USIT or Lose It: A Wisco Girl’s Spontaneous Irish Adventure

I could hear my marketing professor’s voice sounding through the large lecture hall about something to the effect of what targeted advertising was. I wasn’t paying attention, however, but unlike the girl sitting in front of me it wasn’t because I was online clothes shopping at Forever 21, but rather staring intently at my school email desperately waiting for a message I’d been stressing out about for weeks.

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New Views

“I’m not a traveller, or more accurately I’m not someone who has had the chance to travel until recently. Before Ireland I backpacked, have lived in multiple Canadian provinces, camped alone in the wilderness, and have been to the top of multiple mountains (mostly in British Columbia). But I’d never left the country, so moving to Ireland I had no idea what to expect.

Thank god for USIT. Sure I could have gone about getting a visa through the normal embassy channels, but having started that route, this saved me a headache and so much more.

Having the constant support available to me is a load off of my shoulders. Though I haven’t used all of the resources available to me yet, just knowing that they’re there is huge.

Through the Work in Ireland Program I have access to a large group of people, some with so much experience to share, and available at any time to answer questions. The USIT team is constantly updating the group, letting us know about any meetups, job vacancies, or other relevant information, it’s an advantage I never would have had if I had done this on my own, it might cost more, but you really get what you pay for.

cork 2

Since coming to Ireland I’ve done a lot of the touristy things. Giant’s Causeway, Blarney castle, and the Rock of Dunamase were all amazing. However in the last few months after getting a bike, the real treasure for me has been cycling. Travelling primarily (so far) all over Cork County, and seeing not just the main sites, but the hidden gems. Ireland has so many of them, when I leave here if I regret anything, it’ll be not getting the chance to explore every nook I could find.

The perfect example in fact happened only a few weeks ago. It wasn’t a half bad day out, windy as usual, but otherwise great weather for a bike ride, so I headed out, wanting to check out Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline.


After coming down Carrs hill,  I ended up passing through Shanbally, completely by accident. It’s tiny, as in only a handful of houses, that all together might not fill up a hockey rink, and definitely the first time the the word ‘quaint’ has ever organically popped into my head.

Soon after that, on the edge of Ringaskiddy I came across Barnahely Castle, totally overgrown and abandoned, blocked off by fences, but awesome to look at.


It’s things like these I’m learning to appreciate about Ireland, yeah Canada has incredible sites, and beautiful views, however we lack any relatively old history. You can’t walk up to a building and say wow, humans have lived in this place for 500 years. Or go up to a castle and think to yourself about the thousand years of history that went into building, maintaining, and sometimes even trying to destroy that thing you’re looking at, or standing in.


A love for this is something I might not have found if I hadn’t come here, and something I’ll get to keep with me for the rest of my life. Well worth every bit of work it took to get here.

So if you’re new to Ireland, or thinking about coming here, do it! For anyone already here? Put down the tourist books, turn off your GPS, and just wander, you might be missing all the best stuff.”

Blog Post and imagery by Work in Ireland Participant Brandon Mayovsky. Check out more of Brandon’s adventures here: