Hidden Gems…Great for the Gram

I’ll get straight to the point here, let’s face it. There are so many places in Ireland that maybe you don’t care for or maybe you haven’t even heard of. Yes, I agree it’s fabulous to visit other countries, but why not try exploring our own for a change? Even if it’s just for a day trip. 

I promise, if you stick with me, until the end of this post, you WILL want to visit at least one of these places, and you will not be disappointed. 

The Belfast Beauty

Ok, going to start off with one close to home, and one which you have all definitely heard of. The Botanical Gardens. Now yea, it may sound ‘main stream,’ or not really a ‘hidden gem’ as such, but tell me how many of you have actually taken a walk through it and took the time to really take it in? 

My guess is not very many of you…

The Botanical Gardens is full of blossoming flowers and plants in every season, my favourite obviously being summer, when it is full of bright colours.

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So, next time you’re there, take your time, explore it, and I promise you, you will not be disappointed. 

On an extra note, girls…and boys, it makes for a perfect Instagram spot! 

 

Newtownstewart’s Nature (Co.Tyrone) 

Moving closer to my hometown of Newtownstewart *eyeroll* is what I’m sure you are all thinking. What could it possibly have to offer? To be fair, I would be thinking the same thing… ‘like, seriously?’

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I’m sure you have all seen the sunflower fields EVERYWHERE on social media at some point, yet many of you will never have been, or maybe just didn’t know where to go. Well, if good oul’ Newtown is good for something, it’s good for its’ Sunflower Fields in the summer months!

And who couldn’t love a sunflower, am I right? 

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Granny for one agrees!

 

So, take a trip down to the country and get those profile pics, and pick your own sunflowers to brighten up your home! 

Remember: Bring some pennies, because it’s always for a good charitable cause!!

 

Beautiful Butterfly Farm (Co.Down)

Anyone who knows me knows I have had an obsession with butterflies from a very young age, and have in-fact only recently re-decorated my girlie purple butterfly themed bedroom, to a more suitable décor, for a 20 year old…boring I know. 

So, when I took my first trip to the butterfly farm, I was so excited… and yes, I’ll admit it…. I cried.  

One of the cutest experiences I’ve had in Northern Ireland, I couldn’t believe that there were so many butterflies flying around and you could get so close to them. 

I did at one point consider taking one home, but don’t worry, I settled for a butterfly fridge magnet instead. 

I recommend wearing bright clothes, as it attracts the butterflies so you can get those pics, and it’s bloody warm in that green house, so if you don’t want to pass out, wear light clothes!

Admission: £4.50 Adult/ £3.50 students and stay for as long as you wish. (You’ll want to stay forever, trust me.)

Let’s move this on and take it down south…

Downings’ Dazzlers (Co.Donegal) 

So, I’ve been going to Downings with the fam since birth, quite literally, so this may be a slightly biased opinion, but I’m just going to say it, Downings has to have thee best beaches in the world. To name a few, Murder Hole (horrible name, lovely beach) Monks bay (Personal Fav) Rosapenna (longest beach in the world NEVER agree to a family walk, it’s never the short walk, it’s all lies.) and finally, Tranarossan (aka the pebble beach).

There is so much to do here, on the beaches, and in the water, so take a day, a week, however long you have, but go go go! It’s a must!

The beaches will speak for themselves, and your camera won’t know what’s hit it!

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Alright Pumpkin (Co.Meath)

Don’t ask what possessed me to take this 2-hour long road trip (we took a few wrong turns) with my bestie, but, I did. And am I glad I did? 

…Absolutely. 

Not only did we get (personal opinion) thee best Instagram pics, it was an all-round enjoyable experience, especially in the run up to the spooky season!

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The sun was out, and we parked up the mini, opposite a sea of orange! We got our pics, and picked our favourite pumpkins to take home and carve! This is only open on the weekends and I’d go sooner rather than later incase all the good pumpkins are gone!

If this isn’t enough to entice you, it’s free admission and you only have to pay if you’d like a pumpkin (note: remember Euros and bring your wellies!)

But seriously…make the trip, and your Instagram will thank me later!

