Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. In Ireland – a country known as the "emerald isle" – it is actually true. What a perfect place to open up a new branch of ADC College, right? As from September this year, we have extended the Internship Programme to Dublin! We spoke to Alexander Schimmel, our Deputy Managing Director, about the new venture and why schools might want to consider Ireland as their new Erasmus+ destination.
Why have you chosen Dublin as your new location for Erasmus+ internships?
Dublin was a natural choice. As much as London is a very exciting destination for many students, some feel slightly overwhelmed by the vast size of the city and the intercultural experience. We wanted to find a location that offers enough diversity for a wide variety of placement types as well as being an interesting place to visit. Ireland is also interesting to our partners because it is another English speaking country for their portfolio. And it is more affordable than London, which is an additional plus.
How did the idea for the project come about?
For a while now, we have been considering opening a new centre in another European country. Many of our partners are very happy with the help they receive when it comes to project documentation and how serious we take concerns of students, but they seem to struggle with finding project partners with similar support structures in other countries. When we spoke to schools about our idea to open up shop in Dublin, we were blown away by the positive response. So we decided to give it a go.
What do you think students can gain from living and working in Ireland?
Ireland is such a beautiful country and the people there are very welcoming and warm-hearted. Living in Ireland will make them experience an Anglophone culture outside of the British and American mainstream. Working in an Irish company will also show students the differences between their home country and Ireland which is always useful in widening their horizon.
How will the accommodation and internships be organised?
Our team of work placement officers led by my experienced colleague Antonietta Maione will select suitable companies for our students and expand our networks of companies in Dublin. Accommodation and transfer will also be taken care of by us. From summer onwards, we will have a team based in Dublin and to ensure that everything runs smoothly, some of us will share our time between London and Dublin.
Will the programme be different from the one in London?
We will take the same approach as in London which means that we will take care of all aspects of the programme in Ireland – from travel and transfer to accommodation, language training, and of course work placements.
What kind of internships will you be providing in Dublin?
We start with the fields business administration, childcare, hospitality and retail. In 2018/2019 we will be adding additional fields such as IT, media and healthcare.
Who are the host families?
Our host families are as varied as our students, but mainly live in the outskirts of Dublin where you find residential areas with high proportions of family homes. In many cases, people have a spare room and like the idea of hosting somebody from another country – to talk, have a laugh and share a bit of Irish culture with.
Who can schools contact in the event of an emergency?
We will have people directly in Dublin who take care of groups while they are there. This is important to ensure we can deliver the same level of service as in London. For any organisational matters, our Country Managers in London will remain primary contacts for our partner schools to keep things simple.
When can schools apply for the Dublin Internship Programme?
The first round of applications finished in February this year and was strictly limited in number. For next year’s application round, so February 2018, we plan to increase our capacity to reflect the increasing demand. We advise everyone, however, to get in touch with us latest this autumn to make sure they can secure a project in Dublin.
What is your favourite thing to do in Dublin?
I really like Temple Bar, the cultural quarter of Dublin, which is a vibrant place with lots of music, authentic Irish pubs and great people around.
Are you interested in our new Dublin venture? The Internship Programme is a project eligible for funding from Erasmus+. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.