Hi, my name is Julia, I am 21 years old, live in Germany but I am doing an Erasmus+ in Cork for three weeks in October 2023. I am working as an intern for InstaTours where I will be doing data entry, learning about photography and content creation.
So, let’s start this Blog with some of my first impressions.
My expectations of Cork were not as expected. I thought it was a normal city like in Germany, but reality is that it is very different from this. The people are very friendly and open minded, but life is so much different.
The first thing I noticed was that the people are a lot more relaxed professionally and personally. They start their work later in the morning. In Germany we start our work at 7am and finish at 4pm. It is very cool that everything is so relaxed and the people are living for the moment.
Next I am impressed by the secondary school colleges here in Cork. They are old, with impressive architecture and the students have to wear school uniforms. In Germany students can wear whatever they want and don’t have to wear uniforms. In my opinion it is very cool, because it isn’t so monotone, but school uniforms are good on the other hand, because they prevent social exclusion.
Another point which I love is nature. It is very pretty with the highlands and the cliffs. I love the big fields and the huge coasts. They have an enchanting character and transform nature into something magical.
The old and historic buildings like churches and colleges, with their colorful windows and high towers tell stories.
They reflect the history of the country and for me they have an impressive effect.
Confusing about Ireland is the traffic, because they are driving on the left side. It took some time to get used to it. Everybody is just crossing the road whether the traffic lights are green or red. In Germany everyone abides by the rules and the people are very strict.
I think that you can’t compare life here with life at home. Maybe it’s also hard to adapt to the conditions. As Ireland has different standards in terms of cleanliness and accommodation, is this a point where I adapt and respond to new standards. The food here is different from home, so you try out new things and adapt at this point. There are many different restaurants here with a wide variety of food, the Irish people start drinking beer for lunch and there are a lot of pubs in the city. Many people in Germany only drink on the weekends.
Since the sockets are different from those in Germany, you also have to adapt and buy adapters.
I would say that I have learned to accept new things and above all, to get used to new situations and also adapt to them. I have learnt how to be “scrappy”. “Scrappy” means having a strong will and dealing with challenges.
You should not give up when things get difficult. Find a way to overcome them. I’ve heard that Germans complain about everything. Hopefully I could change that view a little bit.
Nevertheless, I have also learned to talk about things when they don’t fit. I learned how to take good photos, got more involved with new ways of working and working with Chat GPT. I also worked more with social media and understood how to impress people with new things.
Overall, I’m very thankful for my time in Cork, because sometimes it was very hard and some things went wrong, but I would say that I made personal progress. I have learned to persevere and not give up. I also learned to think more positively and not only see the negative. I have looked into a new way of working and take many experiences home with me. The crucial point, however, is that my English has improved further and I have been able to deal well with new situations.
I also worked on a press release that got published in Yay Cork, which I was really proud of.