 

Chloe Hood is a final year Bsc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at – Twitter: @chloekathryn4 and Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chloe-kathryn-hood-224033153

 

5 Tools You Should Be Using If You Want to Be a Digital Content Creator

Through my job as a publicity assistant and content creator in a local PR company, it’s safe to say I’ve learnt a thing or two about creating social media content for clients. That being said before I started my job, I only had experience with one or two of these tools and have learnt on the job a lot of the way. However, getting used to using these tools now and practising with them is a great way to boost your CV and stand out to potential employers. So here’s my run down of 5 great content creation tools you should be using.

Canva

I feel like everybody and their granny talks about Canva now but surprisingly often when I bring it up I’m met by the response “What’s that?”. Canva is your best friend for creating infographics and stunning digital ads. The great part about it is, Canva is extremely user friendly and easy to get to grips with. You can type in the sort of design you are looking for, be it a Facebook banner, Instagram tile or anything you might ever need to create and it will bring up templates for you. The templates are then completely customisable with your own choice of pictures, fonts and colours. This makes it great if you are working for a brand that already has a clear brand image, as you can create graphics that will perfectly fit in with this by using the company colours and fonts.

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Lumen5

Lumen is one of my favourite content tools, as it’s a great way to turn a blog post into a piece of video content that can be shared on social media. You can simple paste the body of text into the control panel and it creates a video for you. It does take a bit of playing around with sometimes to fix the video and the background images it chooses for you, but overall you can create a video in under 30 mins that will promote a blog post and also get you good engagement on your social channels.

Hootsuite

Once you’ve created your content you are going to need a way to get it out there and a great way to do this is through social media scheduling. If you work off a content calendar Hootsuite will be your best friend as you get all your social media posts sorted in one go. You can add all your or your client’s social platforms to your account and schedule the same piece of content to go out across all your channels so you don’t have to do it manually. Top Tip: It’s best not to post on the hour or half an hour, as a lot of people do this and it’s means a lot of content going out at the same time on that platform so less chance of your posts being seen. Choose more random times such as 13:17 or 15:38.

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DaysofTheYear.Com

Using Days of The Year is a great way to keep your content fresh and relevant to your audience. You’’ find every single day of the year has a specific ‘day’ such as ‘National Video Game’ or ‘National Hug Your Friend Day’. These days’ range from the ordinary and popular to the most random and obscure things. Posts like this often have great share value as well as people can tag their friends. It also helps if you are in a rut and aren’t sure what to post about, these posts can be fun and light hearted and you can include a call to action for people to get involved themselves. On the day I’m writing this it happens to be ‘World Card Making Day’ as well as ‘World Teachers Day’ there’s endless content possibilities that could be created around these themes.

Pexels/Pixabay

If you create blog or written content, free stock photo websites can be great as you can download royalty free photos to accompany your post. Visual and video content generally does better and is more catching on social media so if you want to promote your blog post or simply talk about something it can be great to add a picture to try and increase your engagement.

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Hannah Chambers is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on: Twitter – https://twitter.com/HannahC_PR and LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannahchambers192/

 

 

What to expect – when your dog is expecting

What to expect – when your dog is expecting

I decided to breed my Lhasa Apso dog, Pippa, when advised by a vet that allowing one litter of puppies is usually healthy for a female dog – I also loved puppies and wanted more! From the process I learnt that behind all the cute puppy photos, there is a lot of hard work… But it is worth it!

Below is the stages of what to expect, if your dog is expecting puppies:
1. Finding a mate
First you have to find a suitable partner for your dog. Prepare for the awkwardness of setting up a dog date at the owner’s house, however it is quite funny. You have to pay a fee to the owner for the dogs’ time, usually this is the price you intend to sell one puppy at. In my case the owner wanted to keep a puppy from the litter so she got first pick.
2. The wait
Pregnancy in dogs is much shorter than a human span at only 9 weeks. You can even get a puppy scan at the vets, which determine the number of puppies. Poor Pippa had a very noticeable bump, she was very tired throughout which actually made her needier and almost childlike. (See below when she started stealing dummies from the house.) During this time it is important to ensure your dog receives extra attention, sleep and nutrients.EO13

Witnessing the strain pregnancy put on her, I only think dogs should be allowed to have one litter of puppies in their lifetime. It is unfair to think puppy farms put dogs through this sometimes twice in one year for financial gain.

