What to Expect: Life Abroad in Dublin
Hi everyone! My name is Katie and I am the Program Coordinator in Dublin. Some of you may be surprised to learn that although I live and work for The Intern Group in Ireland, I am Canadian, born and raised. If you are coming to do an international internship in Dublin or are considering it, you may feel a little nervous about leaving home for an unfamiliar place. I hope that by reading about my experience moving abroad you will be reassured that although it involves some challenges, these are greatly outweighed by the rewards!
The decision to move abroad is a big one that is certain to bring both excitement and apprehension. The hardest part for me was saying goodbye to my friends and family (and of course my pets!). Something which made this easier was bringing little pieces of home to remind me of what I would miss most. Here are a few things I would suggest:
Pictures – Before I left home I printed off some of my favorite photos with loved ones. You can use them to decorate your new room to keep you from feeling so far away.
Music – Make a playlist filled with songs that remind you of good times with friends. If you’re ever missing home, you can listen to it to bring back some of your best memories with them.
Food – Everyone knows there’s nothing like mom’s cooking! Before you leave, get the recipe for one of your favorite home-cooked meals. You’ll be able to recreate it in your new kitchen whenever you’re craving it!
With technology like Skype and FaceTime readily available, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch, no matter where you are in the world. Try setting up a weekly “virtual coffee date” with your best friend or closest relative. I find Sundays are the best time. They’re typically relaxed and you have the chance to catch up on the past week!
If you’ve traveled previously, you know that there’s always a certain level of culture shock upon arriving in a new city. Here are a few things I had to adjust to when I moved to Dublin and some tips I picked up along the way:
How do I get around? – Learning the ins and outs of a new transit system can be tricky. Luckily, Dublin is a remarkably accessible city meaning it’s often possible to walk to your destination! When using public transportation, you can simplify your journey by getting step-by-step instructions from the TFI Journey Planner app.
Where do I buy the necessities? – Knowing which stores have the items to fulfill your daily needs can take a bit of figuring out. Before your arrival in Dublin, we will send you a helpful list of the main supermarkets and pharmacies so you can shop with ease.
I don’t know anyone – will I make friends? – It’s nearly impossible not to! In addition to our included cultural events, we organize weekly meetups meaning that your social calendar will be packed full of activities to enjoy with your fellow interns from start to finish.
What to Expect
Ireland has a unique culture which is likely a big part of the reason you’re drawn to it! Here are some of the distinct characteristics that you’ll come to know and love:
History on every corner – The city of Dublin can trace its history back over 1000 years, and it shows! Walking the cobbled streets dotted with quaint Georgian homes and ancient cathedrals, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.
Irish slang – Don’t be surprised if you have to ask the locals to repeat themselves at first! Our Welcome Pack includes a handy guide to the most common slang words & phrases, so you’ll be enjoying the best of Dublin’s “craic” in no time.
Bright lights, little city – With corporate giants like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft headquartered in Dublin, it can be easy to forget that the city is small by most standards with a population of just 1.35 million.
I hope that hearing about my experience as a Canadian living abroad in Dublin has made you even more excited to embark on your adventure! Whether this is your first overseas trip or a new one added to a growing list, our local team will provide all the support you need for an unforgettable stay on the Emerald Isle.