Arriving in Dublin was both exciting and nerve wracking. From the moment I got off the plane, I was unsure of myself and worried I would make a mistake in getting to my housing. I was thinking about the whole taxi situation, wondering how much it would cost, how long it would take, and if I would be able to understand what the driver was saying. I then worried about my housing, wondering where it was, who I would be living with, whether I would be able to check-in early.
Well, I easily conquered my first set of worries as finding the taxi pick-up was extremely simple. My taxi driver was friendly, but not overly conversational which put me at ease. He didn’t bother me with questions but pointed out some key spots in the city. His accent was not too thick. I understood him pretty well.
Claire: 1, Ireland: 0
The housing situation wasn’t nearly as complicated as I expected. I was able to find the reception desk quite easily, and the workers were helpful and friendly. They walked me to my apartment, which was so nice and made me feel more comfortable in navigating the area. I met my roommates and they are all from Pitt. We’ve been getting along well so far, and have met and hung out with all the other Pitt students. It seems like we’ve known each other for longer than just a few days.
Claire: 2, Ireland: 0. So far so good.
Now that my initial fears subsided, I found other things to worry about. I was nervous about my internship and my confirmation interview. It was a little tough getting there without Google Maps, but EUSA provided very detailed directions and descriptions of my workplace. I was able to find the office with minimal aimless wandering.
I’m not even sure my talk with my supervisor could be described as a real interview. He basically just told me about the company and what I could possibly find myself doing during my internship. I did feel a little foolish, though, because he was dressed incredibly casually. He looked like a dad going fishing while I looked like I was going to court. I’m reevaluating my choice of wardrobe, as it seems like I’ll be a little more professionally dressed than my colleagues. I don’t want to draw attention to myself or unnecessarily stand out.
For the sake of argument, let’s just chalk this one up to Ireland. Claire: 2, Ireland: 1.
My overall experience with immersing myself in the culture definitely earns me another point. We’ve discovered some cool pubs and met a few locals and other foreigners. Each day gets a little bit easier in terms of finding my way through the city. The bus system is easy enough and the drivers are always willing to answer questions and help me find my stop.
Overall score: Claire: 3, Ireland: 1. Stay tuned to see where it goes from here!