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3. Be prepared
Preparation is essential. At around six weeks dogs start thinking about where to give birth, so prepare somewhere warm and enclosed with lots of blankets, and encourage your dog to start sleeping there.
4. The arrival
It is important that an owner is aware of their dogs’ due date – just like humans, dogs water breaks and they go into labour. House dogs generally do not have the wild instincts to cope with situations like this alone so it is important they are carefully monitored if anything was to go wrong.
Originally at Pippas puppy scan, the vet predicted she would have four puppies. To my surprise on the night, after the fourth, more just kept coming! It turns out she had six puppies!! I received regular updates from my parents who were on midwifery duty from 1am in the morning right up until 4am!

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5. How to look after six puppies
It is a challenging task. You have to ensure they are all fed regularly, therefore it is essential the mum bonds with them. Within the first two weeks it is advised not to handle the puppies, unless it is absolutely necessary as this may make the mother disown them.

At the start, the mother does the majority of the work as the puppies mostly sleep – this makes it an easy task of just admiring how cute they are!

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As they get older, the process gets more challenging. Once the puppies open their eyes at two weeks, they start running around more and crying earlier in the morning to go to the toilet or play. Be prepared for layering the floor with newspapers to avoid accidents, constantly cleaning up, cornering off areas and having eyes everywhere to prevent them running away!

The mother begins to actually run away from the puppies when she feels they can survive alone and is no longer up to the commitment of feeding them all. (See below Pippas look of despair from feeding and being followed everywhere by six puppies!)

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6. Finding suitable owners
Promoting puppies surprisingly takes a lot of effort – four people to be exact, to sit, pose and distract hyper puppies for the perfect photograph. After many failed attempts we eventually got the best photo and advertised them on Facebook.

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Failed photo attempt number 1 of many. (I don’t think they liked photos) 

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One of the final promotion photos.

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The best photo of all six puppies sitting still. 

Prepare to answer many queries and send additional information. We found genuine owners for all puppies within two days, ensuring all new owners visited their new puppy to make sure they had the right intentions before agreeing to sell.

7. Letting go
Puppies are ready for their new home within 8-12 weeks. Before they go to their new home, they have to be vet checked and wormed, so the expense is something to consider.
It is very sad letting puppies go when you grow attached to them. This can be hard on the mum and vets advise to separate the mother and puppies in advance to make the process easier. However, Pippa had got to the stage of wanting her own independence again and did not notice as she was running away from them.
Of course – I had to keep one! It is only fair for the mum and makes it a lot easier on everyone. I kept the ‘fatty’ of the litter and called her Peanut, who resembles a teddy bear! We still receive regular updates from the new owners and are reassured they all went to good loving homes.

I would advise anyone who is considering dog breeding to do their research and speak to their vet first, it is more challenging than it looks but it is so worth it!

Elizabeth Owens is a final year BSc Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on Twitter @eowens12_ or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethowens32/ 

 

Christmas in New York City!

Christmas in New York City!

 

It’s not every year that you get to visit the most magical place in the world at Christmas with your family. In a year as tough as this one, with assignments and exams piling up, it was definitely a well-needed trip to escape the world of final year (even if only for a few days).

One thing I learned from my trip is that you can never be fully prepared for New York. Having been there before during Summer, I thought I was prepared for the ‘city that never sleeps’ but one thing that is for sure, New York in Summer and New York at Christmas are like two different places. I would highly recommend researching and having your days planned out, this way you don’t waste time. Here are a few other tips I learned…

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First of all, it is COLD! I opted out of the nice outfits and instead wrapped myself up like a fish supper, with barely an inch of skin exposed to the crisp December air. As well as this, forget about packing those fancy boots, and throw in the Skechers laying at the back of the wardrobe. In New York, no one cares about your footwear and after walking approximately 77,824 steps (well, according to the health app on my iPhone) I’m definitely glad I had my trainers.

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Before embarking on a trip to the Big Apple, one thing I did was thoroughly research the streets and avenues, attempting to understand my way around Google Maps before I hit the real thing. This might sound strange, perhaps it was, but lets just say I’m very glad I did this as on the first night, my brother (who has NO sense of direction and would get lost if you spun him in a 360 degree turn) ended up wandering off on his own, only to end up on 20th street…our hotel was on 40th. Quite convenient that his name is also Kevin!

