"Get to know a new culture and improve our language skills at the same time"
Three weeks internship in Dublin
Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin) - After a two-hour flight all nineteen of us landed safely at Dublin Airport. But it was a long way to get there with a lot of preparations needed to be done.
Preparation in Germany
All of us were so excited as soon as we knew that there is the possibility for us to go on an internship to Dublin. To become part of the internship programme we had to apply for it and write a CV, called Europass CV. When it was confirmed that everyone of us could take part in internship and that the financial support through Erasmus+ was secured, we had to take a language test to assess our current language level. We could also give our preferences for the type of job we wanted to do our internship in for example: general administration, retail, reception…
Based on our applications and our work preferences the school´s partner organisation in Ireland IEP (=Irish Education Partners) searched for the perfect internship place and the suitable host family for everyone of us.
Shortly before we started our internship Dermot McKinney, an Irish born, prepared us for the life in Ireland. He gave us a lot of information about the Irish culture and the Irish people. Also a lot of helpful tips and tricks for the public transport in Dublin and the Irish world of work. It was a great opportunity to refresh our vocabulary. Perfectly prepared we started into our adventure.
Living in host families
After we arrived in Dublin, taxis took us to our host families. Welcomed with love and joy we were shown our new homes for the next three weeks. Also we got to know our family: singles, elderly married couples, families with children - our host families couldn't have been more different. Same with our accommodations. One room was bigger than another room and with more equipment. One host family lived closer to the city centre than another family. But the rooms were all totally fine for three weeks. It was really great that everyone of us had his own room with enough privacy.
Staying in a host family was really positive for all of us. There was always a contact person in case we had any problems or questions. Because we had half board, we got the great opportunity to get to know the Irish kitchen which was really delicious.
Irish world of work
Based on our preferences given to IEP we got our internship companies in advance. Most of us had to work daily from nine/ten to five o'clock in the afternoon. Every one of us had a daily commute to work from half an hour to one and a half hours by taking the public transport services (bus, dart, luas).
Most of us worked in "Carrolls Irish Gifts" - an Irish Souvenir Shop. Daily tasks were to accept goods, check them and store them in the warehouse. Also helping customers and the staff.
In the pet shop the cages of the animals had to be cleaned and the animals fed with food. As far as possible customers could be advised and the shelves had to be replenished regularly.
"General Assistant in a camera shop" - films were developed, printed and edited independently. The task of taking passport photos of customers also came to the intern.
"General Administration" - in a Solicitor´s office the daily post and files needed to be scanned into the document management system. Also picking up the daily post in the morning and bringing the daily post to the post office in the evening. A personal highlight was the visit at "Four Courts" - the Court of Dublin.
In the kindergarden, the daily routine had to be handled with the children. This includes to do handicrafts, games, preparing food and lying down at lunch time. The motor skills and memory should be trained. Of course, the children can now also speak a word or two in German.
Others worked on in a hotel in the "Breakfast Service", in a Councillor´s office, in a riding school for disabled young people or in a sports center.
While some of us were allowed to do their tasks completely on their own, others only got to do "typical" internship tasks.
Free time - trips
We often met in the city centre of Dublin after work to go shopping, to see sights or just to explore the city and its variety. Of course we didn't miss out on the one or other pub visit - Sláinte.
In a city tour and in a guided tour through Dublin we got to know the city and its history better. Taking a trip to Howth we hiked the city with its beautiful landscape and its market.
On the weekends we explored Dublin and Ireland itself.
For our first weekend trip we went to the Jazz-Festival in Cork. There was a live stage and a market. We slept in a hostel for one night and drove to Kilkee early in the morning to go Dolphine-Watching. We saw a whole group of Dolphins - a breath taking experience.
We organized ourself a little trip to the Cliffs of Moher. Because of the relatively good weather we had a great view over the Cliffs and the sea. Afterwards we went to the city Galway. But we didn't think Galway was as great as the Cliffs of Moher. On the next day we went to the Wicklow Mountains with the whole group. After hiking through the mountains we were headed to the famous "Guinness Lake".
A man born in Ravensburg now living and working in Dublin gave us the one-time opportunity to visit the Google-Headquarter in Dublin. We got to know a lot about the company, its work and its philosophy.
Besides Greyhound-Racing and Co. we also went to the famous Guinness Store House.
Dublin or Ireland gives you plenty of options to spend your free time.
To sum up, we can say that we are all definitly very happy that we took the chance of doing the internship in Dublin. It was a great opportunity to get to know a new culture and improve our language skills at the same time. We also met a lot of new people. Besides work, doing trips with the group was a main focus. As we had to handle a lot of things on our own we learned to be more confident and independent. Through our internship we grew together as a group and we will remember it for a long time.
However, we are all really happy to be back in Germany again where we are used to everything.
Thank you so much to our companies, the BSW, IEP and Erasmus+ for this great opportunity with all of the experiences!