I’m still shocked this week marks the start of the second half of my summer internship abroad! I know you’ve probably heard it before from other study abroaders, but it truly feels like the past four weeks flew by. I remember wandering the streets the first week trying to figure out where to buy Tupperware. I remember the stress and chaos of figuring out the transportation system—it definitely took a few times hopping on a bus going in the wrong direction to figure that one out. In honor of the halfway mark and finally getting my daily routine down, here’s a general overview of what my daily life looks like in Dublin, Ireland:
I usually wake up between 7:30 and 8 a.m. and get ready to start the day. I’m a massive podcast nerd, and I would usually listen to a New York Times podcast in the mornings when I was in the U.S. Since being in Ireland, I’ve been trying to listen to an RTÉ podcast each morning. RTÉ is Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster, so it’s a great way to keep up with what’s happening in the country. My coworkers usually talk about current events, so this usually helps me jump into those conversations.
I work in-person two days a week and at home on the other two days. If it’s an in-person day, I’ll meet Alana, my IES Abroad internship buddy, at 9 a.m. to walk to our internship placement together. Alana and I are both students in the IES Abroad program who were placed at the same internship. I wasn’t expecting to intern with another IES Abroad student, but quite a few students are paired together. It’s been fun and reassuring to have someone to navigate the process with. We’ve become close friends and hang out quite a bit outside of work hours.
I start working at 9:30 a.m. I intern with Spunout, Ireland’s Youth Information website. Essentially, Spunout publishes articles, videos, and other digital content across its website and social platforms curated especially for youth. Articles usually cover taboo topics, including mental health, sexual wellness, relationships, and more.
Since starting four weeks ago, I’ve been given an array of articles to write and edit, worked on researching scholarly articles for an upcoming campaign, and learned about the young Traveller community in Ireland and how Spunout can reach members of this community. I’m thankful the Spunout team trusted me with such big tasks because completing these tasks has allowed me to learn so much about working professionally, the Irish culture, and more. It’s true when they say no task is too big or too small for anyone in the Irish workplace.
Most of the Spunout staff works virtually, but a few team members come into the office a couple of days a week. I’ve learned the most about Irish culture through informal conversations with coworkers. In one of the first weeks, one of our coworkers was so curious about the U.S. school system. He wanted to know about middle school. He wanted to know about high school. He wanted to know about prom and all the other big events portrayed in American movies and television. Of course, we also asked him endless questions about the Irish school system. That day we spent probably way too much time talking about the intricate differences between the Irish and American school systems. These conversations with coworkers are one of my favorite parts of being in the office.
Around 12:30 p.m. Alana and I take our lunch. We usually leave the office for lunch once a week. The Spunout office is in the Temple Bar District, so that means there are a lot of food options near us. Granted, most of them are extremely overpriced since we’re probably in the most touristy part of Dublin, so we usually bring our lunch most days and eat in the office. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to scope out the cheaper places. There’s a coffee shop nearby that offers a cafe beverage and pastry for four euros, so that’s usually our go-to for an afternoon pick-me-up. Then, we head back to the office and usually work until 4:30 or 5 p.m.
After-work activities vary by the day, but I like stopping in different shops on my way home. I try to take a different way back to my apartment every day to explore different parts of the city. I’m a sucker for a cozy bookstore, charity shop, or cafe, so those usually pull me in.
I usually eat dinner around 7 or 8 p.m. Some nights I get dinner with friends and other nights I opt to eat at home to save money. If I eat at home, I usually try to take a walk to a nearby park after work to get out of my apartment. There’s a really small park right behind my apartment complex, so if it isn’t raining I’ll grab my book and go read in the park. When I get home, I usually spend the rest of the night relaxing by watching Netflix or calling family back home.
I’ve grown more than I ever would have expected over these last four weeks. I’ve been trying to journal about my day every night. I’ll be candid in saying it doesn’t really happen every single night, sometimes I’m just too tired. But, whenever I’m journaling I am often overcome with a feeling of amazement—amazed that this is my current life at the moment. I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had and the people I’ve met. I know this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ll never be in the same place with these same people ever again. It’s daunting to realize this, but it just makes me savor the moments, even the mundane, that much more.
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<p>Hey! I'm Maddie (she/her), and I'm studying Journalism at Indiana University. I'll be spending my summer interning in Dublin, Ireland hoping to grow my professional skills and experience all Dublin has to offer. Follow along as I attend cultural festivals, visit lots of local cafés, explore the outdoors, and more. This is my first time traveling outside the U.S., so I'll have a lot to learn and figure out. I can't wait to take you along for the ride!</p>