Another thing that I did before the trip was researched many different types of restaurants, making sure we stayed well clear from the Caviar, lobster and $300 bottles of wine type places. New York at Christmas is crazy, with people flocking from all over the world, so having your reservations made and tables booked makes life a lot easier. I would highly recommend downloading the app ‘Open Table’, it helps you search a specific area and restaurant and tells you which reservations they have free, allowing you to book your spot there and then, super handy!

As well as this, occasionally it is worth it to avoid the tourist activities (I’m quite the hypocrite as my video below has TOURIST written all over it) however visiting smaller villages, classic boutiques and drinking at dead-end bars with the locals, sometimes turns out to be one of your favourite days.

Lastly, remember that you really would need a few weeks in New York to do EVERYTHING, a few days simply doesn’t cut it, but try and squeeze in as much as you can! And, don’t just do things for the ‘Instagram pics’. I learned this the hard way after standing in a line to have cocktails in the Plaza Hotel for over 45 minutes to find out that Taylor Swift was inside, probably with her 13th boyfriend this year, and they weren’t letting anybody in. Thanks Taylor!

MUST DO:
Central Park – This really is a must, especially if it is snowing. It is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Saks on 5th Avenue Christmas Lights – I think the light display happens every 10 minutes, so if your passing and it hasn’t started yet, it is definitely worth the wait.
Katz Deli – A real traditional American diner with SERIOUS sandwiches, it would knock O’Brien’s and The Sandwich Co. way out of the park.
Rockefeller Tree and Top of the Rock – The Rockefeller Tree is the most magical thing to see while in New York at Christmas.

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Broadway show – Shows such as the Lion King and School of Rock play all year round, but it definitely is worth it to splash out and see the Rockettes or Elf!

IF YOU HAVE TIME:
Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to Soho
Have a drink in the Plaza (as long as T.Swift isn’t there!)
Visit a Rooftop Bar, this one is amazing.

Have a look at my video below for some other top activities to do in New York at Christmas!

 

 

Loren Ward is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @lorenward and LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/loren-ward-b93049a8

Make the most of your mobile by making a movie…

As one of the @CIPR_NI student ambassadors I have the pleasure of attending their events. This week I attended the Mobile Movie Making workshop hosted by the lovely Niamh MacCauley, Video Marketing Officer at Purple Dot Videos (@DgnEnterprise). Before attending this event I always thought of myself as a wiz at making movies, mostly for family events or to make a university presentation that bit more interesting. Little did I know how impactful a video could be to promote a product or make a company’s website stand out from their competitors. Niamh summed up just how important video marketing can be for her clients by pointing out that ‘it only takes two minutes to watch a video that would take ten minutes to read.’ In today’s digital age, everything can be done on our phones. Need to book a taxi? Use your phone. Want to pay for a coffee? Use your phone. Want to make a promotional video for a client? Use your phone!
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Many people would assume that videos made for a company are filmed using the most high tech equipment to make sure everything looks professional, think again! Niamh showed an example of a video she had made for a client, asking the audience to pick out which frames had been filmed using a phone and which were captured on a drone. It was impossible to tell! The whole video was smooth and high quality, I would never have guessed any of it was filmed on an iPhone. Whether you need a video for Facebook or for the foyer of a waiting room, a mobile can be used to capture and edit the piece. Niamh’s first golden rule of making a video for any occasion is to keep it short and sweet, especially for social media, no longer than sixty seconds. The workshop was graced with workers from Q Radio (@goQRadio) and Belfast Telegraph (@BelTel) to name but a few, many of whom use mobile journalism (mojo) on a daily basis. Niamh relayed her mojo tool kit; the first item may surprise you… a selfie stick. Yes, the holiday maker’s favourite selfie stick can be used to film mobile videos and create weird and wonderful angles. The only downside is you need an incredibly steady hand or you may end up with a rather shaky video. If you are not blessed with a steady hand a trusty tripod can also be used for mobile videos.
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The next piece of equipment Niamh recommended was the Mobile gimbal, which can cleverly transform a mobile into a smart motion camera. Although it may set you back around £200, a mobile gimbal is a must have if you want to create smooth and slick videos. A slightly cheaper must have to keep in your mojo toolkit is a power bank. As many of you may realise taking videos can drain your battery, so if you are taking footage at an event don’t be caught out by that red flashing low battery light.
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I don’t want to give away too many of Niamh’s top tips, so I’ll give you an insight into the practical elements of the workshop. Create your own coffee advert… In a group of tea drinkers, I was assigned to be the coffee drinker, not that I was complaining on a Friday morning. Our brief, to show the coffee being enjoyed and stirred. Once Niamh had rounded up all groups videos she was able to quickly edit it all together using the video editing programme Magisto, to show us the finished product. Magisto converted our mobile videos into a captivating story in a matter of minutes.
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Not only can your mobile be used to record videos it can also be used to edit your work. Niamh’s favourite editing app being Splice. Niamh finished by highlighting that a ‘website is fifty times more likely to appear on the first page of a search engine results page if it includes a video.’ So, get your mobiles out and start videoing!

