11 Signs That Ireland May Be The Place For You in 2017

Hands up if you’ve been thinking about a change of scenery lately? It’s The world seems to be changing more rapidly than ever and it can be a little overwhelming at times. We get it, you’re not alone either.

carrick-a-rede-rope-bridge-county-antrim-ireland

We understand the symptoms and we think we’ve found the remedy for you. Allow us to prescribe you a daily dose of good craic and great culture, jaw dropping landscapes, a vibrant economy full of opportunity, a welcoming, open society full of characters and a launch pad from which to explore Europe. Answer ‘yes’ to the majority of these questions and we’ll start writing up your prescription to come visit Ireland in 2017…

Are you at your happiest when surrounded by nature?

Little old Ireland is about the size of Indiana but packs in a frankly silly amount of glorious landscapes, coastlines and scenery to explore…

Prefer a friendly chat and a pint over relentlessly posting on Instagram?

Which scene sounds like more fun? A bunch of friends cracking jokes and sharing great stories in a bar or half a dozen ‘strangers’ huddled over a screen as they jam 94 hashtags into their fourth Instagram post of the hour. Thought so.

Hangover phone

Go weak at the knees over the world’s sexiest accent?

It’s not just Colin Farrell, that’s how we all sound. We may not win every global accolade but having the world’s sexiest accent is in the bag.

Just two of Ireland's many Hollywood stars. These two are less likely to find you and kill you than others...eh Liam?
Just two of Ireland’s many Hollywood stars. These two are less likely to find you and kill you than others…eh Liam?

Careful not to fall too hard for our charm, although you are allowed fall a little bit.

Find a smaller quaint town more appealing than a sprawling, soulless city?

Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick don’t do overbearing skyscrapers, overcrowded metros, toxic air pollution or a disregard for manners and politeness.

Instead, you’ll find that we’re all in this life thing together and there are more than enough laughs to be shared and ears to be lent in a town where strangers are just people you haven’t had ‘the craic’ with yet.

Inspired to experience European Culture?

Who wouldn’t want to explore Europe? Comparatively to other continents, you cannot find so many diverse cultures in such a small area and it’s a crime to settle in Ireland while not taking a trip to Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and beyond. Even getting over to Greece is just a short 4 hour flight away.

Want to become the funniest person in most rooms?

The Irish sense of humour is downright legendary and based on never, EVER taking life too seriously. For every brilliantly successful comedian like David O’Doherty there’s a similarly funny character in most bars and clubs dotted around the country.

Looking for a new favourite sport?

Ever heard of Gaelic games? You’re about to. During the summer months, Ireland’s 32 counties battle each other in gaelic football and hurling with games attracting crowds of 80,000. The sport is completely amateur, something that is pretty mind boggling when you see the fervent support and passion of both players and fans. It’s a way of life in Ireland and you’ll fall in love with it.

Gaelic football is not dissimilar to Aussies Rules but it’s Hurling, which is basically hockey on a lot steroids and the fastest field sport in the world, that’ll really capture your imagination. Again an amateur sport, the skill levels are outrageous.

These Americans watching it for the first time have their minds blown…

Top Tip: Don’t support Kilkenny. Sure, they’re the best hurling county but everyone else hates that fact!

Want to see where Luke Skywalker and Jon Snow really live?

It turns out the Jedi has been hiding down in Co.Kerry this whole time. Skellig Michael has always been held in the highest regard within Ireland and now, thanks to The Force Awakens, it’s gained global recognition as a top tier Bucket List item.

Not only does Ireland boast the hideaway of a Jedi, it’s also where the Stark’s call home at Winterfell (Co.Antrim).

Want to experience the world’s biggest bands in the best country to play live music?

It’s difficult to remember a year where so many incredible bands are coming to Dublin. Allow us take a breath while we reel off a who’s who of global icons, all playing in Dublin between April – September 2017.

Coldplay

Coldplay, U2, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Alt-J, Bon Iver, Phil Collins, Ed Sheeran, Two Door Cinema Club, Hans Zimmer, The 1975, Bob Dylan, Bruno Mars, Kings of Leon and Justin Bieber.

Ireland is a legendary place for bands to end their European tours and have a last big show, with an unforgettable crowd in some of the world’s most revered music venues.

The Olympia Theatre is hands down one of the best music venues in the world
The Olympia Theatre in Dublin is hands down one of the best music venues in the world

Looking for a shop window into some of the world’s biggest and best tech companies?

Ireland isn’t just about having a great time, there’s also massive opportunities for international students to get experience with some of the world’s biggest tech companies.

Thanks to low tax rates, a skilled English speaking workforce and prime location for entry into continental Europe, the likes of Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, PayPal, eBay, Microsoft, AirBnB and Dropbox have all based their Euro operations out of Ireland.

Got the balls to do something bigger and better in 2017?

