What made STINT stand out to me was how flexible they became to help me get what I wanted out of the experience. While I had some interest in the internships that they had already partnered with, nothing really stood out to me as "That's it! I want to do that while I am in Ireland!". Instead, I wanted to be selfish and do something that interested me way beyond gaining experience in an office. When I expressed my desire to work at a therapeutic riding center, STINT went out of their way to locate an available internship and traveled an hour outside of Dublin to check out the facilities for me to make sure it would be a good fit. In addition to that, since my internship ended up being at the hour away facility, I had to live outside of Dublin so that I could easily commute to and from my internship. Instead of having me find my own living accommodations, STINT provided me with lots of options and I was able to pick where I wanted to stay. I ended up choosing a host family to stay with for the three months that I would be abroad. Even though the site that I had found my host family on required them to be certified and background checked, STINT once again traveled to Bray to meet the couple that agreed to take me in and check out the house and rooms as well as leave my welcome kit/phone so that I could go straight to Bray from the airport and have everything I needed instead of having to pick it up at the Dublin office. I was lucky enough to visit the STINT housing and it was amazing. If Dublin is the location of your internship, I wouldn't even stress about the living facilities. They are clean, comfortable, cozy, and very open. In addition, they are also located within walking distance of bus stops and places to get food and drinks. Due to my work schedule I was only able to go on one excursion with STINT, however if you choose STINT, go on as many as you can! It was great to go on a trip to places with lots of people. STINT set up tons of activities for us to do in each location as well as pointed us to the best places to check out while we were there. Theses trips aren't your typical "school field trip". They are very laid back and we were given plenty of opportunities to go out on our own and explore the new city.
How can this program be improved?
My internship was a bit off of the beaten path. Due to this, I was staying outside of Dublin and away from the other interns in the program. When STINT put on events or organized nights out, it was great to be able to see everyone and gain experience from the excursions. However, I did feel a bit separated from the group and didn't exactly come home with life long friends like I would have if I had staying in one of the STINT housing units. STINT was great at extending invitations to include me in events. The only issue that I had while over seas was the phone that was provided to me through the program. On the bright side, that being my worst issue, the trip and program overall were phenomenal. My only improvement recommendation would be to broaden the program to other areas of Ireland so that if someone is interested in a program outside of Dublin, they would still have an in person support group when they needed it.
Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would