Olivia x

Olivia McAleenan is studying for a MSc in Communications and Public Relations with Advertising at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter @OliviaMcAleenan / LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/olivia-mcaleenan-88774413b /Facebook – Olivia McAleenan / Instagram @oliviamcaleenan

PRide and Joy: NI’s outstanding communicators celebrate 2017

PRide and Joy: NI’s outstanding communicators celebrate 2017

Friday 13th may be unlucky for some, but for many of Northern Ireland’s PR practitioners, the night ended in trophies, applause and possibly some sore heads in the morning!

For the past 18 months, I have had the privilege of sitting on the CIPR NI Committee as a Student Ambassador. During my time I have sat opposite some the leading lights in Northern Irish public relations and have witnessed the organisation of some brilliant events for PR professionals across the country.

There is however, one event on the PR calendar which can’t be missed – The PRide Awards.

Now, I’ve heard the rumours about PR, “it’s all parties and drinking and schmoozing”, and despite what this post may suggest, trust me it isn’t. But for one night a year, that stereotype might be a little true.

The CIPR PRide Awards NI is an annual awards ceremony to recognise the hard work and creativity of PR professionals and communicators over the past 12 months. It’s that one night of the year when professionals put away their laptops, put down the phone and come together for a night of celebration and healthy competition.

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Like previous years, the PRide Awards 2017 were held in the Culloden Hotel, Holywood. Taking the lead in organising the event along with the team at CIPR HQ were Seona McGrath from Smarts Communicate, Jane Williams from JComms along with Sinead Doyle and Alana Taylor from MCE Public Relations, who put together a brilliant evening.

I was kindly asked to be this year’s trophy assistant at what would be my first year in attendance, which much to my surprise included an official announcement and my name on the screen, hopefully, the amount of make-up on face hid my reaction. The awards portion of the night was hosted by Stephen and Cate from Q Radio, while I was tasked with delivering winner envelopes and passing on trophies. Thankfully, I didn’t manage to mess it up.

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There I am, in the background, looking the wrong way

The big winners on the night were PR agency powerhouses Smarts Communicate, with Seona McGrath deservedly picking up the Outstanding Young Communicator Award, and JComms. Also showing very strongly, proving the strength of practitioners across the country were in-house communication teams. Some of the winners included Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, North West Regional College and Translink.

Click on this link if you want to see a full list of the winners from the night along with the winning case studies: https://www.cipr.co.uk/content/awards-events/pride-awards/northern-ireland/results-and-case-studies

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For those of us studying and working in the industry, we know first-hand that public relations is often one filled with misconceptions. For most, PR is ‘selling tickets to nightclubs’. The PRide awards are the perfect response for those who criticise the industry and its professionals, and give us students who face questions about how ‘serious’ our degree is, some back up for those unwanted questions.

Another important aspect of the night, was supporting the CIPR NI charity of the year, AWARE. AWARE NI are the national depression charity for Northern Ireland and provide vital support across the country for those suffering from a mental health condition. Led by an incredible team, AWARE NI offer many essential programmes which require funding. Thanks to some great raffle prizes and generous donations, £1450 was raised impacting the lives of 96 pupils across NI – a job well done!

