.

A Gap Year: The Pros and Cons

To gap year or not?! One hell of a question, right.

 

To embark on a year of adventure and exploration or get ahead of your peers by entering a career path or go back to school. At some point the latter will happen, it goes without saying, but is taking time out before getting back to business really worth it? (Sidenote: gap year opportunities have expiry dates…just so you know!)

 

You may still be unsure about the idea of a gap year or you may even be at the stage where you’re 100% sure you want to do a gap year. Either way, understanding the pros and cons will help to clarify the realities, pros, and cons (hint: this can come in helpful when you’re discussing your plan with mom and dad too!).

 

Understanding the potential impact of a gap year on your life is highly important, so here goes…

Pro: Adds to your resume

A gap year can provide so many skills that any employer will be impressed with. The ability to work in a diverse environment, step outside your comfort zone, maturity, and ability to communicate cross-culturally to name but a few skills. What about all those great working abroad and travel stories you can tell during your interview too? A lot more interesting that discussing how you used your initiative to clean up a spilled milkshake on aisle four.

Con: You are away from life at home (…for a long time!)

Uhhhh toughie and there’s no doubt about it, being away from family, friends and the familiar ain’t easy. But we suggest asking this question: what will you lose from doing a gap year? Also, consider the gains too: travel, learning, growth, and experience. Facebook, Skype, and Instagram have made it very easy to stay in touch with home, so you are always only a call or message away.

 

Oh and remember you don’t have to literally work and travel for a whole year: it is very common for many to work and travel for six or eight months as opposed to the full year. The working holiday visa to Ireland simply permits you to stay a maximum of 365 days.

 

The Pros & Cons

Pro: Lots of experience

You will collect some amount of experiences and stories- we suggest taking a big diary! These stories/experiences are always great for your blogs, social media postings, they even come in handy when you get back to real life and are talking with a prospective employer.

 

Con: Could be Risky

What is life without risk eh?! But you know what…deciding to take the leap is harder than actually taking the leap. We haven’t met anyone who has regretted taking a gap year: even those who decided to go home before their visa was up. Everyone gets something out of the experience: new skills, overcoming a fear or even learning to navigate through a new country.   

A Gap Year: The Pros and Cons

Pro: New Friends

Especially when you gap year through a program you will meet lots of new people. You get to meet people from all walks of life, develop new lifelong friendships and even gain travel buddies!

Con: Homesickness

Yep, it happens. Homesickness can strike at any time, be it, missing a family member’s birthday, around holidays or just on a lazy Sunday afternoon. A lot of time it gets you wondering if you made the right choice but the nice thing about a gap year is traveling provides a distraction. The best way to combat homesickness: recognize it, allow it to happen and push through!

A Gap Year: The Pros and Cons

Pro: It’s a year to learn about you

Whether you start a gap year knowing the path you want to take or not, you really do learn a lot about yourself. Every experience, good or bad, throughout a gap year provides you with the opportunity to reflect. Many people use a gap year to find their calling or path.

 

Con: It’s an escape from “real life”

Unfortunately, Elon Musk has not yet offered any intergalactic gap year opportunities, so we hate to say that taking a gap year does not involve the exiting of “real life”. In actual fact, life becomes more real. A gap year exposes you to a variety of cultures and societies that you would not have seen otherwise. And believe us, moving to a new country, learning to live in a new place whilst having to adapt is hugely beneficial. The only real escape is from the day to day routine and comfort of home, and yes this can sometimes be difficult. 

A Gap Year: The Pros and Cons

Pro: It’s a break from education

Up until the point of taking a gap year, you will have spent a lot of time studying, taking tests and stressing about your GPA. Loss of motivation and focus can hit hard whilst it’s easy to start taking education for granted. Taking a gap year can re-energise you, let you have some time off, help to regain that focus whilst also providing an opportunity to figure out your true path.

