Culture Shock?

I have been in Dublin for just over a month now and every week I think more and more about the so called “culture shock” that people experience when they study abroad and what it means. Before leaving I was definitely nervous about living in a foreign country for 3 months where I didn’t know anyone. However, the transition for me was very easy. I adjusted to life in Dublin, and working full time without any real trouble. Sure there were small things that I had to get accustom to, (like how people in Ireland don’t refrigerate their eggs) but there was never really a time I feel like I experienced the “culture shock” that I had heard so much about.

One thing that I believe contributed to my easy acclimation to life in Dublin is how friendly all of the people are, and the fact that they speak english didn’t hurt either! You always hear how friendly Irish people are, but I didn’t realize just how nice everyone was until I got here. Normally, in America if you’re in a new city and you ask for directions, 9 times out of 10 the person helping you will be annoyed, even if they’re trying to hide it. In Ireland its completely different. Not only are people more than happy to answer your questions, they go above and beyond what I would expect. My first week here my phone died while I was wondering around alone trying to find the right bus stop and I asked a few people on the street if they knew where the right stop was. At first they said they weren’t sure, but as a different bus pulled up they asked the driver for me and made sure I knew exactly where I was going. I could never imagine a stranger doing that for me back in the states.

Overall Ireland is a much more “laid back” country than the United States. Everyone in my internship office seems much less stressed than an average office back home. People come in anywhere between 9 and 9:30, and depending on the day some leave before 5. I’ve noticed that instead of working a strict schedule, they will just work until everything they need to finish is done. If they know that one of their tasks can be finished tomorrow, they will just save it for then, instead of rushing to finish everything that second.

Overall living in Dublin has been an amazing experience and I can’t wait to see what the next 5 weeks bring!