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Transcript for March 2013

>> [Inaudible] and I did my internship at [inaudible] Therapies in [inaudible] Ireland. OK. So, this is just my background. [Inaudible]. I'm 33. And so I'm not young or anything like that. So, [inaudible] a little bit older to go on an international internship. I go to San Diego State University. I'm in the [inaudible] program at [inaudible]. And my emphasis is cognitive disabilities. And my emphasis further than that is in traumatic injury or [inaudible]. And my background in the field is I am a, I work currently [inaudible] and TSA, which [inaudible] as a live in care aide. And I also am a personal development coach at United Cerebral Palsy. So, right now I work with a lady that has cerebral palsy, and I've been with her for about ten years. And, not about ten years. We just celebrated our ten-year anniversary. And then as a personal development coach for about a year and a half. And if there's any questions along the way just go ahead and stop me. OK. So, first of all, why Ireland? It's a place that I've always wanted to go to. So, before anything else I just wanted to travel. So, it gave me that opportunity. Also, my mom's maiden last name is [inaudible], which is an Irish last name, and it comes from Northern Ireland, although I did not do any family history while I was there, which I might do it this time when I go. I [inaudible] a person interest of mine to go to Ireland.

 

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And then it was also an available option through the school. And somebody else before had gone and piqued my interest even further. So, setting up the internship. My advice was ask around. Ask anybody you know. Anybody in the program. You know, your peers, professors, anybody. Be assertive. So, make sure that you are doing all [inaudible] many questions, ask around and ask questions about things. But if you don't be assertive and get things done, it's not going to fall in your lap. And I had to go and kind of make a bug out of myself and make sure that people gave me information. So, [inaudible]. So, if you want to do something, go and ask for it because it's not going to get done without asking. And chances are if there is a location that is not [inaudible] on the board, upstairs, you know, there's a map of all the internship places or anywhere that we have a connection to. If it's not on that map, by all means, ask because it could possibly be a potential site that you could, you know, bring up or it could be a new site that they look into. So, definitely ask around about that. And don't be afraid to ask about different places to your professors or peers or any, you know, any option because chances are, you know, something is going to be available. So, I took my internship for the ARP 745.

 

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So, within the just overall internship, you have to pick a time zone. It's eight hours difference from here to [inaudible]. And so setting up those with my professors [inaudible], we had to set up times where it was noon here, it was around 8:00, right? 8:00 there. So by that time I am already kind of winding down. And in Ireland at that time [inaudible] closer to the border, it gets dark really quick. So, around like 4:30, 5:00, to me it's already thinking like 8:00, 9:00, and I'm like ready for bed. So, I had to like schedule those and make sure that I was not having a few pints, which is part of the Irish culture [multiple speakers]. Yeah. So, I kind of held off a little bit longer so I could be alert and, you know, try [inaudible] as much as I could. Also, with the time zones and making discussion times, Skype it can fall through. It doesn't work all the time. It's not 100%. There's glitches. And we had a few of those where I would, you know, reconnect and reconnect and reconnect and try to get in tune. And finding also because a lot of the houses, a lot of the houses that I was in in Ireland just visiting friends and stuff, the lighting is really bad. And also it's dark outside. And so their electricity is a little different than ours. Everything is a little bit dimmer.

 

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So, getting into a place where you can have a clear discussion and they can see my face, that was kind of a challenge too. And most of the places in my house that I stayed in were freezing. And so in the kitchen rather than the sitting room because I couldn't sit in the sitting room to do the discussions because it was too dark, and the lights didn't show anything. It was like he was just talking to a black screen. So, I had to go into the kitchen where there was no heat and [inaudible] I had a blanket or something [inaudible]. And I would be like OK let's hurry this up because I'm cold. So, you have to take all that into consideration too. Discussions were really easy, relatively frequently, and, you know, I got to share like what I had been doing that weekend before or [inaudible] or, you know, what have you. Also, [inaudible] I wanted to travel as much as possible, but then I had to make sure I did my school work too. So, and I also had other classes while I was in Ireland. So, I did, I took part in the distance learning, the organizational development class. So, I had to make time for those classes as well. So, I wanted to have fun, but I also had to crack down and make sure [inaudible].

 

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[ Inaudible Question ]

Organizational development?

>> Yeah. Yeah.