Con: You’re no longer a student

Nooooo, there goes access to the food hall and not having to roll out of bed until after midday. Honestly, it does have its benefits. A gap year is more of a transition period, it eases you into real adult life whilst affording you the opportunity to adventure before you enter that new job or grad school.

 

So, there you have it, some pros and cons to a gap year. We hope this can help in making your decision a little bit easier, or help prepare you to chat with your parents. If you have any potential worries or questions, we would be glad to discuss them with you. Just drop us an email at team@stintireland.com. Thanks for reading out blog! 

Why Intern Abroad?

Do you know what your education is worth?

I had a crisis midway through college, one I’m sure many of you have had. I realized my college education would mean nothing once I’m in the “real world.”

 

Now, hold on. College wasn’t a complete waste of time – it was a load of fun, first of all. I’m just saying a college education is useless by itself. In the end, it’s just a piece of paper saying I received a degree in history. And all that meant was that I took about 10 classes in the subject – hardly making me a “historian.”

 

The hard truth is no one is going to hire you as an events manager just because you received a 4.0 GPA and “planned events” for the culture club. An education has to be complemented with practical experience.

Read More

6 Stereotypes About Ireland You Should Rethink

Ireland is a dream destination for many to visit, study, live, internwork, and play. Sometimes, I wonder why I was first drawn to Ireland. I can never seem to pinpoint what it was exactly, other than a strong longing for this place I had never been. That “longing” led me to study abroad here, come back for graduate school, and return yet again for love. The reasons behind others’ desire for Ireland ranges from discovering family histories, gazing at those green hills you’ve only seen in photos, golfing some of the world’s best courses, experiencing traditional Irish music, or studying a particularly Irish subject, to the more adventurous surfing off the Atlantic coast, drinking a fresh (properly poured) pint of the black stuff, enjoying the warmth of the people of Ireland, or simply taking in the breathtaking views only to be had along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Read More

Why We Must Live Outside Our Comfort Zones

We like routine. It’s easy. It’s passive. But when we fall into a routine, we stop noticing our surroundings and start taking things for granted. During my daily commute, I’ll often walk the same route, my mind abstract from my environment. Those streets I walk everyday become a part of the same journey, and the journey becomes an afterthought. It’s familiar and my mind grows lax in its comfort.

 

Read More

“What Makes You Feel Most Alive?” Photo Contest

Contest (2)

 

We present to you the first contest of our “I Dream of Ireland” campaign.

 

Let us know what makes you happy and alive via Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtag #dreamofireland.

 

Contest ends 12am EST, March 11, 2015. We look forward to your entries!

 

CONTEST PRIZES (Winners to be contacted on March 25, 2015)

First Prize: A free Stint Ireland Intern in Dublin program fee along with an Extreme Ireland Cliffs of Moher tour and tickets to a Happenings event.

Second Prize: A free Stint Ireland Work in Dublin program fee along with tickets to a Happenings event and a Gaelic Girl Three-bread mix set.

Runner-ups (3): A 10% discount on any Stint Ireland program fee.

Read More

I Dream of Ireland: Week One

“I Dream Of Ireland” is…

a campaign. It’s a message to the world, a declaration about travel and experiences abroad with Ireland, front and center, as a must-go on your journeys.

an opportunity. It’s a chance to get inspired by other people’s stories and to learn about experiences in Ireland.

a celebration. It’s a party and we’ll be providing the entertainment. Indulge us and join the fun (on FB, Twitter, or Instagram), whether it’s through our weekly competitions or if you just feel inspired. You’re invited, just use #DreamOfIreland for the world to see!

 

“I Dream of Ireland” will run for three weeks from March 4 – 25, each with a theme.

Week 1 (March 4 – 10): Take a risk. Challenge yourself.

Week 2 (March 11 – 17): Breaking stereotypes about Ireland.

Week 3 (March 18 – 24): Stories and memories from traveling.

 

Where is the magic happening? (To be updated throughout the week.)

Week 3 is underway. Check it out!


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