Why do students choose Dublin as their ideal Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme destination? Often choosing a capital city isn’t high up on a student’s list due to its complicated public transport system and sometimes, students worry they’ll get lost in the crowds. However, this isn’t the case in Dublin, Ireland.
Firstly, and most of all, local people are welcoming, open, and ready to help with anything. Public transport there is easy to grasp. It’s also important to note that Dublin is the location of many European headquarters for international tech companies which gives tech students the chance to enjoy a really fantastic Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme internship. Read the following case study from one of our group leader’s who took care of a group from Germany during their internship in Dublin.
I could immediately tell which group was the group of young people from Germany arriving at the airport because they looked excited, perhaps with a little concern on their faces, as some of them have never been abroad.
At that moment of arrival at the airport, the adventure started. Each student was about to experience different brilliant moments and face challenges while away from home.
All the essential details concerning the Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme programme was sent out to the students a week before their trip, including everything needed for their upcoming four-week adventure. Information included the meeting point at the airport, details about accommodation, and the placement companies.
As this was a group of more than 10 participants for the Erasmus+/Turing Scheme programme in Dublin, I met the group personally at the arrival hall holding a sign up with the group’s name for easy identification. Even though Dublin Airport is not huge, it took about 30min-1h to get through passport control and collect luggage. Meanwhile, our taxi/bus driver joined me to wait for the students.
This group stayed with host families with some staying at a private apartment. Arrival was on a Sunday afternoon, so we organised a few taxis/minivans to avoid too many drop-offs during the one-hour long ride. This helped to shorten the extra travel for the students to their accommodation. The host families were located in the suburbs of Dublin, in the residential area, and getting from one host family could take a bit of time!
We had two taxis taking students directly to the host families. At every home, a member of the host family waited for the students to greet them. I was in phone contact with the host families and students to make sure everything went smoothly. The host families took care of introducing students to house rules and showed them the way to the closest bus/train stop. At this point, students relaxed a bit after their journey and flight.
The second group of students staying in the apartment went with me by minivan, I had the keys already, which helped with smooth check-in, as we didn’t need to wait for the owner or host. I introduced the students to all the amenities and made sure that everything was organised to everyone’s satisfaction and nothing was missing. We checked the apartments before the student’s arrival; sometimes the cleaning service might miss something or there is not enough bed linen or towels.
There are insufficient quality apartments to rent for the short term in Dublin but as we’ve organised internships in Dublin for many years, we have a group of landlords who provide us with apartments at a high level that fit the budget of the Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme funding. When it comes to booking stays at apartments, we always advise booking in advance. Alternatively, we can easily offer a stay at a host family. We have an excellent host family agency with whom we work with and who accommodate our students at fantastic and friendly host families in Dublin.
While it was a busy day – that wasn’t the end of it! Next, we met close to the Spire, a famous sight in Dublin, for a concise briefing as everyone was tired after a whole day of travelling and an exciting new place!
Using public transport with no time pressure helped everyone to familiarise themselves with commuting in Dublin. Doing that eased the stress on the second day when the students had to travel during peak hours to their companies for the first time. I did it that way so students could concentrate on the first day at work. We also had a little chat about accommodation, checked all the details for the next day and dealt with questions.
The first day at the internship company is always the most stressful day for everyone. There are always questions but everything gets sorted out. The students were located in different companies according to their preferences in the field of their education. The internships were organised at ten different companies in industries like media, events, IT, and hospitality.
Everyone arrived at their companies in the morning without trouble. I checked the situation in the morning with the students and supervisors at the companies. The first day at work started with an introduction and assigned students to the tasks at their companies. It took a few days for them to get to know their team and get used to a new environment.
I met with the students the following day to share the news and feedback about their latest experiences in Dublin. During the second week, everyone got to know the city better, and it was time to have more fun. We explored Dublin in the afternoon to get the most out of the culture and the typical local places to visit.
On the first Saturday in Ireland, we started with a private guided panoramic tour of Dublin – duration about 2h. It included the bohemian Temple Bar quarter, the serene campus of Trinity College, Dublin Castle, City Hall, Christchurch Cathedral, Ha’penny Bridge, The GPO, The Spire, James Joyce statue, O’Connell Statue and the impressive Old Parliament building.
This itinerary can always be customised, according to any group’s preferences and interests.
On Sunday, we visited Trinity College and Book of Kells + Old Library. This activity included a guided tour of the College and gave an introduction into the history of the College, its architecture, traditions, and modern life; it also introduced the Old Library and the Book of Kells.
On the Saturday of the second weekend, the group visited the Guinness Store. The was the perfect introduction to the rich history of the city – a history that’s deeply intertwined with Guinness. Sunday was reserved for exploring the West side of Ireland – the Atlantic Ocean and Cliffs of Moher and Galway. We enjoyed a whole day trip to the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s favourite visitor experiences and we created memories to last forever.
During the third weekend, students took part in an Irish dance party, to experience Irish culture and traditional Irish music and dance. This is one of Dublin’s best-loved experiences where you get top-class live Irish music and dancing by award-winning performers. True to the Irish spirit, everybody got to give the dancing a go.
On Sunday, we had an outing to the GAA Museum at Croke Park and learnt about the story of Gaelic games, from ancient times to the present day. The students were able to test their hurling and football skills in the interactive games zone.
The main goal of the internship was that the students had a memorable experience and quality placement. Not forgetting the last requirement, which was the documentation: Internship Certificate, Europass and Learning Agreement.
All those documents had to be ready and signed by the supervisor at the students’ internship companies, at the end of the internships. I prepared documents and sent them directly to the companies for signature and evaluation. Documents are usually handed to the students on their last day of work experience.
After the last day of work, it was time to share feedback, say goodbye to everyone, and buy some last-minute souvenirs from Dublin. The private transfer picked up students from their accommodation and took them directly to the airport.
Have we piqued your interest in doing your Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme project in Dublin? Or are you not sure which destination is best for you yet – read our blog London vs. Dublin to help make your decision. If you are not sure whether to do your Erasmus+ or Turing Scheme internship in a standard destination or whether to choose a special destination, we can also advise you here – just contact us. Or visit our blog and discover our many articles about all the different types of destinations we offer.
Do you need help with the organisation of your Erasmus+ project? Our Guide for Erasmus+ Funding Applicants or our Handbook for Erasmus+ Project Management & Execution are helpful tools.