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Sunday, 3 June 2012

The Search for a Summer Internship: Chapter 1--Dublin


Decided: I am in love with Ireland. Every little thing about this country appeals to me: from the people, to the places, to the food ( a little too much!) When we first arrived in Dublin 8 days ago, after several uncomfortable connecting flights (thank you ---Airlines), I was convinced that Europe was a cold, unwelcoming place compared to the United States. A harrowing experience in the Heathrow Airport that had me running barefoot through terminals in search of ANY KIND of friendly assistance (eventually  found in Habib, the middle-eastern owner of the duty free shop near Terminal 8), followed by a brief excursion into Dublin City Center where I was greeted by several tight-lipped European faces, had me wondering exactly what lunatic thought made me decide to take this trip in the first place. However, after spending only a week in this country, I can assure you that the only thing cold about Ireland is the weather.
 I started my journey in Liffey Valley, where my Uncle Tom had me booked in the amazing Clarion Hotel by Choice. On the outside, the accommodations didn't look like much, but once I opened the doors to the room, I was taken aback by the style and sophistication of the two bedroom apartment style suite. Complete with living room, dining, two bathrooms, washer/dryer, and a complete kitchen stocked with dishes, microwave and refrigeration, the rooming was far more elegant that anything I have ever experienced in the United States. The price was well worth the quality; and amenities, such as  complementary usage of the exclusive Sanovitae gym facilities (which people actually pay membership for) helped to make the hotel experience truly spectacular. The location of the Clarion is great as well. Despite having a population of almost 1.2 million, Dublin city is actually quite small geographically, and my location in Liffey Valley was just a  £16 taxi ride from O'Connell street, and the nearby Grafton: two major locations to experience city life. 
      Since settling in  the Clarion, my experience in Dublin has just been pure bliss. Life in the city is definitely not for everyone, but, I have to admit, I am completely enamored with it. My internal clock is still a little jet-lagged, so days for me usually  begin around 11 in the afternoon and end at 3 in the morning. Each day  here has been a complete adventure. From day trips to Sligo, Galway, and Belfast, to overnight stays in Cork and Kilrea; there is never a lack of activity in this country. Even when it rains (which it does more often than not) I just put on my galoshes and head to Grafton St., where I can usually find a street vendor to sell me a sunflower for a £; grab a coffee; then walk to St. Stephen's Green, to sit under the gazebo with a good book and little worries. 
       I have taken so well to city life, that I was actually inspired to start my summer internship search here: in the beautiful city of Dublin and its environs! In order to get into a top-class med school, I think it is important to first gain some experience working in the medical field so that I don't go into the whole process clueless. For the past two years, I have been putting in hours at a local clinic in my city in an attempt to learn the "ins and outs" of operating a family practice; and in the fall, "finger's crossed" that I get the opportunity to volunteer in my city's general hospital. But what better way to gain worldly experience than by applying myself in a country half-way around the world lol!!
         In all honesty, I am happy here in Dublin. In this fabulous city I have found a place where I feel completely comfortable, even when surrounded by thousands of people. I love looking at the hundreds of faces that pass me by each and every day, and the ability to blend into the autonomy of it all, is absolutely liberating. I feel confident enough in my ability to navigate, survive, and prosper here, that I am more than willing to call Dublin a "temporary home". Even in the cold weather, I'm always warm in Ireland :) (cheesy, I know. Just try not to vomit on the keyboard)
Soooooooo....wish me luck as the search for a summer internship in a proper hospital starts tomorrow! I'll be visiting St. Vincent's Uni Hospital, The Mater, St. James, and the Beaumont. It'll be hard work to find a hospital internship as the field is getting more and more competitive...but once I do? Summer 2013 can't come fast enough! 


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