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!

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!

I Dream of Ireland: Week Three

“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. What’s up this week?

Week 3 (March 18 – 24): Why we travel.

 

What’s happened so far?

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

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

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Off The Beaten Track: Donegal, Ireland’s Secret

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in the picturesque sea-side village of Rathmullan on the Fanad Peninsula in Co. Donegal. Believe it or not, this is my first time exploring this beautiful part of Ireland and I wasn’t disappointed. I have lived quite close to Donegal for most of my life and yet I have barely toured or visited a fraction of it. Sadly, this is true for many Irish people as it is the most northernmost county of the Republic of Ireland and quite the trek to get to. Be that as it may, I would recommend making the trip despite the long journey; the experience is absolutely worth the wait. 

Read More

Off The Beaten Track: Tivoli Theatre Car Park in Dublin

Tucked inside Francis St, a side street of the gritty Thomas St, is an oasis of colour, the Tivoli Theatre Car Park, Dublin’s own “5 Pointz.” As someone who walks down Thomas St everyday to get to work, it took me five months before I took the time to check this place out.

I read about the car park in Secret Dublin a few months ago and penciled it onto my to-do list. All I had to do was make a right turn while on my way home one day to see this marvellous site. But right turns can be tricky, eh?

I blame the rain.

Read More
Massive cliffs of Inis Mor

Off the Beaten Track: Inis Mor and the Worm Hole

If I happened upon a fork in the road, I wouldn’t take the road less traveled, nor would I pocket the fork. Who cares about roads? I’d walk straight into the forest and do some trailblazing!


That’s how I found myself in the presence of the Wormhole. Having hiked through boulders and a few cliffs, it was an especially rewarding moment when the Wormhole came into view, peaking out from an alcove in the cliff face. The natural phenomenon is a pool, rectangular in shape, directly cut from the limestone, into which water ebbs and flows.


I must have sat there, just staring at this wondrously cyclical scene, for ages. First, the ocean waves are too weak to overcome the limestone walls, then they slowly gather strength until finally the water spills over the edge and trickles into the limestone walls. The waves immediately following those are even more powerful, crashing directly into the pool. The Wormhole fills up, overflows, and starts to drain. The process starts over again. It is mesmerizing. It is peaceful. The repetition is like the beating of a heart. Nature’s heart.

Read More