At the end of October 2011, I discovered Global Experiences and inquired about an internship in Dublin. Seven months later, I can say I have fourteen days until my internship begins! All I have been able to think about for the past few months is my impending internship, and I couldn't be any happier. For someone who dreamed of being able to visit Ireland for as long as I can remember, it's a rush to know I actually get to live there for eight weeks. Who would have thought?!
For those of you who will either be interning during Summer 2012, or even sometime in the future, I'll be listing some of the things I've done to prepare myself. One thing is that I've been on top of my paperwork. If a document was due in three weeks, I had it done the next day. I booked my flight a couple of months ahead of time, with www.studentuniverse.com no less (the website recommended by Global Experiences), and gathered all the papers I will need. It's better to be safe than sorry, and being overly prepared doesn't hurt you at all. If anything, I've been extremely relaxed and confident leading up to leaving for Dublin.
Another thing I did was beginning to get my outfits organized early on. I bought some pieces back in November, such as boots and a raincoat. Since it could rain at anytime in Dublin, I thought it would help to be prepared. Also, those types of pieces are easier to find during their corresponding season. For instance, I would have probably had a harder time finding a great peacoat/raincoat in the summer, but not so much in the fall. Recently, I bought the rest of my outfits I would need for my internship, now that I have a better idea of what kind of internship I'll be participating in. Buying pieces a different times also helps with those who don't have a lot of money to spend and are funneling all of their savings into paying for this internship program like I did. My wallet was happy, especially since I bought most of my clothes at Kohl's (which always has some sort of sale going on), and so was I. Oh, make sure you buy pieces you can mix-and-match with one another. I did my best to buy pieces enough to make seven outfits a week and still be able to switch them up with each other for different looks.
One of my final tips I'll leave you with is research. Lots of research. Get to know your area before you get there. I used the address given to me to map out where my apartment is located and what is close by. I also mapped out how far my internship would be to where I'm staying, that way I can get an idea of what kind of commute I'll have and the best way to travel between them. My friends highly recommended me to purchase a travel guide to Ireland, so I purchased Fodor's Ireland 2012. It has a lot of places listed to visit, eat, and more, along with pull-out maps. Even though I don't need to know about everything in the book, such as with accommodations, it would still be a great idea to highlight what does interest me. That way, it'll be easy to find and not hidden under bookmarks on my computer.
I'll probably write more once my internship gets closer, so that won't be too far away. You may believe it's still too early to start preparing, but it'll make a world of difference when you're two days away and have no idea what you're packing yet. My goal is to make it on the plane with one checked bag, a carry-on duffel, and possibly a purse-sized bag. Air Canada, the airline I'll be flying on, charges roughly $70 USD for a second checked bag, so I will do everything I can to avoid that fate.
14 days! Woot!