My first week in Dublin has been a whirlwind. The days are long but they have been going by so quickly! Getting acclimated to the city will certainly take some time but I have had some minor navigational achievements. First of all, I was able to take the public bus to my interview and somehow managed to make it on time. Although I only live about five miles from the city centre, it does take around an hour by bus during rush hour. That commute is something I will have to adjust to, but it could be an opportunity to get work done, do some reading, or listen to music. I am extremely excited to begin my internship at the royal college of surgeons (RCSI) in just a few days. My interview was surprisingly informal and all of my supervisors were extremely friendly and kind. I am also working with two other students on the EUSA program so I am looking forward to having people around me that are in the same situation.
I will be working in the higher education industry at RCSI. From the interview, it seems like I will be doing mostly accounting work in the payroll and accounts payable departments. I am excited to finally utilize the skills I have learned in the classroom and apply them professionally. I believe they will be testing some of my tactical skills such as Excel at RCSI. Hopefully I can display the things I have learned but it will probably take a few weeks to build trust with my superiors. Furthermore, it seems as if Irish culture emphasizes socializing and creating strong relationships rather than simply getting work done. I believe back home efficiency, work ethic and quality of work trumps all; but this doesn’t seem to be the case in Dublin. It will be interesting to see how time management and scheduling will be handled as well because I have heard this varies outside of the US.
Already I have noticed many subtle differences in the way the Irish interact interpersonally. The first word that comes to mind when I think of the Irish people I have met is “friendly”. In fact, I don’t think that word is even strong enough to describe how open and approachable people are here in Dublin. So far I am loving this aspect of life here. I can strike up a conversation with nearly everyone I come in contact to. I could see how there could be drawbacks to this kind of socialization but I think it is helpful when getting to know a new country. I am also starting to get used to some Irish sayings and phrases. I never knew servers and cashiers would ask, “Are you okay?” instead of, “Are you ready to order?” and because of this I simply replied, “Yes” a bit confused. Another popular Irish word is “craic” (pronounced crack) which means fun. I love hearing people saying “where’s the craic?” or “that place has great craic”. I’m sure over the next few weeks I will continue to pick up on little phrases like this. I can’t help but repeat them back to myself or say them around my roomates.
Although I am falling in love with Ireland, there are some aspects of life here that I will have to get used to. In terms of my job, I am worried about a long commute by bus. My office was about an hour bus ride during rush hour and I feel as though public transportation can be unpredictable at times. However, I do believe the bus and train systems here are very efficient and this first week have been extremely easy to use. I love the look of the double decker buses and the views that I get to see when entering the city centre. Another challenging aspect of Dublin is the weather. It seems as if every day I experience all four seasons. Today I can remember both shivering and sweating throughout the day. Because of this, it becomes hard to choose an outfit that can withstand all types of weather. I guess I will just have to be prepared with wearing layers and bringing the appropriate protective gear.
Ireland seems like a great place to live; I think I’m going to love it here. As someone who craves productivity, I am looking forward to starting work and getting to know the city even more. I’m happy that my office is right in the city centre and near the beautiful park of St. Stephens Green. This first week has flown by but I have so much to learn. I can’t help but imagine where this adventure will take me!