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.

Internship Abroad to Career

By Lauren Ponsi (photo credit: Daria Nepriakhina)

Internships are a vital part of building your resumé and developing skills. Internships are an investment in your future because ultimately it is creating the foundation of your career. I have completed a series of different internships in a few different companies, across different sectors, but it all ties back to help my career choice in the end.  

Here are 3 reasons why my internship helps me choose a career path.

Real world experience

Doing an internship gives you an opportunity to work hands-on in your field of choice. You get to see a day to day view of what a certain job might be like and teach you more about that job. Think of it as taking a job for a test drive- internships are a way to try out different jobs and explore different options. When choosing to do internships, try out positions from different departments.M internship was in marketing, PR, community relations and events. I gained an insight for the various roles but all created a foundation of skills that I can use in any of those roles in the end. I found my passion as well as became a well-rounded individual.

 

 

photo credit: Kyle Glenn

 

Personal Development

All experiences we go through, shape us to who we want to be. To know yourself is to know your goals and you’re going to achieve them. An internship is a great way to test your boundaries and learn from failure. You’re placed in a position where you might not know how to do things, and that’s okay. You not only learn about the necessary skills for the job but you learn about yourself and how you work in a workplace environment. Internships gave me confidence in my work, I was given tasks outside my comfort zone that led me to showable skills on my resume. I no longer fear making cold calls about sales but know sales probably not my strong suit. Whereas the fast pace of an event was stressful and scary but now is something I love to do.

 

photo credit: rawpixel

 

Network Building

Building a strong professional network early on is critical on any career path. Sure anyone can attend a networking event and chat up some recruiter at a booth but creating connections through an internship can be even more beneficial. Your supervisor and other employees can see your work in real life and see how you work with others. By interacting with professionals you make new connections and learn how to communicate in a professional environment. You never know who people might be connected with. Your internships might not have availability for a full-time position but your supervisor may put you in contact with someone who does and can give a reference for your work ethic. My internship in Ireland allowed me to put an Irish company on my resume and my supervisor gave me a reference for a future job in Ireland.  

 

photo credit: Helena Lopes

Internships are a great way to test the waters with what you want to do. You can develop your personal and professional all while investing in the foundation of your career. Utilize internships to try out different roles and find exactly what career you want to do.

group working at a laptop

An Internship Abroad

Blog by Lauren Mhyra (Photo Credit: Štefan Štefančík)

 

So you’re thinking of doing an Internship Abroad, whether it is a program requirement or you need a valid excuse to live your European dream while padding out that resume. An Internship abroad comes with so many more great benefits than just ticking off a requirement or some skill on a resume.

 

Here’s what they don’t tell you about interning abroad.

 

Photo credit: Kevin Lee

It’s going to be challenging

An internship is essentially a peek into what working full time in your respective field is like. So you’re going to be doing things you may have never done before, be ready to take whatever comes at you and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  The company knows you’re coming in with minimal skills and experience they’re not going to expect you to do brain surgery on the first day. But they also know you’re there to learn so expect to do things you might know how to do. No question is stupid, and you’re supervisors are going to understand if you don’t quite know how to do something. When in doubt, ask about it!

 

Ultimately this is your internship, make the most out of it.

 

Stint Ireland does an amazing job of placing you into an internship where they see you thriving the most. They take into account what your major is, what careers you’re thinking about and create a placement that works for you. Use this to your advantage, because, learning about an international company and forming relationships is just as important as the tasks you perform. Ultimately this is your internship, make the most out of it.

 

Photo credit: Aaron Kato

 

Adjusting to Cultural differences  

Many people say going to another country, you’re going to experience a culture shock. This is absolutely true, but they don’t say what aspects. When you intern abroad you’re going to live and socialize with people from all over. People are going to cook different food and have different habits than you’re not used to. But when you start your internship, you are going to be the different one, your colleagues are going to ask questions about your culture and the things you do. You’re going to notice your idiosyncracies more when you’re the so-called foreigner. Your colleagues might think something you say or do is funny but don’t take it personally, it’s new them too! (My Irish housemates laugh every time I say ‘awwh man’ after a small problem and I never realized I did that myself).