We’ve been helping hundreds of international students relocate to Ireland over the years and they all had something in common, a willingness to experience something new and the balls to do something about it.

Our international community in Dublin and across Ireland continues to grow with students arriving from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and mainland Europe. Once you’re enrolled in a third level institution, you can get over here and begin an eye opening adventure with the support of ourselves and our community.

Interested? Find out more about the Work in Ireland program or drop Martha, Stephen and Emma a line wii@usit.ie.

 

 

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Interesting Things I have learned (so far) about Ireland

Before my trip, I was mentally preparing for the struggle I would eventually have to deal with when faced with homesickness, and the likely lifestyle change I would have to adapt to. I hadn’t blinked an eye at the thought of culture shock. I wasn’t going to a third world country, after all. I had been to Europe in 2005, and I don’t remember being shaken up by anything really. That was until my friend Paul (who spent a few months abroad in England and travelled around while he was in Europe) mentioned something about reading about possible culture shock 8 days before I left for Ireland. After that, I put a little bit of thought into it, but for the most part, I was too busy to even begin to wrap my head around what might be so different that it could shock me.

WELL! Landing in Ireland and fending for myself after an exhausting travel experience was a very different experience than the school trip I took to Europe in 2005.

I figured that after a couple of days, I am in a better state of mind to be able to take a step back and lay out a few of the things that are different in Ireland than they are in Canada. Some of these are cute or funny. Others, not so much. Bare with me!

ireland-space

1) Taps. Yes, the hot water, and the cold water. In Canada, in 99% of cases (in case there is that one case that debunks my 100% theory), the hot water tap, and the cold water tap are combined into one single faucet in which the water temperature can be adjusted by maneuvering the hot and cold as needed. In Ireland, especially in washrooms, you make a decision. Either you will scold your hands with blazing hot water, or, you freeze them and wonder for the rest of the day if your hands are REALLY clean or not. This is especially confusing because showers are normal, kitchen sinks are normal, and some updated public washrooms offer the ‘single faucet special’, so why on earth is this still a thing!?

2) Jaywalking. Jaywalking in Ireland is legal. Imagine my horror when the busiest intersections are suddenly flooded with pedestrians when the walking light is red. Here, they have a stoplight colour system for pedestrians. Why they bother, though, is beyond me. I have watched people time and time again cross the street in front of double-decker busses, and, more dangerously, cyclists. I shit you not, the bicycles here can do more damage than the largest vehicles. This is because they do not have to follow the rules of traffic. They are trusted to make sound decisions while operating their pedal powered vehicle. I am NOT used to this yet. I never know which way to look, so generally I run across streets after looking around about 400 times. So far, so good.

3) TV License.  I found this out today. I went through the local orientation program for working holiday participants landing in Ireland. Apparently, back in the day, there were only 4 television stations in Ireland. All publicly funded. The government decided then that it would; be a brilliant idea to issue licenses to television owners across the land in order to fund these stations. Things in TV land have changed here, as they have everywhere else, with the introduction of Netflix and other similar products. The TV license remains. It is a 60 Euro fee, payable every year by TV owners, regardless of whether or not you suscribe to cable television. While this seems laughable, there is a job here called ‘Television License Officer’. This person essentially knocks on doors, and checks to make sure TV Licenses are paid up. Should you answer the door to this person, and not have proof of having a TV license (even if it’s not your television), you will be charged a 2000 Euro fee. I am not kidding. This is a thing here!

4) Chips, Crisps, Minerals, Jumpers and Beanies.  Most of these, I was able to figure out, or knew already because I have lived with international students in the past. But still, it’s always fun to translate foreign expressions for Canadian ones. So here goes:

Chips are fries, crisps are chips, minerals are pop, jumpers are sweaters (and hoodies), and beanies are toques. Other expressions have popped up here and there, but these have been the predominant ones so far. Mineral is my favourite. It makes pop sound like a health food! Hahaha!

5) Population Stats. SO! Ireland is populated by roughly 4 million souls. 1.6 million of these reside in Dublin. The rest are scattered mostly among the other main centres (Cork, Galway and Limerick). The inner counties are fairly empty except for the agricultural specialists that tend to fields, animals, etc. I suspect the sheep population outweighs the human population in these areas, but I’ll have to ask a farmer to be sure. Also, only about 9% of the (human) population has naturally red hair.

Pop

 

6) Luas. Let’s conclude with something light and cheery, shall we? Luas is Dublin’s light rail tram system. In Ireland, all signs are bilingual. Irish and English. Busses display their destinations in both languages, and pretty well everything that is publicly owned here has both languages. I know basically no Irish, but, today I found out that Luas means Speed. So there you have it. Luas = Speed.

luas

Written by Work in Ireland Participant; Geneviève Laurent. Read her more of her Blog Chasing Memories: http://bit.ly/2goOtKW   

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