Warning: Friendly, Tolerant People Ahead!

I am very proud to say that at this point that I have been stopped multiple times, by Irish people, to be asked for directions. Unfortunately, I hate to admit that I have not been able to tell them where to go a single time, which is quite embarrassing at this stage. Nevertheless, the Irish people have always been very kind and understanding of my directional ignorance. Really, the Irish people have always been very kind, in most situations that I have been in. They usually are very receptive to my questions as an American student abroad (even strangers ask questions about your major and where you’re from and they share stories about their holidays to the States), and they are always willing to lend a hand. Thankfully, there is not a lot of cultural barriers between the Irish and Americans (or at least for where I grew-up in America). People here like to laugh and have fun and are very witty. I’ve really only gotten myself into a pickle when I order (potato) chips and receive french fries!

At my workplace in Dublin, I have had an exceptionally easy time regarding cultural differences between my coworkers and myself. There has not been any conflict, everyone is on time (I was told that Irish people would be late, but at this point, I’m afraid of being the late one!), and every one of my coworkers is eager to talk about my experiences growing up in the United States. They are also very receptive of when I asked a thousand questions about Irish people and culture. Even at the office today, we just started talking about national anthems and the Pledge of Allegiance, which my coworkers could not believe we said it everyday before class stared throughout our schooling years.

I’ve also noticed that the Irish people have similar value systems as people in the United States. There is an importance of family, but there is also a very big prevalence of the importance of friends, especially when you are younger and living in the city. Naturally, living in the city has more a secular attitude, as it does in the United States.

I was also told recently that people here are very into owning property, and it is a goal that most people strive towards. A lot of people here in Dublin live at home throughout college to save money (Dublin’s rent prices are insanely comparative to the rest of the country), instead of leaving right away at 18, like you would in the United States. It’s mostly due to how well they bounced back from the 2008 recession, which caused housing prices to skyrocket afterwards. Overall though, many companies such as Google and Facebook have offices in Ireland, which has been great for increasing technological and economic output. Politically, the country is leaning more liberally than they used to when they were quite a conservative Catholic country, with the Irish referendum in 2015, where they were the first country to legalize same-sex marriage and with the push to repeal the 8th amendment, which currently prevents the provision of legal abortions.