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.

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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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Overcoming The Fear Of Uncertainty And Embracing Spontaneity – Erin’s First Month in Dublin

This is a genuinely fantastic read…

Huge thanks for Work in Ireland participant, Erin, sharing with us the highs and lows of her first month living in Dublin. You can follow all of her Dublin experiences on her excellent blog.

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Plans Crumble, But Quickly Turn Around

After a month in Dublin, I have concluded that my working holiday will continue to be Janus-like:  simultaneously anxiety-inducing and exhilarating. It’s been a humbling lesson in the many sudden ways that good planning crumbles and valuable confirmation that failed plans can salvage themselves. Nothing I arranged in advance went as I had planned. The job interview fell through, the apartment viewings were a disappointment, and jet lag kept me from my ambitious sightseeing itinerary. And yet, here I am four weeks later with a job, an apartment and weekends full of travelling, somehow exactly where I wanted to be in spite of it all, as though I wandered off a hiking trail and found myself at my campsite.

The Freedom of Rootlessness

I remain constantly cognizant of the precariousness of my situation and the freedom that allows. I’m temping, currently on an assignment of indefinite length as a personal assistant. This means I can never be quite secure in my budgeting since I don’t know if a month from now where I will be working, if anywhere. I accept this riskiness because it also affords me more freedom.

Assuming this assignment lasts long enough for me to save a bit, I plan to travel as I wait for a new placement. Berlin, Prague, Paris – I’ll fly wherever comes up cheap on Ryanair. Even my apartment is month-to-month; theoretically, I could pack up and move to Galway by November. I’m not going to – I love Dublin already – but it is strangely liberating to live a life that is so rootless.

galway

Coming from a university program that kept me scheduled and busy for five years, even in summer, this impermanence affords a strange yet splendid sort of freedom. I am building a life that is wonderful exactly for its temporariness, constructed like a Nietzsch-esque sandcastle in full knowledge that in eight months or so, I’ll leave it to time’s waves. Even though I’m living in one city, the knowledge that I will not stay long inundates everything I do with a sort of recklessness, a sense that I should do things now while I have the chance and that mistakes or social awkwardness has fewer lasting consequences. It is the opposite of putting down roots; it’s piling up sticks and calling it a tree.

This rootlessness means everything can be spontaneous, especially travel. Last week, for example, I was talking with a colleague about good things to do in Galway. That evening, I bought a bus ticket and booked a hostel for the weekend. With my colleague’s recommendations and some brief notes from The Lonely Planet, I spent a lovely and surprisingly sunny day wandering through the city. The next morning, having breakfast in the hostel, I saw a brochure for a tour leaving in 40 minutes out to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren; I finished my toast, put an orange in my pocket and walked to the bus terminal. The ability to decide in the moment, making and changing my travel plans to suit exactly what I want has been one of the most liberating parts of my working holiday.

Challenging Moments of Isolation

The obvious downside of this freedom is isolation. While I tend to be introverted and enjoy spending time alone, sometimes even I find myself wishing I had a travel companion to share some of these experiences with. It can be disheartening going to bars and restaurants alone, and sometimes it is tempting to just stay home. Of course, there are always people in the hostel you can meet and go out with for the evening; I’ve met a couple people that way and had a lovely time with each of them. But that can be exhausting and is no substitute for the comfortable familiarity of old friends.

‘Mostly Smooth, With Deceptive Speed’

dublin

It has been a challenging month, but worthwhile. Worthwhile in that I have accomplished a great deal and worthwhile in that the challenges themselves have been satisfying. Part of doing something like this, I think is a pseudo-masochistic desire for moderate struggle: the challenge of learning to deal with a new culture and environment away from home. With a month having passed like the Liffey under the Ha’penny Bridge – mostly smooth and with deceptive speed – my impermanent life has grown comfortable. I can navigate most of the turning streets that confused me in the beginning, so different from the orderly grid of downtown Toronto.

I know what food should cost and what constitutes an expensive pint. Soon, I hope, I will have my PPS number and can start getting paid so some of this lingering anxiety at my situation’s precariousness – let’s hope that I can pay October’s rent! – can dissipate and I can more fully enjoy the freedom side of things.

Thinking about joining Erin and spending some time in Ireland? It can all atart with one simple email to wii@usit.ie to speak to our Program Manager, Lauren.

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