Anis Raihana - 2017 Program Participant

What inspired you to go abroad?

I've always wanted to return to Europe ever since the first time I was there back in Winter 2013. When I found out from my university that I actually could choose to do my internship abroad, I went on Google to search for opportunities in Europe, decided to reject a local internship offer in 2016 and postponed my internship to another year. European continent got me hooked instantly. The scenery, the architecture, the friendliness of Europeans (as I have European friends that I got to know on campus) everything triggers me to go and pack my luggage for an internship experience. On top of that, I set a mission of securing a job in Europe before I flew home after my internship, which I did in the end, secured two job offers. On top of that, I needed a completely new environment and experience that is not similar to what I gained back home.

Walking along Giants Causeway, Ireland
Giant's Causeway - my most favourite place in Ireland

Why did you choose Stint Ireland?

Stint Ireland had been very accommodating from the start of my contact with them up until today! Stint gave me few options to choose from and they are very prompt at replying emails.

What was your favorite part about Dublin?

Dublin feels more like home after about four weeks. The people are friendly, witty and full of humour and St Stephen's Green Park that is located in the middle of the city centre is undoubtedly beautiful and calming. The same goes to the rest of the Emerald Isle especially Giant's Causeway, Cliffs of Moher, and Howth.

What made your experience abroad unique?

I was the only Malaysian at my workplace and the only Muslim living at Stint's accommodation. It was my first time living abroad with foreigners and that gave me a whole new insight of other people's culture, working style and style of living.

How did local staff support you throughout your program?

Local staff had been very supportive, there would be an outing or dinner together at least once a month where they will get updates on every Stinter.

Newgrange, a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?

I wish I figured out Stint back in 2015 or early 2016 so that I could arrange for a longer period of internship!

Describe a typical day in the life of your program.

I woke up at 7 a.m. every day, had breakfast at home before catching a bus to the INSIGHT Centre of Data Analytics based at Dublin City University. My working hours were from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At the office, I normally had experiments to carry out on a daily basis. These experiments were based on Common Sense Project or SWEATCH project that the team is (was) doing. Lunch was normally on campus either with my colleagues or the undergraduate research students. By the end of the day, I had to present all the data that I collected from the experiment to my supervisor. Some days, I attended meeting(s) and training on Safety Laboratory.

What did you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoyed walking around the city centre, the scenic parks, taking adventures to other countries. I enjoyed every bit of the breathtaking scenery and sights of sheeps on the hills. On certain days, I enjoyed staying at home, reading books.

What was your accommodation like? What did you like best about it?

My room was so comfortable as it has everything I needed including an ensuite bathroom. The accommodation was near to the city centre and grocery stores - within walking distance and it was located in a gated and guarded community. Facilities were also excellent.

What surprised you most about Dublin?

The friendliness of the people.

Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland
Phoenix Park

Do you have any packing tips for individuals headed to Dublin, Ireland?

Get yourself ready with sweaters or jackets as the weather can be unpredictable. Other than, pack your suitcase, your passport, get out of your comfort zone, enjoy the adventures and see where life takes you after that!

What was the hardest part about interning abroad?

The hardest part was dealing with homesickness. I travel alone for official work trips quite frequently but this time, it was for three months and I had to also take time zone differences into consideration before I can contact my loved ones back home.

What is one thing every participant should know before participating in your program?

To be able to get out of comfort zone and be comfortable in your own skin to take adventures alone and within groups.

Now that you're home, how has your program abroad impacted your life?

It has opened my eyes in so many ways that I could not wait to start another adventure abroad soon, be it for work or just travelling.

What do you feel the biggest benefit of doing an internship abroad is?

To be able to experience the work life balance and culture that are different than the work lifestyle and culture back home.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Cliffs of Moher

Would you recommend your program to others? Why?

Highly recommended. As I mentioned before, they are very accommodating and prompt. I sent them bullets of questions before I finally decided that, 'Ýes, this is the internship provider that I want to deal with.' My time in Ireland won't be memorable and craic if it was not because of their services.

If you could intern abroad again, where would you go?

The Netherlands. I'm now learning Dutch language and have been scouting for places to visit in The Netherlands.