>> Yeah. It was online. It's an option. But you have to talk to your professor about it because I wasn't going to be able to do it my last semester. So, I did it by distance. So, I was able to do that.

>> [Inaudible] could repeat the question?

>> Oh, I'm sorry. [Inaudible].

[ Inaudible Question ]

 

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>> With organizational development online, yes. So, like I said, you have to kind of talk with your professor to see if that's an option. And if you aren't able to take it like later down the road it is hard. And I wouldn't suggest it because you have to, you're not able to sit right in front of your peers. Or if you had to go visit an organization, it's really hard to like go back and [inaudible] you have to look at everything online or you have to wait until you get back to the States. And by that time you're not able to like make that connection where you can actually see your group members because that's kind of a group class. Yeah. So [inaudible] internship. So, my internship location was in [inaudible] Ireland, which is on the west coast of Ireland. And, you know, it's like the Republic of Ireland because Northern Ireland where like Belfast is is, they don't really consider it Ireland. It is part of the U.K. And you will be told that very many times if you, if you go up to Belfast and say, oh, you know, or ask where in Ireland is this. They don't really like to say. So, just a blurb. Make sure if you're up there you don't say, "Oh, I'm in Ireland." No. No. You're in U.K. if you're up there. And if you're down in the southern part you're in the Republic of Ireland. Also, when you travel [inaudible] especially going to the U.K., you have to get in a special line, which I didn't. So, I waited like an hour going through their like customs, and their guy, when I got up to the thing he said, "You, did you just come from the Republic?" And I said, "Yes." And he said, "You were supposed to be over there." And it was like a five-minute walk there. So, keep that in mind.

 

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So, [inaudible] internship by request. And it was in a, like industrial park. And it's all the way kind of in the back. And this is their address. So really long and all their contact information. And if you go on this website, it goes to their homepage, which they made up themselves. And there's another one, which I may have put it on a later slide that is, I think it's National Learning Network, part of that site, and you'll get to [inaudible] but you won't get to this exact site where this is made by the clients and also the employees of Quest. So, just a little bit about [inaudible], and this came directly off of their website [inaudible]. So, they are part of the National Learning Network, which is like the overall organization that the health services fall under. And this is one of their [inaudible] individuals who have acquired [inaudible] achieve greater independence and integration into their community and [inaudible]. This is inside of Quest. And the picture on this side is like when you first walk in the door. Everything, when, on the outside there's a keypad where you have to very, very kind of a simple key code to get into the building because it is [inaudible] industrial park that anybody else can have access. But with this keypad only clients have access to those numbers, which is, it's a real easy code to make sure that you are the people who are using the facility. Sometimes you can't remember a lot of the codes or the harder codes, and we don't change it.

 

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If we get new clients then they're able to [inaudible]. They have a relaxation room, which is a great thing because if you know any persons with brain injuries sometimes being out and just post-brain injury it can be overwhelming. And to eliminate all of that even from the classes that they provide, this is a great, great tool. They have a community room or it's kind of like an open center. And this is a great asset to any type of facility. It gives a place for the clients to get to know each other. They can share stories. They have lunch here, their parties. It's a good way to interact and share. And with a brain injury, you know, that's the key part is sharing and knowing that you're not the only person going through this. And a lot of their population, when I was there, it was a lot of stroke survivors. So, it was a few people who that had acquired brain injuries from accidents. But the most population was stroke survivors. So, they were, shared a lot of their stories. And there was a lot of connections. And you could see this in different groups that I was able to attend. There was a greater participation rate, if you will, you now, sharing stories. Someone would have a connection to that, and then it would open up even more discussion. So, that's a good part there. We also have an IT room, which has multiple cognitive retraining exercise games on it. They also have [inaudible] course work that they have to finish before they leave the center, which they kind of graduate from. So, that holds all that.

