Five years ago I decided to leave everything behind – family, friends, job and home – to go on a life changing experience filled with highs and lows. The experience along with the support of USIT allowed me to not only reflect on who I was, but allowed me to know myself in a way like no other. Fast forward to today and after a year in Ireland and two years in London I continue to make new friends and memories that allow me to grow and evolve. I hope to take it all in while I live in a country that captured my heart so many years ago. I want to help others have the same experience and tell those wondering if they should do it that they will make connections with a country, people and themselves in a way that will change their life forever.
I didn't really know what to expect when I moved to Dublin, so when i stepped out of the airport and ventured into the city I thought: 1) OMG it really is as cold as everyone says it is, lucky I listened to my mum and brought my coat. 2) Why are people wearing sweatpants outside? Is that acceptable? I can't wait to join in. 3) I have no idea where that street sign is pointing, what street I’m even on, or which way is north!? Thank goodness for google maps. After two weeks I am definitely starting to be charmed by Ireland, the people are really lovely and I still have plenty more places to explore, pubs to visit, and dark cobbled alleyways to get lost down, I love the history of the place and can't wait to see what the next 9 months bring!
I was working in Toronto at a job I enjoyed having a great, comfortable life. Still, I had the feeling staying at my comfort zone would only take me so far. I remembered back to my post-university dreams of living abroad instead of settling into "a normal life". Then I became aware of an amazing job opportunity in Dublin at the Irish Cancer Society. A few Skype calls later and lo and behold, I had a new job! The SWAP/Work in Ireland program out of USIT really helped to make the move happen. I was exceptionally lucky to have a job lined up in Ireland by the time I arrived, and at 35 years-old I was just under the wire for being eligible for the visa application. Six weeks later I'm in Dublin, settling in to an amazing flat in an incredible city full of friendly people.
After spending seven weeks studying at Trinity College last summer I knew I had to get back to Ireland. So, I applied for the internship here at USIT and was lucky enough to get it! When I arrived in Dublin two weeks ago, I knew I made the right decision coming back. I've spent my free time hiking in Glendalough, enjoying the pubs and wandering markets outside of the city centre. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the country and meeting everyone in the program. Stop in and introduce yourself!
After arriving in Dublin in January, Marie has been having a blast in the capital city. She settled in nicely with her job and has made lifelong friends. She has taken a few road trips with her newly made friends all around Ireland. Out of the many places she has visited, some of her favorite places are Galway, The Cliffs of Moher, The Ring of Kerry. She describes her time here as "an experience of a lifetime, one of the best decisions I've made to come and work in Ireland for 12 months
I wouldn’t trade my work abroad experience for the world. The decision to postpone graduation for an internship in Dublin was more than worth it, it was amazing! The lessons I learned from working internationally, the skills I developed, the friends I made and the network I built have better prepared me for life after college, as well as spiced up my resume/CV. Living and working in Ireland presented exciting, new challenges that encouraged me to not only pursue my passions but also left me with a better sense of what I want to do.
My internship in Dublin was by far, the best experience I have ever had. I was blessed to be picked for an internship in the heart of the City and that was directly related to my studies. This experience has opened so many doors for me and made me aware of what it will be like when I graduate. The contacts I have made have provided me with an excellent letter of recommendation for the future. I also made many great friends which vary in age and nationality which creates such a diverse workplace and atmosphere.