Tia Mitsis - 2017 Program Participant

What inspired you to go abroad?

I needed to make a change in my life, after an extended period affected by not being able to find a job in my field of study. It defined me, it frustrated me, and it affected every area of my life. I knew that I needed to take a risk to make a change. Despite misgivings in the event, it led to the same result as my studies in law and subsequent masters of law; I went back to study and upon completing my course requirements, I looked for internships. That is how I discovered that there seemed to be many more possibilities abroad than in my home country.

My experience finding even work experience in Australia had not been positive previously. For this reason, I did not apply at all in Australia. I did not want to even allow a chance that history could repeat itself, so I looked only overseas. At this point of my life, it wasn't an easy decision to make. I'd settled into my job, but always had that thought in the back of my mind about things not working out as I'd thought when I was studying.

I had no idea it was even possible to go through as many struggles as I had. I didn't think it was possible to change it. To help myself heal though, I realised I had to change it, I had to make a move to change it. I couldn't continue being a victim of circumstance.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
The iconic Cliffs of Moher

Why did you choose Stint Ireland?

I chose Stint Ireland because they were communicative, provided all necessary information promptly, and seemed to have many contacts within Dublin for an internship. I was given quite a number of choices. It was truly collaborative, in that I was asked which roles I was interested in and provided information about the organisations, so that I could make an informed decision.

What was your favorite part about Dublin?

Ireland is a beautiful country filled with friendly people and incredible scenery. I immediately fell in love with Dublin and the rest of Ireland that I visited. So much so that I want to go back - and soon.

What made your experience abroad unique?

I was slightly older as an intern as this was not a gap year or early career internship; it was an experience that I needed. I needed to realise that the circumstances that had made my career to that point less than ideal could be changed. They were not my fault, as a graduate who had not been able to find work in my field of study, and I didn't need to just accept the circumstances. Ireland showed me that my experience should have and could have been different - had I studied and searched for a job in Ireland.

Lake view in Glendalough in Wicklow, Ireland

How did local staff support you throughout your program?

Local staff were very welcoming, friendly, and supportive. They scheduled regular chats to check on how the internship and experience is going. I felt like they were my Ireland family - along with my colleagues at my internship.

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

I wish I had thought to do it even earlier than I did!

Describe a typical day in the life of your program.

I did writing and content creation for Extreme Ireland/Irish Day Tours. A typical day would include writing blog posts, researching topics, re-writing, editing, and proofreading website content, participating in marketing meetings, and some days included going on full day tours to locations that were breathtaking and inspiring.

As a writer, Ireland's landscape and significance in the the literary world is inspiring.
Connemara district in western Ireland

What did you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoyed walking around Dublin, visiting other locations in Ireland, and taking off on weekend getaways to other European countries. Being so close to other European countries was an excellent chance to take such trips. Australia is so far away from everything that being able to spend a weekend in Paris, Rome, Athens, etc. was a novelty to me. I made trips to Hungary and Scotland during my time as an intern. I loved being able to travel close by with short and relatively cheap flights.

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

It was very centrally located, my room was very comfortable, and the facilities were excellent.

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

They need to have the right expectations, a sense of adventure, to apply themselves to get the most out of the experience, and to have fun.

Giants Causeway in Ireland
Giants Causeway

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

It has impacted my life greatly. It has helped me see things about my life and career that I want to change, which I have now made plans to change. This internship and time abroad has given me a new outlook, new strength, and a renewed focus.

Would you recommend your program to others? Why?

I would highly recommend it as it takes all the work and uncertainty out of finding an internship abroad. It made the process seamless, my host organisation was an excellent fit for me, and Stint provided excellent support both before and during my internship and time in Ireland.