 

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And each one of these rooms or each one of the classrooms, there's a professional there that helps whoever needs help at that time. They also have [inaudible] and [inaudible]. There are a couple of different things inside of the labeling that are adapted devices, just low tech. Not anything like crazy expensive [inaudible]. But the big thing was [inaudible]. And I didn't think that would be like that big of an issue, but it helped tremendously with the clients there I was able to work with. So, this is pretty much how they [inaudible]. Everything is person-centered and driven approach. So, when a client was referred to them, they would do an initial intake. And they would sit that person down. Usually a family member would come in with them. They would do the interview, find out what they were interested in or what they wanted to work towards. And then they would kind of go from there. But there was a core teaching classes that each one of the clients, it didn't matter who you were, but they had to finish all these different ones like cognitive exercises, personal health and wellbeing, emotional health and wellbeing, counseling. There was a number of different courses that you had to participate in in order to receive your certificate at the end of the program. But everything is person centered [inaudible] that. So, it's a holistic approach. As I mentioned, it's a multi-disciplinary team. There's different sections of Quest that [inaudible]. They're all, what I noticed was they're always open to suggestions. So, hearing my thoughts, my ideas. I never felt a time where anything I said was put under the table or no you're not from here type of attitude.

 

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Everything was, "Oh, OK. Well, maybe that would work. If it doesn't work, then we could try something else that would, you know, be a little more useful to them." But they were very open to anything. And they were very, very welcoming. I thought it was going to be kind of hard. If anyone noticed, I'm a little covered in tattoos. So, from an outward appearance, you know, I kind of get a lot of, maybe I don't really know what I'm talking about, and sometimes I get that from a lot of other people here. But there it wasn't a problem or an issue at all. If anything, it kind of just broke barriers and people were more apt to come up to me and ask, you know, where I'm from or, you know, ask me about what they mean or anything. So, [inaudible]. Just a little bit more about Quest. They're community based. It's in Galway. They don't just support people in Galway. They take referrals from a lot of different areas. And some of the places in Ireland or around Quest, yeah, around Quest and Galway. Galway is one of the bigger cities of Ireland aside from Dublin and Limerick and Cork. It's one of the other biggest cities in Ireland. But they have a lot of outreach. They have a whole outreach team that goes to all the smaller communities that may not have a chance to use their services. And they're developing right now an online feature to that, which will be really, really exciting. I've already mentioned multi-disciplinary. These are all the areas in which they have classes in or one-on-one sessions.

 

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And for the most part, I was able to participate in pretty much every single one of them except for the neuropsychology. I was able to sit down and talk to a neuropsychology quite a bit. But I wasn't actually able to sit in because it is a lot of confidential information and not so much as it can be very emotional and I didn't want to, you know, overstep my bounds there. But she was very open to sharing information, differences in treatments and that kind of deal with us. But I have an opportunity to work alongside the occupation therapist [inaudible] and see how she did some of her assessments, which was really really unique and cool. They also provide family support systems. So, they have a day where they bring the family in and the family can talk about any type of issues that they're having or anything that's working. They share all the information around with all the other places. Besides Quest, there's another assisted living, work, another agency alongside of them. And they work real closely with them. And they have this thing called the TLU, a transitional living unit and which some of our clients have access to. And it's basically kind of teaching people to live on their own again. I mean there's a kitchen. It's like a community kind of house [inaudible] little apartments that they can utilize, which is really cool [inaudible].

 

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>> For the program [inaudible] classes [inaudible] especially for [inaudible] families with acquired brain injury? Like do they help the families too [inaudible]?

>> [Inaudible] families?

>> Yes. Yes.

>> Not necessarily. There's not one directly just that's for families but there are like the family days. And there's also inside of the building at Quest there's a brain injury support group, which they refer families to that.

>> Oh, OK.

>> But it's, I mean, they share a lot of, a lot of different resources. So, anything that they know, any other support groups, anything they would direct the families to that. But they have a family day. They take all the family members to each one of these classes. And they kind of give a little training of what they do in the class for, you know, this is what, and the client is not there. The client is out that day. And so the families will come in and then they will get to see what their loved one is doing. They're not just sitting there doing nothing. You know, there's the [inaudible] and the occupational therapist there to talk to them or the life skills [inaudible]. And they share examples of what their loved one is doing while they're in there. But there's no family members while clients are in session.

 

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>> Oh.

