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My Internship Experience in Ireland

By laura Brereton July 07, 2022

My name is Emily Green and I am an Architectural Design major and Dance minor at James Madison University located in Virginia. I grew up in Indonesia and because of this, I had the opportunity to have a unique childhood, growing up in an international environment and getting to see different parts of the world. My upbringing and love for immersing myself in new cultures led me to start thinking about interning abroad during my college years. This summer I have had the opportunity to work as an intern at Home Street Home in Dublin, Ireland. 

Emily in Ireland on Internship


In my role as an intern, I have learned some of the basics involved in running an independent business. Being immersed in the pieces at home street home has allowed me to get to know the stories of how each item came to be at the shop. It has been an eye-opening experience for my outlook on design and materiality. I know that I will never look at a piece of furniture in the same way and have a new appreciation for craftsmanship. Additionally, I have been able to put some of my architectural education into practice by creating drawings and concept ideas for items to be put into production for use in the shop.

Since my arrival in Ireland, I have been overwhelmed with how a geographically small country contains so much beauty and history. Even in my first week, I started using my weekends to see as much of Ireland as I could within the short time that I was here. I took many day trips on buses and trains to charming towns and cities such as Howth, Cashel, Greystones, Trim, and Bundoran. On one of my final weekends, I took a tour to see the famous cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry. I had many adventures exploring castles, taking long hikes, and swimming in the sea with harbor seals in the distance. Given the chance, I would come back to Ireland to explore its many landscapes and remarkable views in an instant. My adventures within Dublin city were just as rewarding - my favorite places being the National Botanic Gardens, Trinity Library, and a charming local breakfast shop near my apartment.

Before my departure to Ireland, I purchased a sketchbook specifically for my summer travels. During the course of my stay, I have painted both live in the midst of the scenery and at home with pictures as a reference. My experience talking with and seeing the work of local artists and urban sketchers at the Bloom Festival inspired me to keep up with using artwork to document these travel sketches. It was also rewarding to walk into a local artist shop in Killarney, immediately recognize their work from the Bloom festival, and strike up a conversation.  Overall, my time in Ireland has been a great one. I have been thrilled to have been in a workplace outside of my home country, learn more about a field I am interested in, and get to know so many new people.

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