Many places in my country require at least some experience (even if listed asking for 0-1 years, in which they'll choose someone who has the 1 year or few month experience), so I was looking for something more unique to help me stand out. I've always loved Dublin and had only been ever to visit once and only for a day, so I was really ecstatic when I saw that I could go back.
Alumni Spotlight: Kaitlyn Shore
Kaitlyn Shore is a graphic design student who loves to travel, explore and learn new things.
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provide assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
The program assisted me with living, the taxi to and from the airport at the beginning and end of my tenure, and scheduled outings for myself and other interns to attend. They were also available for questions, concerns and help, both before and after arriving to make sure everything was going smoothly. The only thing I had to really do by myself was book my flights, but they even provided a website to help me get the best deals.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Make the most of your free time. It's going to be a rocky start. as you adjust to your new surroundings and will run into snags, but once you get everything under control, make the most of your free time. Go to the outings, take trips with friends, explore the city. There's so many things to see and you'll be so much happier trying new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
If it's on a weekday, the average day is going to work by about 9 am, coming home and either relaxing with your housemates or heading out with the group for some fun. Since all the internships are radically different depending on your area of interest and specific employer, it's hard to pin down exactly what you'll be doing every day. There are always tons of different outings, but nothing everyday, so you'll have some time to relax and stay in as well.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear was how I'd manage the first time on my own (my first time abroad by myself and my first time living on my own - and in a different country no less!). It's important (especially for the first week) to take things one day at a time. It was a huge struggle finding my way home the first night since my data plan hadn't kicked in, but that wasn't going to be the same story for the rest of the trip.
As the days kept going, you learned to look for certain things and, by the end of the week, I could walk to the city centre and back with no help. As for living, it was just trial and error. When you go shopping, look at the expiration dates and see how much you actually eat/drink throughout the week. There's no issue having to make a second trip for more food, and after that first week, you'll be able to avoid buying too much like I did.
What would have I done different?
I would have gone out more sooner than I did. I chose a shorter tenure, but if I had saved up more and heard about it earlier, I would've stayed longer, and I would have explored more sooner than I did.
I'm fairly shy and felt like I had to wait for someone to invite me to do certain things, or I wouldn't have fun. Go out on your own. You don't need to do everything with the group, and you'll have less differing opinions when you're doing something because the only opinion you need to satisfy is yourself. There's so many things in Dublin, and by the time I started doing stuff like that on my own, it felt like I was running out of time.
You can never have too many good memories, so take a deep breath, pull out your map on your phone, and explore!