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We, two French interns, arrived to Cork, Ireland for a few months of internship.
These past few months turned out to be a truly inspiring cultural and linguistic experience with a few surprises along the way (CONTINUED):
4. Small cities, bustling world
One surprising thing in Ireland is that no city can really be considered “big” in French eyes.
Even Dublin (with all due respect!) is no bigger than Lyon, which seems quite a humble size for a capital city.
But this can’t really be considered a downside though.
Most towns and cities we visited were absolutely charming so far.
And cherry on the cake, you can’t ever go to the city centre (in Cork, for example) without meeting someone you know!
It gives us a warm and welcoming feeling, and we really enjoy being part of this small but diverse world.
There’s also music everywhere and all the time in Cork, and that’s definitely something we love about this city and Ireland in general.
It never gets boring!
One of the first things that we had to learn when we started our internship was to answer the phone in English.
This part can be quite tricky at first especially, as we were not really familiar with the Irish accent.
And although after a few days we got quite used to it, still today, it is sometimes hard to take messages because of those tricky Irish names.
How can we guess how to spell Niamh, Diarmaid, Meave and Meadhbh, Eoin and Eoghan…?
This is probably one of the hardest tasks that we have had to do here.
6. A tad bit of a housing problem
As pleasant as life in Ireland is, there’s still a tinsy flaw in that beautiful picture: accommodation.
Not only is it hard to find one that meets all your expectations, but renting a flat is also surprisingly expensive, especially, if you hope to live near the city centre.
Admittedly, we weren’t prepared for this, and that was one big surprise for us.
Living in Ireland is the occasion to experience house-sharing indeed, and to learn to live with other people.
Obviously, that’s also a way to make new friends and share some interesting moments with them!
7. Come rain or shine (but mostly rain)…
We both come from French regions that aren’t exactly known for offering 365 days of clear blue skies and arrogant sunshine.
But Ireland showed us another level of unpredictable weather!
The rain can be a bother for sure, but what’s really surprising is how fast the sky can go from an irritating shower to an almost miraculous cloud-free blue.
It’s like having all seasons in one single day!
The temperatures are relatively stable though and scarcely seem to reach any extremes.
No wonder Ireland is always pictured as a luxuriant green country in popular imagination; to be completely honest, it does not disappoint on that topic.
And when the sun does shine, it offers us some fantastic scenery that’ll stick in our memories forever.
Claire Lourdelle and Marie Thevenin