September 2019 Most Valuable Participant: Niamh Darling

This month, we have selected the Irish Summer Work Travel participant Niamh Darling as our MVP! We selected Niamh because she has followed all of the program regulations during the summer, and her employer shared positive feedback about Niamh with us:

Niamh was a great addition to our team and stepped right into her role. She always volunteered to take on additional responsibility, and to pick up additional shifts. Would hire back in a heart beat.

Andrew, Blue Smoke

Yay, Niamh! Thank you for being an exceptional Summer Work and Travel participant!

Name: Niamh Darling

Position: Server Assistant

Home Country: Ireland

What You're Studying: English with the History of Art and Architecture

How do you like living in New York City? How is it different from your hometown? New York City seems like a must-see type of place so it's good to be able to say that I've lived there. I'm from a rural village in Ireland so it was a completely different experience living in New York. Everything is bigger, noisier, more built-up and busier!

What was the most difficult aspect of American culture to adapt to? What is your favorite aspect of American culture? I found the emphasis on commercialism in American culture quite difficult to get used to. A lot of things seemed to revolve around making money and spending money, and I felt frequently bombarded with advertising and incentives to spend money on stuff you don't really need. I also felt quite isolated from nature at times which I hadn't anticipated. In contrast, I loved visiting the art galleries in New York which had incredible collections!

What was your happiest moment on the program? Probably visiting the galleries. I got to visit the MoMA, The Whitney, The Met and The Guggenheim. They were all amazing in different ways so I can't choose a favourite!

What have you learned or gained from being on this program? I learned a lot about American culture and how different it is to Irish culture. Setting up in a different country even if its temporary is always a learning curve so have definitely gained experience from that! Even going through the visa process will probably help me if I want to travel elsewhere in the future.

K.Leigh Furzer