 

Accept the difference and you’ll come to find out that learning these things is an added bonus to the job title on a resume.

 

The work culture is probably going to be the biggest thing to adjust to, though I think this is the best way to assimilate to Irish culture. You’re going to find yourself learning the everyday differences in life. Like, how in Ireland trash cans are called bins, taking several tea breaks is acceptable and even going for an after-work pint with your boss is normal. Accept the difference and you’ll come to find out that learning these things is an added bonus to the job title on a resume.

 

Photo credit: Annie Spratt

 

Real life experiences

 

When you go back home and eventually have to explain what skills and experience you gained from your internship, you’ll, of course, share the work you did daily but there is so much more to the daily work. You could have easily learned to write that press release at the PR firm in your hometown, but along with this skill you put that you learned the brand of an international organization all while adjusting to life in a foreign country. When spending two to three months working in a foreign country, you’re going to gain personal skills you never even thought you needed.  From from living with unfamiliar people to navigating public transportation, you can share how all of the skills you gained from such tasks.

 

An internship abroad offers an opportunity for both personal and professional growth. Your boundaries are going to be tested and challenged in a 24 hours a day 7 days a week setting while you are abroad. You will develop a load of soft skills such as networking and communicating that will be beneficial in and out of the workplace that you might not get in an internship in your hometown. All while experiencing the greatness and beauty of Ireland.

 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our team to hear more about Interning Abroad 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

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 #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!

Anis-Blog Main Pic

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

Hi, my name is Anis Raihana. I’m from Malaysia. In January 2017 I became a Stinter and started an internship within the area of chemical engineering in Dublin. This blog outlines the cultural differences between my home country and Ireland. Whilst I also talk about how unique Ireland truly is. I hope you enjoy!

Moving to Ireland for an 11-week internship experience with lots of adventures around the island was the best decision I have ever made, despite feeling heavy hearted to leave my loved ones behind. I had tons of fun and gained heaps of knowledge. I knew I did not regret taking such a big decision almost a year ago when I rejected a local internship offer. Of course, this involved a rollercoaster of emotions and patience but most importantly, I had the opportunity to observe and learn about a new culture.

Due to the fact that it has a long history on monastery sites during the golden age, Ireland is known as the ‘land of saints and scholars.’ The Irish culture is unique in its own way.

 (Some of the Stinters I met) 

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

 

The Irish Humor!

One of the first things I realized about the difference between Malaysian and Irish culture is wittiness and humor. Malaysians typically joke around with their closed ones, unlike Irish people who can joke around with strangers without anyone feeling offended. One day, I was buying a card from Spar at the place where I worked at, the cashier played around with me by not letting me take out my bank notes from my purse. I did not realize it was a joke until I looked at him and he was giggling. My top employer too, teased me when he thought I sailed from Indonesia instead of Malaysia.

Next, Irish or Dubliners, in general, prefer to take public transport rather than driving unless they live far from the city center. On the other hand, Malaysians prefer driving our own cars with public transport being the second option, regardless where we live.

(Walking means you can explore castles!!)

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

Phrases

Malaysians would say ‘okay’ or ‘alright’ after they understand a topic, or ‘Everything will be alright,’ Irish would say ‘grand’ or ‘Everything will be grand.’

Malaysians address customers as ‘sir’ or ‘madam’, Irish addresses their customers as ‘love’ or ‘darling.’

In addition, Irish people are full of praises. Even when it is a small achievement, they would say, ‘Excellent!’ ‘Brilliant work!’ ‘Perfect!’ Unlike Malaysians, we only praise one another when it is a big achievement.

Malaysians say ‘thank you’ or ‘terima kasih’ in Bahasa – a lot but not ‘sorry’ and ‘please’ which are being said for almost everything and all the time in the Emerald Isle.

