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.

Why Intern in Dublin?

By Lauren Ponsi

Main photo credit: Katherine McCormack

 

It was my final year of college, company recruiters were in and out of our lecture halls. Job fairs seemed more frequent but as I walked up and down the booths nothing seemed to pique my interest. What was I going to do after graduation, the most commonly asked question but in all honesty, I had no clue what I wanted to do. I was not ready to settle down into a boring 9-5 job but I also couldn’t afford to take a year to just travel.

 

photo credit: Scott Webb

Back Home With No Plans

After graduation, I headed back to my hometown with no sudden plans to do anything. My sister was heading off to England for a year study abroad and I was having major FOMO. I never had the opportunity to study abroad because an adviser told me it wasn’t feasible. So I didn’t even bother doing research which was my biggest mistake.

As I witnessed my sister have the time of her life abroad, I was stuck in my hometown working a job that really had no benefit to me. The year previously I had traveled to Ireland, and absolutely fell in love. So, one slow day at work I jokingly searched ‘how to move to Ireland’. I browsed some websites and found Stint. It seemed pretty cool but I thought I can’t afford this. so I saved the link and moved on.

 

photo credit: Toni Moeckel

It’s Easy With The Right Help

After a few more clicks to the website, I thought why not inquire about some more information. I thought an internship abroad might be the best thing for me. I get international experience and get to live in Ireland, a win-win!

As I had already been graduated from college, choosing to do an unpaid internship was a risky move. We always think of interns at the bottom of the totem pole doing work that no one else wants to do. I had 2 internships and a paying job under my belt, so getting coffee and filing papers would have been a waste of my time and money. The first chat with Stint made me confident that I would be in good hands during my time in Ireland.

 

photo credit: Justin Luebke

A Stree Free Experience

From my first chat, I made it clear that I wanted an internship where I could gain “real” experience. What I got was a tailored internship towards my skills and needs. Other programs had a set of internship placements with preselected companies, whereas with Stint it varies person to person.

An internship abroad is ultimately what you make of it. Stint does all the work from housing to your placement but you get to have a say. It was great to be included in the process. I ultimately choose to intern abroad because you can gain both work and life skills. It was Stints tailored placement that sold me. These skills have landed me back in Ireland on the gap year, so I can say my decision paid off.

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.

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.

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!