Lifetime Lessons and Lifelong Friends

“It’s been almost 6 months now that I’ve been living in Dublin as part of the Work in Ireland program. Time sure does fly by. So far, it has definitely had its ups and downs, but I always remind myself in the tougher times that this experience is once in a lifetime and there are so many life lessons I am learning while over here. Not to mention, the craic in Dublin is great!!

templebar_Valerie

After first getting here, I have to admit I was very overwhelmed, especially with finding housing and a job – the main priorities. I had a friend who was coming over to work in Ireland at the same time as me, so we decided to be roommates and at first, we were getting discouraged about finding an apartment. However, after sending plenty of emails on rent.ie and daft.ie, we finally found a suitable apartment in a suburb north of Dublin city centre. We have a nice little set up with a balcony and a lovely kitchen. Rent is a bit pricey, but we expected that when coming to live in the capital of Ireland.

As far as finding a job, it definitely was not the easiest task at first. I reached out to a few different recruitment agencies and spent the first week or two in the USIT office polishing up my CV and sending it off to employers. It would be discouraging after not hearing back or after getting rejected, but I tried to be positive and remember it would all work out one way or another.

I found an agency and they called me the day after receiving my CV. I had a good feeling about it and went in to interview the next day. I met with the manager there who told me that he would do his best to get me work as soon as possible. Well, turns out that he had work for me the very next day. He rang me in the morning to come in to the Bank to help out on the switchboard for the day. This assignment turned into an essentially full-time temporary role, and I have since got hired full-time through the Bank as a Business Services Assistant where I work in the reception department. I think my advice to anyone in this program would be to take advantage of agencies because they can be very helpful with finding work quickly for you, at least to start with when you first arrive.

As far as everything else, my experience has been great getting to travel around Ireland a bit as well as some of Europe. So far, I’ve been to Waterford, Belfast, and the Netherlands, and I have a few trips planned coming up including Barcelona, which I’m really looking forward to!

tramore2_valerie

Overall, Dublin is a lovely place to live with plenty to do and with friendly people all around. I really enjoy exploring all of the coastal villages along Dublin Bay as there are so extremely beautiful towns just waiting to be explored. I feel very content now that I am all settled and in my work routine. Surely there are some things I wish I did differently in the beginning, but life is about learning from your mistakes and moving on.

Cheers to an amazing city and cheers to the second half of my adventure on this side of the pond!”

dalkey_valerie

Blog Post & Photography by Valerie Stearns, a current Work in Ireland Participant.

READ MORE

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.

 

 

READ MORE