It was a great time! – or as the Irish say: "Am deas a bhí ann!"

The ADC College in Dublin

Hello, our names are Sarah Sticka and David Lilienthal, and we are both currently IBMA trainees at steute. The first year of our traineeship included a 3-week work placement in Dublin, organised for us and seven more trainees from other companies by our vocational college in Bünde. We also received support from steute, both organisationally and financially.

During our first week in Dublin, we participated in an English course at the ADC College. Here we were able to brush up our knowledge of English and prepare in detail for the everyday situations we would encounter. We were also taught about the Irish culture and some differences in the English spoken in Ireland. The agenda for our stay was explained at the beginning of the course. We received a lot of information and tips about the public transport system, as well as various sights in and around Dublin.

Our work placements

The next two weeks were for the work placement. Sarah completed hers at Hatstone Solicitors LLP, a law office specialised in employment law, corporate law and tenancy law. In addition to dealing with the post, documentation and deliveries, she was responsible for organising the legal files. Sarah also assisted her colleagues by relieving them of tasks such as photocopying chapters from law books.

David worked at ICOT College, a language school which prepares students for English language tests. In the Sales and Marketing departments he was responsible for ensuring that all necessary documentation had been handed in by the students and then archiving it. He also worked at the front desk, completing routine tasks and helping students with their questions to the best of his ability.

The atmosphere at work in Ireland was very relaxed, and we felt welcome. Our colleagues immediately made us part of their teams, enabling us to make contact with others quickly and easily. The Irish as a nation are very friendly and helpful. They seem to be in a good mood most of the time, and they smile a lot. If we needed any help, it was never a problem.

Trips and activities

Alongside work we also had enough time to do other things. For example, we went on a trip with the whole group to the Cliffs of Moher, and on another into the centre of Dublin. The city was very lively and clean. We found a wide range of shops and restaurants, as well as St. Stephen’s Green Park. This spacious grassy area was perfect for a relaxing picnic and for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.

At the weekends we visited some of the many pubs in Dublin. Most of them are quite old-fashioned inside, but very cosy and with friendly bar staff. Hiking along the world-famous Cliffs of Moher provided us with a fantastic view over the Atlantic Ocean. Other walks took us to the outskirts of Dublin and more cliffs in Howth, only this time smaller. We ate "fish 'n' chips" and climbed a hill called Bray Head.

Staying with an Irish host family

Sarah and four other students stayed with a host family living about 20-30 minutes' drive from the city centre. Breakfast usually consisted of toast and muesli, and there was a hot meal in the evenings. The family was extremely nice and gave her many good and helpful tips for her time in Dublin.

David, on the other hand, was with just one other student. His host family lived further away from the city, but this meant that he had all the advantages of a quiet location. His breakfast also consisted of toast and muesli, together with jams and fruit. His hot evening meal was often something traditionally Irish or English, and he has especially fond memories of the "shepherd's pie". His host family assisted him whenever he had questions and took good care of him. He felt very at ease.

We would happily return

Today we can look back on a really wonderful time in Ireland, during which we had the opportunity to get to know a new culture and gain our first experience of working in a foreign country. We were able to prove ourselves in a new work environment and further our knowledge of business, as well as of the English language. But what made our time in Dublin really special was the many new people we met, some of whom we have remained in touch with since our return.