Your Health is Your Wealth in Ireland

In Malaysia, we work like there is no tomorrow or in other words, ‘work comes first before health’. In Ireland, it is the other way round, ‘health comes first before work.’ Even if it means you have a very light fever, you’ll be sent home immediately.

(Howth is a lovely place to unwind- plenty of fresh air!)

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

Food and Social Time

Rice is our staple food in Malaysia whereas potatoes are the staple food of Irish. Hence, why you’ll be able to buy 1 kilogram of potatoes at €1.

Malaysians love spending weekends at shopping malls ( an exceptional case for myself :D) and our shopping malls close at 10pm every day. On top of that, one can also easily spot a person with sunglasses even at the malls! Shopping streets or malls in Ireland generally close between 6pm to 7pm and even though the Sun is shining brightly, it is pretty rare to spot someone with sunglasses.

Random Fact: There are only 11 toll roads or motorways in Ireland. In Malaysia, there are 33 highways or expressways with toll points. Even so, our government is planning for more toll roads!

Unique to Ireland

You can hear Irish music almost everywhere you go including souvenir shops and on tour coaches, whereas Malaysian music is only being played at certain places or occasions like museums, temples or during weddings and local concerts.

(The amazing Cliffs of Moher)

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

 

At home, we love our beautiful sandy beaches, Petronas Twin Towers, and Mount Kinabalu. While the Irish love their green scenery, sheep, and Cliffs of Moher. We have 7Eleven and Mydin all over the country while there are Subway and Spar everywhere in Ireland. Pubs are the norms and hang out spots in Ireland while Indian restaurants or what we called as ‘Mamak’ are our normal hang out spots in Malaysia.

In terms of time keeping, both Malaysians and Irish are somewhat very relaxed about it. For example, when someone arranges a meeting to commence at 8am, this normally mean 8:15am or even an hour later for Malaysians.

Ireland: A Truly Amazing Experience

All in all, my time in Ireland was craic! I wouldn’t want to trade the experience with anything else. I have definitely missed hearing people say ‘grand’ at all times, on top of striking a conversation with strangers on the streets. If I were given a chance to return to Ireland for either a holiday or even a job offer, without any doubt I’d say YES.

Anis became a Stinter in January 2017 and really embraced her time in Ireland. Anis has many talents and being awesome is just one of them! You can catch more of her writings via her personal blog. Stint Ireland would like to thank Anis for her blog contribution. We look forward to her coming back to visit us in the near future. 

A Gap Year: Parents Guide

You’re thinking about your child’s future- that’s normal. You basically want what is best for them both personally and career wise- understandable. The idea of a gap year worries you, and deciding whether you are going to give the “OK” is hard, parenting is hard- we get it.

 

As a parent, we know that you’re probably asking the practical questions. “Is it safe?”, “How will it impact my child’s future prospects?”. You’re probably even running the numbers in your head, the cost of flights, spending money, insurance, visa and who knows what else?!

 

Honestly, when your child talks about the prospect of a gap year, we totally understand your apprehension.

 

We are here to help, and we won’t shower you with sales pitches. This blog will simply cover the realities of what your child will face after graduation. Whilst we will provide some helpful answers to those practical questions.

 

A smack of reality….Yep, that’s what happens after graduation.

 

The world today is competitive, everyone is trying to get somewhere fast. More and more young people are securing degrees: competition can be fierce. As a result, many employers are now looking beyond undergrad degrees, focusing more on postgraduate qualifications and life experience. Most young people go from academics and extracurriculars to the hectic life of a full-time job (if they’re lucky!) and the millions of other things that make us official adults (i.e. taxes, bills, rent, debt, cooking meals, washing clothes).

 

Essentially, most young people go straight from a life of schooling to adulthood without any transition or practice. This is the reality for graduates today.

 

Psychologist Jeffrey Arnott suggests that early twenties is a transition stage between adolescence and adulthood called “emerging adulthood”. It’s within this period that many young people feel “in between”, at a time of instability.

 

The big challenge for parents is providing the right support through this stage. Providing the best advice, guidance, and time.

 

Seems a little bit overwhelming right?!