If you want to find out more about AWARE NI check out their website:

http://www.aware-ni.org/

The PRide Awards and the CIPR NI in general offer a great chance for young professionals to meet established practitioners, so if you get the chance check out one of the social events I would really advise doing so. Our industry is in great hands and growing year on year which can only be a good thing for those us who need a job in the next few years.

Images are courtesy of Press Eye

Kirsty Wallace is a final year BSc in Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be contacted at www.linkedin.com/in/kirsty-wallace-851504115 and on twitter @KayyWallace

Stateside Summers

Stateside Summers

Every summer, there is a reoccurring theme that happens on our Facebook timelines. Groups of 18/19 year old Ibiza-goers checking in at the Lagan Bar at Belfast International Airport with a caption along the lines of ‘are you even on holidays if you don’t check in at the Lagan?’

For me, I opted out of the tradition and the alcohol infused headache as I can barely cope with a hangover on a Sunday morning, never mind one that lasts for a week or more. Instead, I chose to spend my summers of 2015 and 2017 in the States, and not one ounce of me regrets it.

So, if you are the same as me and are thinking of doing something else with your summer, here is a little about my experience.

In 2015, I got my first J1 visa and worked at a summer camp in upstate New York called Camp Hilltop. I was hired at Hilltop to be a lifeguard (despite the fact that I wasn’t qualified and hadn’t dipped as much as a toe in a swimming pool in 5 years) but luckily I was fully trained on my first week and spent the most of my day in a swimsuit topping up my tan and watching American kids scream at each other.

One question I’m always asked is about my typical day at camp, a question I always find difficult to answer. There really is no typical day at camp because every day brings something new. I could have been lifeguarding and teaching Gaelic in the morning, building rockets or making tie-dye t-shirts in the afternoon, and dressed as an absolute horror in the evening. (Hoping the picture doesn’t scare you too much!)

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The best way to describe camp is that it really is its own little world and it’s a world you will learn to love, to be yourself and to meet people from all different backgrounds. When you leave that world, the real world doesn’t seem as fun anymore.

As accommodation and food is all taken care of at camp, it leaves you with quite a bit of saving for travels. After camp, myself and a few others decided to spend a few days in New York and Boston before flying to Las Vegas, driving to LA, Santa Monica, and Santa Barbara.

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When I finished placement in 2017, heading to the States again for the summer was a definite, the decision was to return to camp or try something new. I opted for something new – working in a Mexican restaurant in Boston.

I had originally been hired as a waitress in a Sports bar at the Boston Seaport, but instead the managers landed me in the job of a ‘host’ – where I made $12 an hour and no tips (some could call it slavery). Shortly after, I found myself a new job in a Mexican restaurant as the only Irish, non-Spanish speaking person. I had to learn how to pronounce and recite the entire Spanish menu, greet customers with an ‘Hola!’ and prepare fresh guacamole tableside – you could say the craic was great, and the money was even better!

Living away from home, even if just for a few months, is an incredible learning experience. One of the most important lessons for me was to value your money. I saw first hand how tough it is to earn it, so I was very reluctant to spend it as easy as I usually would have in Zara when my student loan comes in. I’d be lying if I said it was all smooth sailing, it really wasn’t, but I can’t help but feel a sense of pride looking back on everything I have accomplished.

After saving every cent that we made, myself and my boyfriend decided to finish out the summer with a road-trip to Philadelphia, line dancing in the Honkytonks in Nashville and snorkelling in the Bahamas.

So if you are thinking of heading off on a J1 visa, this is my advice to you:

  1. Don’t think you are missing out on party holidays; there is plenty of time for that. You are only applicable for a J1 when you are a student, make the most of it (especially before Trump scraps it).
  2. Whether you choose Camp America, working in a restaurant or playing for a GAA team, research the state you want to go to, the location of your J1 can have a huge impact on your experience.
  3. For Camp based J1’s, you can definitely go by yourself. If none of your friends want to go, it’s fine; you will meet people from all over the world who will become friends for life.
  4. ENJOY IT! If you are ever having a bad day, remember that in a few weeks/months time you will be back in university sitting in lectures or studying for exams wishing you could be back in the states, I know I do!

As cheesy as it may sound, the summer is short but the experience, memories and friendships last a lifetime. If I haven’t yet persuaded you to consider doing a J1, have a look at my video from this summer!

Loren Ward is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @lorenward