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So "How was Interning/Living Abroad?"

August 5, 2018

It feels so good to be home and time flew by fast, so it makes the idea that I was in Ireland only two weeks ago hard to believe. With my busy schedule of school organization meetings, moving into a new apartment in Iowa and everything in between, I feel like I’ve quickly reactivated the life I put on pause when I went abroad. Being at home means catching up with friends and family, which leads to the constant question of “How was interning/living abroad?” It’s a simple question, but sometimes I find myself stuck with the default answer of “It was a lot of fun!” I spent two months of my summer working and exploring Ireland and “it was a lot of fun!” is my answer? So, after doing some reflection and just thinking a little harder, here is my answer:

Interning in Ireland:

Interning at Fiid was a great first internship experience. I’m glad I had a position I enjoyed because I’ve talked to interns who disliked or loathed their position or responsibilities. Working at Fiid challenged me creatively and pushed me to teach myself new skills. Before my internship, I had no experience with videography, which forced me to learn video editing software, equipment and techniques in a short amount of time. I ended up filming, editing and semi-producing five videos, ranging from short Q&As to cooking tutorials. Although the videos are not public yet, I am proud of the content I was able to contribute to the company. Other contributions included taking updated headshots, pitching PR packaging ideas, and doing research for potential blogs/podcast topics.

Living in Ireland:

Now that I’m home, I realized how little I walked places compared to my time in Ireland. One thing I enjoyed about living in Ireland was how close places were and how accessible things were by walking or public transportation. The weather was not as bad as I expected, and it was a nice break from this humid Chicago heat. Dublin, as a city, is beautiful and you can always find events going on or just wander around, which I really enjoy. Also, my apartment always had an incredible view of the sunset, which is a plus. Some things I didn’t really enjoy, however, were the washer/dryers in the laundry room that were mysteriously always going out of order, how fast groceries expire, and how tiny the bathrooms in my apartment were.

Just being in Ireland/Europe in general:

I don’t know if I can fully encompass all the adjectives to describe just being in Ireland/Europe in general. All the places I traveled to have the most beautiful views, very welcoming people (most of the time) and the grandest architecture I’ve ever seen. The architecture, specifically in churches, were so grand and although I am not a religious person, I thought the churches and religious sites were breathtaking. I loved seeing rows of colorful houses, numerous family owned businesses and insanely blue water. Every city I went to had a different vibe, but still felt very connected in a way. I loved how you could literally go from a big city to the mountains all within a short train/bus ride; it made me feel like I was exploring another part of the country even if I wasn’t. I’m also a huge foodie, so being in Europe exposed me to a variety of cuisine, which made me super happy. I would say the best things I’ve eaten/drank were carbonara in Rome, Guinness in Dublin, and Trdelnik in Prague.

Some other questions I feel like I should answer:

  1. Did you have jet lag when you came back?

Nope! I’m so impressed that I was able to essentially pull an all-nighter since my flight in Dublin was at 6 AM and I went to bed around midnight/1 AM US time, which is around 7 AM Dublin time.

     2. Did you have reverse culture shock?

Ireland is pretty similar to the US in some aspects, so coming back didn’t make me feel like I had to mentally rewire myself or anything.

     3. What should you do after your internship?

  • Connect with your co-workers, or any other professional you’ve met, on LinkedIn: for some reason I waited until the end of my internship to connect with my boss and co-worker, but better late than never.
  • Update your résumé: I forget things super easily, so I made sure to update my resume with this internship position as soon as possible.
  • Save/organize the work you’ve done in your internship: if you ever need to build a portfolio or anything, pulling up work from your internship can come in handy. For me, that’s a folder of photos, videos and graphics.
  • If you’re really passionate about study/interning abroad, become a study abroad ambassador: I know at the University of Iowa and numerous other colleges, you can become an ambassador to share your stories and experiences with other prospective study abroad students.

Thanks to IES Internships for allowing me to become a blogger and to you for following my journey throughout these past two months. I hope you enjoyed reading my posts as much as I enjoyed writing them. Don't worry, this is not an end to my blogging adventures, knowing me, my next adventure is around the corner. 

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