From Endicott to Ireland: Student Reflections on Living and Working Abroad
When I first got to Ireland, I found myself comparing Dublin to Prague, where I had the pleasure of studying in fall 2020. While Prague is a beautiful city with many strengths, I can’t think of a better place to spend a semester than Dublin.
For the past semester, I’ve been studying, interning, and living in Dublin. It’s a city full of people from all over the world, in addition to the Irish, who are proud of their “old city with a new heart,” or so my Irish taxi driver told me.
But that’s what stands out most about Dublin: the people. On every street, you can find someone to have a pint of Guinness with and who’ll lend you some help when needed, whether it be for directions or sightseeing suggestions. Plus, the country offers rich history, famously beautiful landscapes, and great beer, making it an unforgettable destination all around.
While living in Dublin and partaking in two classes online for the past semester, I’ve also interned at the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland. My job consists of helping out with all aspects of the organization, especially events and membership. The diversity of duties has allowed me to learn about all parts of the chamber, including about their advocacy team and information technology, with which I’ve had minimal experience in the past.
As part of my internship, I had the opportunity to attend conferences and assist with events featuring high-profile people such as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen. Even as an intern, every employee at the chamber made me feel incredibly welcome and took the time to help and talk with me on topics I was not aware of, like immigration difficulties and the tax policies in Ireland.
On top of my internship, I’m also attending my senior internship and thesis class online, which has given me the flexibility needed for the time difference in Ireland and allowed me to make the most of my time here.
There’s so much to see and do while spending a semester in another country—especially being so close to the rest of Europe. When I wasn’t at my internship or doing homework, I tried to get out as much as possible, which meant visiting different counties, getting to know Dublin, and hanging out with the people I met.
I returned to Prague for a weekend and, back in Ireland, I explored the Cliffs of Moher, Howth, Galway, and Cork. Although some students try to cram in as many different countries as they can while studying abroad, I’ve focused on Ireland and spending time with the people I met here, trying new bars and restaurants each weekend while staying on top of my internship and schoolwork.
Each experience abroad continues to shape who I am today—both professionally, personally, and socially. Not only did I gain professional experience at the chamber working in another country with people from another culture, but I also had invaluable personal experiences that I’ll always cherish and never forget. Not to mention, all the people and coworkers I’ve met along the way I now consider very good friends.
My advice for students on the fence about studying abroad or for students who never even considered it is to just do it. There are ups and downs, and facets of another country you must adapt to, but overall, it’s the best experience you can have. It saddens me to leave Ireland, but I know it’s not goodbye, but see you later.
Favorite food you tried in Ireland?
All the food I’ve had in Ireland has been great, but my favorite has to be traditional fish and chips with some mushed peas and tartar sauce on the side.
Favorite place to have a cup of coffee?
Although I found myself going to Starbucks and Costa, my favorite place is Two Pups, right down the street from my accommodation in Dublin 8. Along with my usual order of a flat white, they also have really good food options too.
What surprised you about Ireland?
One thing that surprised me was how much Dublin reminds me of Boston. Given the history of Boston, it makes sense, but it still surprised me and helped a little with the homesickness.
What also surprised me was the weather. Whenever I told people I was going to Ireland, I was constantly told about the terrible weather, but I love the weather here. I expected so much more dreary weather and tons of constant rain, but that hasn’t been the case. It is very windy, and some days are dark. However, when it does rain, most of the time it’s not heavy.
Favorite Dublin neighborhood and why?
My favorite Dublin neighborhood is either Temple Bar or the Liberties. Temple Bar is a famous neighborhood—most notable for The Temple Bar—and it’s a place my friends and I consistently go for a pint in the evening. It’s a really fun neighborhood with many places for food, drinks, and music.
I also included the Liberties because it’s where my accommodation is—it’s one of Dublin’s oldest neighborhoods, so there’s quite a bit of history here, too.
Any insider tricks for the next round of Dublin-bound interns?
Don’t keep going to the same places! Try as many bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, and places that you can. Some days I’d find myself in this routine when, really, there are so many places to try and see, and you might even like them more. I recently went to a new bar with some friends that had live Irish music, and now, I consider it one of my favorites.
Abigail Scott ’22 is majoring in International Business with a minor in International Studies.
Learn more about internships and study abroad through the Office of International Education.
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