As a student in Texas, Arlee Pryor had never been outside the U.S. before interning abroad. During her time as an intern, she explored the UK, learned the importance of a global perspective, and made lifelong friends.
What made you decide to go abroad? What were you most nervous or excited about?
I had hoped to study abroad for a semester at some point in college. Unfortunately, I never had the confidence or motivation to go until it was too late in my degree. When my senior year was approaching, my adviser suggested that I do an internship abroad for undergraduate credit.
The experience was outside of my comfort zone but that is why it was so special. I was concerned that I would be homesick, and was unsure about how I was going to navigate Dublin. Most of all, I was scared that I wouldn’t make the most of my time, wishing I had experienced more. Luckily, I was seldom homesick, navigated the city and country very easily, and experienced more than I ever could have imagined. It felt amazing to be independent, travel, and meet new people.
What were your first impressions of Ireland and the city of Dublin?
My first impression of Dublin was from the people. Everyone was very friendly, polite, and helpful. The walking tour organized by The Intern Group also gave me a great impression of the city. While on the tour, I was able to see how simple it was to navigate the city by foot and how beautiful the city is. In Dublin, there are loads of things to see and do, all of it steeped in history.
Ireland as a whole was extremely accessible by bus and train. I was able to visit Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, Cliffs of Moher, Belfast, Giants Causeway, Skellig Michael, Cork, Blarney Castle, Killarney, and Dingle all in just six weeks. These are places I never dreamed I would have the chance to see in a lifetime! I was constantly amazed at how ingrained the culture is in Ireland. I have never been anywhere like it and I don’t think there is anywhere in the world that quite compares.
How did your time in Ireland impact you personally and professionally? How did it change your views on the importance of a global perspective?
I grew in countless ways this summer through living and interning abroad. Being able to adapt to a new culture broadened my worldview and taught me the importance of a global perspective in a professional setting. Also, my confidence and overall maturity grew. I now feel more capable of anything that I set my mind to.
My time in Dublin as an intern absolutely benefited me professionally. The Intern Group taught me a lot about the importance of international networking, which is a vital tool in the professional world. Also, the opportunity to apply what I have learned in the classroom was a valuable experience that I will not forget. Beyond that, my time as an intern confirmed my love and passion for my future field of professional counseling. I know that my internship experience abroad will really set me apart from other job applicants when I go into my career.
What advice would you give to future interns?
While it sounds cliché, I would tell future interns to be grateful for this experience and to make the most of it by making new friends and exploring as much as possible. The best advice that I could give is to enjoy the opportunity and embrace the unfamiliarity.
Apply now for an international internship, and learn the importance of a global perspective!
All photos courtesy of Arlee Pryor