>> Yeah. So, it's a complete like their time to ask questions, observe, stuff like that. And then on the website if they have a chance to check out the website, they have different, from past clients, they've made videos of different areas of their life, which they thought were, you know, they could share with another person what they're going through [inaudible] as what they're going through, which is really cool. And this kind of goes along with their person-centered planning and how they approach their therapy. So, as I mentioned before, these are kind of the group sessions that I was able to take part in. if you have any questions about any one of those, by all means, you are more than welcome to ask me. I kind of explained a little bit on those. And I have a whole notebook full of different, you know, [inaudible], which could be, not like crazy overwhelming ones. They could be just as simple as like word search proper titles, different word games, stuff like that. Memory and attention. Different videos that they found online at YouTube that somebody has recommended. For instance, like, which I didn't catch is there was an [inaudible]. And he's running around, just a guy in a gorilla suit. And there's people throwing a ball around. And you have to count how many times the ball is going. But you don't, I didn't even see the ape walk through [multiple speakers]. Well, that was one of the ones. And it was online that somebody had recommended. So, it's stuff like that, you know? And the best tool, teaching tool is here. You know, you hear different things.

 

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[ Inaudible ]

Yeah. [Inaudible] they watched it three times. And for me, I'm a person without a brain injury, I didn't even pick that up. And there was other people in there [inaudible] I was like oh god. The second time I don't think I even picked it up. It was the third time when they said, "Look, watch for the ape," that I picked that up. So [multiple speakers]. So, emotional health and wellbeing, this also goes [inaudible] they have an onsite psychologist and neuropsychologist as well as a counselor that comes in. And they do some classes on that. And then there's individualized one on one sessions available. Daily living skills, it could be whatever the client needs. A really unique that I had the opportunity of meeting were in a bike accident simultaneously. They were both hit. Both acquired brain injury. One of her passions was cooking, and she had lost all that ability to retain any kind of, what is it called? Steps to do cooking. And that was one of the things that she wanted to work on. That was one of her happy points in life. And she lost all that. And she slowly was getting it back. And [inaudible] again learning where your stuff is in your kitchen. And labeling really helped this couple out. IT, again, it could be as easy as turning on the computer, learning how to type, sitting up right or, you know, all that stuff. It could be relearned if need be. And then there's also other like more difficult tasks on there that [inaudible] as well. And professional and interpersonal skills. Anybody working with a brain injury knows this can be a very, very, very sensitive and difficult task. So, they had these different scenarios. They would role play. They'd all share stories. It was really, really a great experience. OK. Moving on rom Quest. So, if you have any other questions about Quest by all means. Yes?

 

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>> I was wondering is Quest a for-profit or non-profit?

>> Quest is non-profit.

>> Non-profit?

>> Yeah.

>> And is it, how is it funded, do you know?

>> I don't know the specifics of that unfortunately. I do have a pamphlet from [inaudible].

>> Repeat the question.

>> Oh [inaudible]. How is Quest funded? I don't know the specifics of that. I kind of had a rough breakdown. And their system is very much different from ours. But I do have a pamphlet of kind of a little bit of their breakdown because it's funded by the rehab group. And then it kind of [inaudible] out from there into different groups.

>> OK. Thank you.

>> So.

[ Inaudible ]

Yes. Yes [multiple speakers]. Yes. They get funded from there and also outside support variations, and I don't know if they get like grants or not but I know definitely donation [inaudible]. Yeah. Yeah. I know from families and stuff like that. Whoever [inaudible].

>> Also I have a question; do they try to get employment for individuals?

>> Yes.

>> So, you know, what are the outcomes that they [inaudible]? You know, you said they get this certificate when they complete everything.

>> Yeah.

>> What are they [inaudible] toward? You know [multiple speakers].

 

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>> It all depends on the individual. So, when they, they initially come initial Quest, the intake question, they ask all of [inaudible] questions. You know, interests, dislikes, what did they do before they were injured? What do they want to do now? All of that is taken down. And then they basically kind of plan like what do you want to do? And anything is a possibility. If you don't want to work, you don't have to work. If you want to work, they help you look for a new avenue. One of the individuals that [inaudible] to work with, he is [inaudible], and one of the things was he loved football. Not American football. He loved soccer. And loved, loved anything soccer. And so we were thinking of different ways. Because he had a lot of set backs. He had a lot of health issues. But he really wanted to be out there. He wanted to be close with his peers. He didn't have a lot of friends. You know, so it kind of an avenue for him to explore more options. So, and he also wanted to be more independent.

