Friday, 21st October: Time to say Good Bye to Friends and Family!
We got to Zurich by train. Everything was well-organized, so we didn’t have to wait for a long time when we changed trains. It took us about two hours to get from Bregenz to Zurich. Our plane was a little bit delayed, so we departed about 15 minutes later. Exhausted and tired from the journey, we all took a nap on the plane. We arrived at 11 pm in Dublin. From there we took the bus to Abrahams Hostel in Dublin. At midnight, we arrived at the hostel and were assigned to our rooms. One room for the boys and two rooms for the girls. Unfortunately, we had to make ours bed on our own. Because it was already midnight, we quickly got something to eat and went to bed. When we we went towards the city centre, we were all wondering about the big, spiky tower. It is called “The Spire” and is 121 metres high.
Luckily, nothing went wrong on our arrival day and we had a good day.
Saturday, 22nd October:
Our day started at 9 am when our alarm rang. We were seven girls in one room with only one bathroom, so we plant plenty of time to get ready. After that we discovered the breakfast and met for the following tours.
Our first stop was in the city centre for a tour through Dublin. Our guide was really funny and explained the history of the city in such a smart way, we couldn’t stop listening and laughing. Although the tour only lasted about one hour, we got to know many things about the city and saw lots of interesting parts.
Our second stop was at the Guinness Store House. Each one of us had the chance to explore everything on one’s own. Apart of the Shop, the Taste-Room, and lots of interesting exhibitions, we all were most impressed by the view from the Gravity-Bar. But all the different impressions of that exciting day didn’t last long. Highly motivated we discussed our party plans over a Guinness. So many bars and nightclubs, in such a short time – it was really tricky. But I think we made the right decision, because we had a great night!
Sunday, 23rd October:
Midnight: Highly motivated we were dancing the whole night in a club. 6 AM: Arrived in the hostel. Glad to be in bed, because today is gonna be a long day. After four hours of sleep we had to pack our stuff and check out. Then we went to the city centre and enjoyed the sunny Sunday. What could be better than shopping on a Sunday? It was great getting discounts because of the student ID card. We ate something good in Ann’s Bakery and after that we returned to the hostel. At 13:30 we all met at the hostel again and walked for about 10 minutes to another hotel in Dublin. There we had a very interesting orientation meeting with Con from Language Xchange Ireland. He informed us about all the important things which we have to know while staying in Ireland and doing our internships. In the break we got sandwiches and some hot drinks. Finally, at 5 o’clock we got on the bus to Waterford. Our host families welcomed us in a very friendly way. At home we got something tasty food.
Good Night Waterford. We were looking forward to our first working day!
Day 8, Saturday, 29th October: Our big trip to Kilkenny, The Hook Lighthouse & Duncannon Beach
We met ourselves at 9 am in front of the old Guinness Factory in Waterford. Unfortunately our teacher Mr. Erath had to travel back to Austria. So we got
another teacher. On that day Yagmur, one of our schoolmates, couldn’t come with us, because she felt sick.
At quarter past 9 our bus arrived and after 10 minutes we leaved Waterford. The bus arrived Kilkenny at 10.22 am and we got from our teacher two hours to scout Kilkenny. Our destiny wanted that we could visit the Ireland Autumn Food Festival, the castle as well as the center of the city.
We had to meet ourselves again at half past twelve but we couldn’t find one of our schoolmates. The group started to worry about Abdusselam but he came finally after 20 minutes. The bus left Killkenny at the same time where the missing student sat in the bus. Our next stop was the Hook Lighthouse.
About 1 o’clock we arrived at the Hook Lighthouse. We had the opportunity to take a tourist guide for the lighthouse. We were shocked when we heard that the Hook Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouse in the world. We saw an injured baby seal.
After we spend 2 hours there we met our bus at the garage but we couldn’t leave there, because some of the students wanted to buy snacks for the trip. After that our next stop was the Duncannon Beach.
At quarter past four the bus arrived the Duncannon Beach. It was very cold and stormy but it was nice there. We stayed there about 20 minutes.
Sunday, 30th October:
On this day, I had the chance to sleep longer and the time had to be changed back for one hour. That’s why I had breakfast at 11 am. After that I went back in my room and caught up with my family in Austria. At one o’clock our host mother made us lunch. Then Nadine and I were getting ready so that we could go to the City Centre and do our some shopping. Before that we watched hurling in Irish, which is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin. When the match was over, our host father brought us into the City. There, we met Charleen and Selina. After an successful shopping day, me and Nadine walked home and we were starving. Luckily, our dinner was ready. Our host mother daughter came to visit her and we watched “strictly come dancing” after the dinner. At eight o’clock Charleen and Selina picked us up with the taxi. We went to the cinema with Lisa and Michelle and watched bridget jones’s baby. It was a funny movie. We enjoyed it.
