Once an icy cold and cloudy expanse, Northern Ireland has warmed up to become an increasingly popular travel destination. The old troubled times have long passed, and the country has evolved to be a peaceful, beautiful expanse of green fields, blue mountains, and old dreamy castles. With the cities of Belfast, Londonderry, and Lisburn entering the international business scene, it’s a great idea to get an internship in Northern Ireland. Don’t hesitate to take a leap and build your professional experience in a place with an absolutely stunning landscape, dynamic history, and welcoming people.
Political Science: Conflict resolution, mediation, and law are very popular fields in Northern Ireland. There are several opportunities for interns in Northern Ireland to conduct research, engage in active fundraising and fieldwork, as well as prepare for a career in political science or law. Companies and organizations hire both local and international interns, which encourages cross-cultural communication and learning. Jump at your chance to travel to Northern Ireland for a great internship experience!
Business Administration: Belfast, the largest city in Northern Ireland, is steadily growing in influence as an international business center. The metropolitan hotspot holds several international corporate offices as well as many local business organizations. For those interested in getting professional experience working in any aspect of business, including administration, strategy and development, marketing, and finance, interning in Northern Ireland is a great idea.
Planning Your Trip
When and Where to Look for an Internship
There are two main approaches one can take to find an internship in Northern Ireland. The traditional method to secure a position is to send cold emails or network for references and opportunities. More recently, people are looking to third party internship program providers to get them on the fast track. Program providers tend to have already established connections with companies and organizations in Northern Ireland and will help you organize your trip. Look out for application and interview deadlines, as well as extra fees for the service.
Cost of Living in Northern Ireland
The cost of living in Northern Ireland is relatively high, especially in larger cities. Recently, there have been significant jumps in consumer prices due to the global economic crisis. Unfortunately, food and transportation prices have increased by 33% in the last six years as inflation continues to worsen. Before traveling to Northern Ireland, it is important to plan out your finances and prepare to find ways to save. Below are some examples of living costs in Northern Ireland. Keep in mind that 1 British Pound Sterling is approximately equal to 1.51 US Dollars.
- Rent (1 bed apartment): 550 pounds
- 1 inexpensive meal: 12 pounds
- 1 way subway ticket: 1.85 pounds
Work Culture in Northern Ireland
- Etiquette: When working in Northern Ireland, be sure to act professionally at all times. It is always a good idea to dress in business smart or business professional attire, as in any other formal setting. In general, you should keep your hands to yourself, except when shaking hands with others before and after meetings. Avoid beginning conversations about politics, religion, or personal matters, as that is considered rude especially in the professional environment.
- Language: The main language spoken in Northern Ireland is English. However, keep in mind that locals speak with an Irish accent and use regional slang that may be difficult to understand for foreigners. In any case, there shouldn’t be too many language barriers if you intern in Northern Ireland.
- Networking: Networking is a useful way for professionals in Northern Ireland to meet people, build strong contacts, and invite opportunities for professional growth. As an intern in Northern Ireland, it may be a good idea to tap into a network to get a taste of working life. Simply build relationships with your fellow interns and co-workers, and go from there! If you’re interested in growing your international professional network, check out the Northern Ireland Local Business Network.
Work and Labor Laws in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s work and labor laws, establish the number of hours employees can work, health and safety standards, and other information about terms of employment. International interns in Northern Ireland will most likely be unpaid, but this depends on the internship program and company or organization.
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