 

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He always lived at home. He wanted to grow and be out on his own. So, he thought, "Well, I want a job, but I don't know what to do." And so we thought, OK, well I didn't think but the occupational therapist worked a lot with him. And they found him a job in a sports shop. And he was there with whatever task. I wasn't able to go and see him in his shop. But they just, you know, whatever the interest the person has, they try to help that out. And they do have average people and different vocational, they don't have a vocational specialist, but one of the gentlemen what was working there at the time, he was doing outreach and [inaudible] out the community and looking at different avenues. But if you wanted to find a job, he could help you do that. Any other questions? [Inaudible]? I'll [inaudible] because I'm [inaudible]. The team at Quest is very, very nice. And they were all very supportive of me and very opening and welcoming. I never thought that I was out of place or not included in any of their activities. They invited me into their morning sessions where they would talk about, in terms of the clients, the clients that needed some support, they always took in my suggestions and my [inaudible] very, very great staff of people. And a lot of them don't have professional, professional backgrounds like a degree background. It is more experience in the field. So, it's a couple of individuals that had degrees, but the majority of the staff didn't.

 

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>> And you mentioned before that they're looking for interns. They want more interns, right?

>> Yes. Definitely. They do have an intern that they work with through the Irish colleges. They like to place those people first. But they are always and welcome to having international students come in. And they want it. When I left, they were like, "Well, who is coming next?" And I was like [inaudible] I'm trying to spread the word out. So, they're waiting for the next intern to come. So, but definitely follow, if you are interested in interning at Quest let me know because getting in there is kind of hard. Yes?

>> I'm just curious why [inaudible] international students?

>> Why [inaudible] international students?

>> Or [inaudible]?

>> Probably for, I'm just, my speculation is just because of the cultural difference. Not everybody at Quest is from Ireland. They have people [inaudible] from different places. I just was talking to one of the staff there, I still communicate with a lot of them, they have a girl who has an acquired injury from Texas. So, I think it may be just cultural exposure, different experiences. We bring different, some stuff that they might not have thought of. Which, like I said, some of my suggestions were taken into consideration and different techniques of working with people too [inaudible].

 

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>> So, [inaudible] a little background, [inaudible] relationship with the National Learning Network for many, many years. And so we've had people from Europe come here to visit. We've done a lot of work together. You know, and we started having interns go there, the first one went there probably 10, 12 years ago. And so it's something, as [inaudible] said, you know, there is that exchange component. We exchange with people [inaudible] organizational issues and then the [inaudible] well, how about, you know, what if we had a student come over? And they just thought it was a great idea. And each student who has gone has brought something different to the mix. And so, like you said, they have been very open to it. And I think it's just something that is beneficial to both sides, you know, [inaudible] exchange that information.

>> Yeah. Definitely the cross cultural aspect of it was very, very valuable to me. My undergrad was in cultural anthropology, so you can imagine how interested I was to learn about like Irish culture and the whole degree to which they work with people with disabilities or, you know, all that kind of stuff [inaudible] was really interesting to me. So, yeah, but and if you know someone, if you're interested in Quest by all means [inaudible] me or a past student who has been at Quest [inaudible] any type of internship, try to find who was there before you and get connected with them and ask questions.

 

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>> Yeah. And you can find that out through us.

>> Yeah. I'm not going to put up their [inaudible]. OK. So, Irish culture. Of course, my number one thing is beer. I am a beer drinker. But that's not the only reason why I was there. Although it was great. Their [inaudible], but potatoes in any form that you want you can find them there. And of course wool. There's a lot of wool there too. But it's different from our wool. It's soft. It's not so itchy. It's quite expensive though. But [inaudible] part of that. But you'll find so much more there. There's tons of cultural sites. Castles. There's castles pretty much on every corner. So, it has a really rich history. Currently, I don't know if this is actually [inaudible] it could be [inaudible], but hurling is our national Irish sport. And it is very interesting and very, very contact heavy. But good to watch. And they really get into it. And in Galway they have the [inaudible] team, which is in Galway, or not in Galway [inaudible] but they have [inaudible] teams there [inaudible].