Monday, 31st October:
8-9 am: Waking up and getting ready for a long day.
9:15 am: Meeting point at the old Guinness factory.
9:30 am-1 pm: Bus journey to the Cliffs of Moher. Lots of chatting, eating, sleeping.
1-3 pm: Exploring the landscape. Great fun getting the best pictures and the funniest videos while still seeing everything.
3-6 pm: Bus journey back to Waterford. Even more chatting, eating and sleeping (not that easy in such a small bus, Julius even slept at the floor).
6 pm: Getting picked up by our host families.
6:30-7:30 pm: Getting dinner and discussing the exciting day with our host family.
8 pm: Falling to bed weary to the bones. Looking forward to having another exciting day of work!
The first time I saw my host mother was when she picked me up after our group arrived to waterford with the bus. She was very friendly and started to talk to me right away.
First conversation topics ranged from "how I'm liking it so far in Ireland" to "how many siblings I have" before we even arrived at home. After we arrived at home I got to know to her 7 year old son, who was really excited to see me, as she told me in the car. She also has an 17 year old daughter who is still going to school.
Next my host mom and her son showed me the house and also my room. After eating a nice dinner, talking a bit more, taking a shower and watching some irish TV the 1st day was already over.
On every morning my host mom wakes me up if am not already awake, makes me a cup of tea if I want and then drives me to my Work Placement. She also makes my lunch package I take to work. When I'm done with work my host mom picks me up and drives me home.
In the evening she cooks dinner and after that we'll do something, like watching a movie together, going out trick or treating for halloween or she brings me to the activity our group does.
When I am at home after work I help my host mother with different things, like loading or unloading the dishwasher. Thank God my host mom does my laundry for me, so I don't have to do that by myself.
A short profile of my mentor
During my two weeks of work placement in Waterford in the Fitzwilton Hotel my mentor was Stephan Hayden. He is the Operation Manager of the Hotel. As an Operation Manager he has duties like supervising, hiring and training other employees, monitoring existing processes and analyzing their effectiveness and so on. Additionally he tries to help wherever he can, for example in the morning he takes care of the few guests in the bar café or if it is a busy morning he helps with the breakfast in the restaurant. On my first day Stephan gave me a little tour of the hotel and he showed me what I had to do for the two weeks. Furthermore he told me where I could find the tools that I required and more importantly how to use them. Apart from that he searched for me every day and wanted to know if everything is alright and if I needed anything. Sometimes he even offered me to ask the kitchen to cook me something. Moreover what was great was that his office was really nearby of my work station. So every time when I walked by his office he also asked if I was fine. But the other employees I worked with were also kind of my mentors and I am really grateful that they were so patient with me and helped me in every way they could.
My mentor at the JJ Kavanaghs group was Josef, also called Joe. He works at the bus service station of the JJ Kavanagh group in Waterford. He is the guy who keeps everything going. Most of his work are administration tasks, for example booking the holidays for the bus drivers or looking for a temporary replacement if one of the bus drivers is sick. He also manages the incoming paperwork.
A big part of his work is counting the money from the buses and transfering the number into the computer for the accounting. This work takes a lot of time since there is a lot of coins and it is necessary to be very accurate.
Customer service is also one of his tasks. He helps them with finding the right bus or informing them about the timetables. There you can also hire an entire bus.
If you ever lost something in one of the buses, Josef is the right person to ask whether it was found or not.
Overall, he manages all the processes in the service station Waterford. He helps everyone with the problems with his excellent problem solving skills. He always has to know what is going on.
While I worked there, he supported me where he could and showed me some of the processes in the company. I took over some tasks and experienced the work life. If I ever had a question he always patiently gave me the answers and explained it to me. It was a pleasure to work with him. Thank you for all the knowledge you shared with me!
Saturday, : 5 November
6:00 am: Waking up and getting ready for the home trip
6:45 am: Meeting point at the old Guinness factory.
9:00 am: Arrived at Airport in Dublin
11:00 am: Departure with Air Lingus
13:00 pm: Arrived safe at Zurich Airport. The flight was calm and convenient
14:00 pm: Got into the Train at Zurich Airport
16:30 pm: Arrived in Bregenz (Austria) and got picked up by our parents