 

Knowing the options and understanding how best to help may seem a little difficult but don’t worry, we can offer some support.

 

In this guide, we will cover what a gap year can provide to your child.

Gap Year Parents Guide

A gap year provides many opportunities for developing new skills and adapting to the real world

It’s not all wanderlust-y backpacking and no alarm setting.

 

Adjusting to a new culture, new country, figure out legalities (i.e. finding work, getting paid, paying rent/bills, visa restrictions etc) and learning to live in a completely new society are definites when it comes to a gap year. These experiences provide skills such as initiative, reliance, problem-solving, cross-cultural communication and learning to adapt to change, to name but a few. These are not just valuable life skills but they completely boost any resume or interview conversation.

 

Living abroad stimulates personal growth

In college, we tend to spend a lot of time around the same type of people, do the same things and even take on the same traits and habits. And that’s ok, it’s all a part of growing up. A gap year provides a period of “figuring things out”. Exposure to new people, situations, and social norms stimulate various degrees of growth and empathy. Whether it’s figuring out life’s true calling, finding a career path or simply maturing- a gap year facilitates it.

 

Gap Year Parents Guide

Absence makes the heart grow fonder (and helps provide perspective!)

It’s perfectly normal to feel like the grass is greener on the other side (and maybe it is!). But there is nothing like a little distance to make you really appreciate what you have at home.

 

The distinct desire toward big city life, rolling green hills, and pure adventure will always push most young people to look beyond their current situation. An experience abroad will trigger maturing, perspective and gratitude. It’s easy to fall into the habit of mom doing our laundry, dad being the on-call taxi driver or even just having easy access to all our favorite foods: traveling will give you a real appreciation for these kinds of things.

 

Right, that all sounds very good but you still have some questions.

 

Is it safe?

Dublin is a relatively safe city and Ireland sits high for safety on a global scale, ranking 12th (see this IEP report from 2016).

 

We understand that traveling alone comes with its risks but taking a gap year through a reputable program is a safe and secure option. For example, with Stint Ireland, we invest in accommodation that is located in safe areas (no hostels!). We are contactable 24/7 in the event your child needs us. We provide everything from an airport pick-up, meet and greet, orientation to ongoing personal support. Whilst all our program participants are provided with insurance before arrival to Dublin. Basically, your child’s safety is our main priority.

 

Maybe you’re wondering about terrorism- well, we have had no terrorist threats here in Ireland in recent years.

 

How could I support my child?

Navigating adolescence alone is tough, coming out of college and facing many big decisions can be even tougher. The best form of support is non-judgemental and unconditional. Your child will respect when you have listened and engaged in this manner.

 

We suggest being a guider- let them come up with their own decisions through guidance. Making sure they have covered all angles: safety, finance, planned traveling routes etc. Have conversations about these kinds of topics, avoid quizzing or questioning. 

 

Throughout their gap year, they will have ups and downs, be their support. Remember this experience is practice for real-life. Encourage them to meet new experiences head on, to make new friends and fully embrace their time abroad.

 

When the time comes to go home, help to prepare them. Believe us, a gap year will change your child. They will have become a little more independent, mature and individual- respect that. Give them the time and space to process their experience. Converse with them, they will appreciate your interest and support.

 

Money- the finances?

A huge defining aspect of an experience abroad. The initial costs can seem expensive: visa, insurance, flight, and going through a reputable company can add to the cost, but with that comes a huge level of support and help. Some gap year programs such as the one Stint Ireland provides cover housing and insurance within the program fee- so there are no hidden costs.

 

Remember, your child can also obtain a job with their visa (working holiday visa), so once they touch down and get settled, it is just a matter of finding a job and going through the legalities i.e. obtaining a social security number and bank account. Again, via a reputable gap year program, your child will have all the support they need to find a job and get set up.

 

Have more questions?

 

Cool, questions are good. Feel free to contact us at team@stintireland.com. We would love to chat.

 

For more information on Stint Ireland’s Gap Program please visit www.stintireland.com

 

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! 

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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