 

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There's different counties and each county has their own team. And they have their own name for it. And it's very a national sport. I never saw any Irish dancing just to point that out. I did see the factory though, Jameson [laughter]. You do the tours when you're there if you can. Walking tours are great. The Irish people are very welcoming. They offer up a lot of information. So, the hospitality is kind of, it's way different from here. People are, you ask them one question and you're going to get like a whole story, the whole background of the question that you asked along with maybe some food and offer for a pipe. So, it was very, very nice. Not everybody is like that, but a great amount of people that I met and ran into were very welcoming. So, [inaudible] really, really rich history. And very beautiful and green and lush. So, now we come to my favorite part aside from Quest. With my traveling, I had a great opportunity to travel while I was there. I was there for a total of four months from August 9th, yeah, August 9th to November 28th. It's winter. So, when I first got there, it was kind of warm. Our cold days here would be their warm. So, like today that would be kind of what you would expect like during their kind of end of summer. And then it got very, very cold.

 

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My recommendation is to go in there, travel with many layers because you never know what you're going to get. Always expect rain. That's a given. Also, bring shoes that are water resistant [inaudible] I usually wear Converse, and I learned real quick to not wear those so much even though [inaudible] shoes. So, I had to invest in a few pair of shoes while I was there. Not that I didn't mind [laughter]. So, anyway, my weekend trips. Anything around Europe. Ryanair is very cheap, but they have their set backs. Aer Lingus, a little bit more pricey, but they're very more lenient on your baggage that you would carry in. Ryanair, you get one bag. You have to be able to hold it. And it has to fit into a certain dimension. Nothing above and beyond. And they will make you check it and pay 50 Euro. So, be careful with that when you're packing. I had [inaudible] with me, but it was just an old Army backpack that had pockets on the outside. I would bring a change of clothes with me, my toiletries or whatever, and then I would leave room in my bag because I obviously wanted to buy souvenirs. But in that kind of a deal, you know, you would have [inaudible] Ryanair to check a bag, and I didn't want to do that. You know, [inaudible] and I wanted to save money. So, I would just buy a pair of socks from wherever I was at or a postcard and a shot glass. And that was my souvenirs. So, I have a whole array of socks and shot glasses.

>> Flights really cheap, right? [Inaudible].

 

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>> They are. The most expensive one was my Oktoberfest. I went to Munich, Germany and during the opening day of Oktoberfest. And that one ran like maybe 140 Euro, which is probably around almost $200 U.S. That was my most expensive flight. And [inaudible]. Like I said, Aer Lingus is a little more nice, and they have a little more room when you travel, but they're a little more expensive. And, yeah, it can get a little pricey. [Inaudible] Ireland [inaudible] is very cheap. Everything is online too. And they also, if you're a student, everywhere make sure you bring your student ID. You'll get discounts everywhere, almost everywhere. Just make sure you show it. And you [inaudible] I used this one a lot too. And [inaudible] but I heard a lot of good things about it [inaudible]. So definitely. And they have stuff all over, all over Ireland.

 

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And also [inaudible] hop on, hop off tour. Yeah, it may seem real touristy. It's cheap. And if you only have a limited amount of time in the city, you're going to be able to see everything. Get off where you want to. Don't get off where you don't want to. And the average is probably about 10 to 15 Euro. Of the more like [inaudible], I think it was a little more expensive. [Inaudible] great tool [inaudible] and headphones to listen to history of all the different sites that you pass by. More traveling. So, I did not, the only time I stayed in a hotel was when I first arrived. And I was, after a good chunk of time, and it was like 7:00 in the morning. I was exhausted. My first long, long flight. I get there, and I didn't have the proper documentation to get into Ireland. I was supposed to have a letter of an intent that said that I was an unpaid international student. Instead of internship it should have said placement because their internship is associated with paid internships. So, definitely, if you're going to Ireland on the internship, unpaid internship and have documentation. I was there for an extra like hour and trying to get a hold of somebody to vouch for me saying that I was not being paid while I was there.

 

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>> Who did you contact?

>> Karen. And also another person I was affiliated with [multiple speakers]. Yeah. Which she was awesome. She took my call at 8:00 in the morning. And am like [inaudible] I don't know what to do. I was exhausted. So, I had a hotel for the first like weekend I was there because I didn't know where I was going. I didn't have a place before I even got there. They generally don't like to rent to people internationally because, you know, it's scammers all over the place. And that was just my experience. I called a bunch of different places to try to, "I'll send you money. Just keep the room for me." And they weren't having it. So, I had a hotel room when I first got there and to get acquainted and my time adjustments [inaudible] and everything. So, I stayed a good weekend in [inaudible] when I first got there. Then after that when I found my place in Galway, I found my house and all that good stuff, I utilized hostels. Hostels are awesome. They're cheap.

