I like so many of my fellow Irish men and women will being leaving Ireland in a few short months in search of something more. I, like so many before me, will be travelling to Australia in search of new experiences, opportunities and quite simply, because I have nothing to make me stay in my home country.
After finishing University in 2013 I graduated with a honours degree and a very hefty debt. Without much direction I moved back into my family home in County Antrim and began my search for a professional job, I completely underestimated how difficult this would be and although I was willing to relocate the rejection emails quickly began to mount up. The scary thing is that the majority of those who graduated in the same year as me are all in the same position.
So are we a lost generation?
With the retirement age lengthened and the number of graduates with similar degrees mounting what are the prospects for recent graduates. In reality there aren’t any! Entry level jobs are sparse and the amount of experience needed to land one is contradictory to trying to provide for yourself. Graduates are therefore stuck in their stop gap jobs without any real work experience, a hefty debt for a degree that is difficult to land a job in, in the Uk and Ireland and no one will give them experience.
So what now? For me it’s time to leave.
With no prospects, no property, and no clear road ahead it’s a logical decision to leave. Whether it’s to the UK, Europe or further afield there are better employment prospects and more opportunities to see the world. For someone in their twenties with no responsibility, anywhere apart from here seems like the promised land.
There are so many options it can be a little overwhelming depending on where you want to visit, however a plan is only a Google search away. Companies such as STA Travel and BUNAC offer excellent packages especially if you are considering Australia, New Zealand or Canada. Offering group flights with fellow travellers who are also jetting off on their own, they offer a safer, more comfortable and adventurous way of beginning your adventure if you are willing to pay a little extra for the company.
For more recent graduates USIT Ireland is a fantastic option, offering J1 student internship visa’s to the states anyone looking to travel and further their career at the same time should certainly consider it. The only downfall is that a J1 visa is only open to graduates who are within a year of graduating and you must secure your internship yourself which offers different complications.
USA summer camps are also a great option for people wishing to experience a taste of travelling. You can apply online and the interviews are held in any of the major cities across the country. They want enthusiastically and energetic people who are good with young people and would enjoy the summer of a lifetime.
But whatever you choose now is the time to do it. If you have recently graduated, have little responsibility, and crave new experiences then grab any chance you can because you will regret it if you don’t.