Interning in Ireland will give you the chance to understand this amazing culture in ways that travelers or students might not experience. Not only are you gaining practical skills and expanding your international professional network, but you’ll hopefully get to see some pretty epic sights, to top it all off.
Great internships in Ireland for international students are plentiful. After all, Ireland is home to the European headquarters of tech giants Amazon, Google, and Apple, while also being an important cultural and political capital. (If being in the middle of the action is your style, you might want to look at internships in Dublin!)
While preparing for your Ireland internship, there’s a lot to think about besides the actual work you’ll be doing. Some questions are more subtle, such as, how do you fit into your new office culture and get off on the right start? Luckily, we got you covered for ways to be successful in your internship in Ireland, so you can walk away with strong professional connections, a fun time, and a great internship experience!
From the Easter Rising in 1916 to Bloody Sunday in 1972 when 28 unarmed Irish demonstrators were shot by British forces, to “The Troubles” (a three-decade political conflict in Northern Ireland), the tension from conflicts between the UK and Ireland can be traced back many decades, with periods of peace, including today.
It’s best to avoid bringing up the topic and insert your opinion if you’re not well-informed, unless someone wants to discuss and educate you on the history of relations between the countries, and share Irish perspectives.
You want to do your best to create good relations with your colleagues, so don’t slip up and start boisterously voicing your opinion or bringing up the history of relations between the two countries during happy hour (buzzkill). If in doubt, better not say it.
As a general rule of thumb for internships in Ireland, and even professional settings in your home country, it’s best to avoid bringing up religion or politics.
And on that note, avoid ordering an “Irish Car Bomb”, that American sports bar drink consisting of a shot of Bailey’s cream and whiskey dropped into a pint of Guinness. The name is taken from the Bloody Friday event in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1972, where 22 car bombs were detonated by the IRA. It’s a sensitive topic to many people.
Key takeaway: don’t order that drink and learn more about the history of your host country, if you don’t already know.