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!!

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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!

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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!”

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

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16 Reasons Why You Need To Move To Ireland, Right Now!

1. Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is a route all along the west coast of Ireland, with some stops on the north and south coasts too. Along the way, you’ll see beautiful beaches, picturesque Irish towns and amazing landscapes. This is definitely one to put on the bucket list.

2. Weekends away in stunning castles all over Ireland

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There’s dozens of castles to stay in all over Ireland surrounded by beautiful landscapes. It’s great for romantic weekends or if you just want to spoil yourself and feel like royalty for a night.

3. The people and the craic

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Irish people are some of the kindest, funniest, and most welcoming people you will ever meet. They always have lots of banter and can instantly make you feel better when you’re down.

4. Great night life

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Dublin, Cork and Galway are major party cities. Galway especially is known for its nights out. There’s nothing much else to say other than you have to go out in at least one of these cities once in your life.

5. Adoration For our President has reached tea cosy levels…

Our President, Michael D Higgins is a strong advocate of the arts, LGBT communities, multiculturalism, tolerance and diversity in Irish society. Basically, he’s 5’4″ of Irish legendary and is popular status is enpcasulated by being a symbolic guardian of one of our most important beverages…

6. Speaking of tea cosy’s, TEA!!

You will never have a cup of tea as good as you will in Ireland. I don’t know if it’s the tea, the milk, or what but when put together something magical happens… And if you want to really put it over the top, have a cookie with it. You won’t regret it. There’s nothing more Irish than a cupán tae (Gaelic) and friendly chat with whoever…

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7. Irish dairy products

Three years ago when I went on Erasmus I really craved Irish milk and butter… My cereal, coffee, tea and toast didn’t taste right tasted wrong. The milk is just so creamy or something and the butter…oh the butter. To quote Gilmore Girls, “you haven’t tasted rolls until you’ve had them with Irish butter”.

8. Big companies mean big jobs

Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. A lot of major companies in the tech and pharmaceutical industry have headquarters here. The job opportunities are endless.

9. A sporting heritage unlike any other

All that green means we have built some of the world’s best golf courses. If golf is your game, come over and play! Ireland is also great for surfers. Something you also need to experience is traditional Irish sports. You haven’t seen a real sport until you’ve seen men beat each other with sticks during a game. We haven’t even mentioned a world-beating rugby team, a giant-killing cricket and a certain Mystic Mc…

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10. Ireland produces great bands

Hozier, Walking on Cars, Kodaline, U2, and the list goes on. Ireland always produces really great bands. It gives you the opportunity to see them play for really cheap or even for free before they become huge and you can’t get tickets for their concerts because they sell out in 2.3 seconds.

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Ireland also has one of the world’s best gig venues in the heart of Dublin City – the Olympia Theatre is very special.

11. No tsunamis, tornadoes, earthquakes, droughts…

All that really happens is that it rains. So you don’t have to worry about any natural disasters happening, which is always a bonus in my book!

12. The landscapes

The rain brings a LOT of green, both in the countryside and in cities. This little rock is not called ‘The Emerald Isle’ for nothing. When the sun is shining the green landscapes are simply breath-taking.

13. Music festivals

You won’t have to worry about carefully packing everything in your suitcase and flying to some far away land for festivals, just stuff everything in your car and drive down to one of the thousands of festivals Ireland has every year.

14. The perfect hub to explore Europe

This point is more valid for people who are not living in Europe but Ireland is in such a good location. It’s like a 50-minute flight to London and only 2 hour flight to Italy. Weekend in Paris, anyone?

15. Traditional Irish pubs

They’re warm, filled with friendly locals and bar staff and sometimes there’s live music. They’re great just for chilling out after work or even for nights out.

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16. St.Patricks Day

No explanation needed really. I mean, who does Paddy’s day better than the Irish?

(Also, just a quick FYI, it’s not St.Pattys day, its either St.Patricks day or Paddy’s day. Nothing else, so make sure you know this if you come over or you will get some weird/annoyed looks.)

17. The best Guinness in the world

Something happens to Guinness when it’s shipped to other countries. It’s not the same. Here you’ll have some real Guinness and if you go to the Guinness storehouse you can enjoy a pint of it in a bar overlooking all of Dublin city.

18. Our Work in Ireland community

Ok, we’re are biased here but it’s worth mentioning that when you come on the Work in Ireland Program, it’s not just a visa, it’s a closely knit and diverse community. We support our participants with a central hub including wi-fi, jobs boards and accommodation listings and run monthly socials together as a group – Glendalough, Game of Thrones Tour in Belfast and Trampoline Dodgeball are all on the list!

Interested in coming to Ireland? Drop us a line wii@usit.ie or call Martha, Lauren or Dearbhla on + 353 (1) 602 1888

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