This past summer I stepped out of my comfort zone and spent 7 weeks in a country that I had never been to before. It was my first time traveling to Europe and it was the longest time I have spent away from home. Before I arrived, I was nervous and anxious, but boy did that change quickly. I was fortunate enough to intern in Dublin, Ireland, and travel to three other countries this summer. Living in Dublin for seven weeks exposed me to an intriguing culture and a unique work environment. Every morning I commuted to Ranelagh in South Dublin, where I interned at a Healthcare agency called Locumlink. Buying coffee in the same shop before work showed me how friendly and welcoming the locals are. Whether it was talking politics, sports, or just small talk, the workers were always so friendly and made me feel welcome.
Working at Locumlink helped me gain incredible work experience and also showed me how companies operate in an international market. Having the opportunity to email and communicate with clients was an awesome experience for me. I built relationships with my colleagues that will last a lifetime and that I will forever cherish. After a few days of getting meshed with in the office, I learned that ‘slagging’ is actually a kind gesture that shows that they like you. Aside from the work environment, I learned that Dublin is a fun and exciting place. Whether it was attending a Gaelic Football game, watching a concert at Trinity Park, or even sitting down at a Pub, there is always something fun to do. Every day after work, my friends and I took advantage of this and tried to find a fun activity. We went to 3 different concerts and watched the Dublin Gaelic Football team play at Croke Park while in Dublin.
One of the benefits of our program is that we were given Friday’s off which allowed us another day to travel. One weekend I traveled to Belfast in Northern Ireland and was able to see the Giants of Causeway. Even though Northern Ireland was a different country, the culture was very similar to Ireland’s in my opinion. Another weekend my whole group traveled to the west coast of Ireland, saw the Cliffs of Moher, and stayed in Galway. It was pouring down rain while we were at the cliffs, which was a little bit sketchy, but it was the most beautiful thing that I’ve ever seen. The Arts Festival was going on while we were in Galway, so we were able to see firsthand what a cool and unique city it was. Before going abroad, every time I thought of Ireland I pictured castles for some reason. We figured it would only be fitting to visit a castle while in Ireland so a few of my friends and I did a day trip to southern Ireland to see the Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle. It was interesting walking through the castles knowing that hundreds of years ago people actually lived inside them.
This summer showed me how incredible Irish culture is and how friendly the people are. Ireland is a unique country that will always have a special place in my heart. I was also fortunate enough to travel to London and Amsterdam while abroad. Being in London was one of the highlights of my summer because I went to Wireless music festival the first day, and The Killers concert the following day. Having the opportunity to visit all of these wonderful places is something that I will never forget. This summer was a life changing experience for me and I matured in several ways. I was able to complete 12 credit hours all while having an internship, which put me ahead in school. I gained many lifelong friends in my group from Auburn that I will always stay in touch with. I never would’ve had this incredible opportunity if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone so I encourage others to do the same.
John Ethridge ~ AU Business – Internships in Dublin, Ireland