 

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Not every single one of them is nice. [Inaudible] I would go [inaudible] or hostels.com and check the different ratings they have. It's going to be [inaudible] between a really crappy hostel and a really good one. And also it gives you good rates too of different prices [inaudible] hostels. And also take advantage of what the hostels have to offer. Whatever like St. Christopher's Inn is a big name brand over there. Not name brand, but a big hostel chain. And they have, in all the major cities they have St. Christopher's. And you can expect the same thing in every single one of them. They have a pub that's connected to them. There's usually [multiple speakers]. They have walking tours. They have [inaudible] tours. They have pub crawls. They have, just you can expect this in every single one of them. But and [inaudible] meet people. Don't just, you know, sit there and be nervous. I kind of was for the very first one that I went to.

 

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My first trip I was kind of, uh, you know, but then I felt a little lonely, so I started talking to anybody I could. And that's a great way to meet people. Stick with your gut feeling. If you have a bad feeling about somebody or a bad feeling of places, you're probably right. Listen to yourself. Don't go where there's nobody walking. I didn't have any trouble. I walked around alone a lot, but then there was times where I didn't feel like walking around or I didn't feel comfortable [inaudible] walking home, so I would find somebody to walk with or meet up with somebody. And it was generally at the hostel. I would just make friends there, and we'd go for the day and do that. And I'm actually talking to a lot of people I've met on my travels. Bring a book. If you're bored, I mean, I did bring a book, but I didn't read [laughter]. But also bring a journal too. Document your [inaudible]. And sometimes my memories are bad. Write stuff down.

 

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I have postcards from pretty much everywhere I went to. And I would just glue the postcard in there. I had little travel [inaudible]. I had, you know, because you can't bring anything sharp. So, there was like the little kid ones, a little stick of glue, and a pen. It worked for me. And I had a whole travel book [inaudible]. So, these [inaudible]. So, as you can see all over Ireland. My first trip was Sweden. Very [inaudible] and very beautiful though. Germany was Munich for Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is not in October. It is in September. Be sure to look at that. And if you want to go to Oktoberfest, book well in advance. And if you don't want to [inaudible], don't stay at like [inaudible] hotel or St. Christopher's or any of the ones that are right there because it's usually filled with a lot of younger kids that get really, really drunk. I also got to go to the U.K. [inaudible] Northern Ireland, which was really cool. And a lot of these I did the hop on, hop off tours [inaudible] day or two. I [inaudible] left Galway and then had to take a bus in Galway to Dublin, which was a three-hour trip usually.

 

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There are airports that are closer than that. I think there is one that's a little bit south. I only [inaudible]. I generally just went to Dublin. So, I would just [inaudible] from Dublin to any one of these places. And also just the [inaudible] and stuff like that. [Inaudible] these places are [inaudible], so if you have an opportunity to go for four days or three days or whatever, this is, I stayed here for two and a half days and then I took a bus over to Belgium and spent a day in Belgium, which was really cool. [Inaudible]. It's like, it's probably the longest plane ride on Ryanair. So, it's really bumpy, and it kind of scared me. But I mean it was safe. I was good. [Inaudible] is bumpy. I saw a lot of amazing things. I also went to Scotland, Edinburgh and [inaudible]. And a lot of these different places, as I mentioned before, I'm a big beer fanatic. So, I was trying beer from the different places and going on all these different walking tours and meeting different people from all over the place. And I had, in a couple of different places, more than a couple, I was surprised at how many neuroscientists were traveling or someone who worked with brain injuries were traveling. So, I met a lot of these people, which is really, I don't know if it was just because I was talking about it or what the deal was. But, yeah, it was pretty interesting.

 

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[ Inaudible ]

>> What do you mean?

>> How long did it, you mentioned it was the longest trip there [inaudible]?

>> How long [inaudible]? It was about three and a half hours round trip. It was just really [inaudible]. And I've never experienced a heavy load of turbulence before. So, really it kind of scared me. And I was like holding.

>> Are the planes kind of small [inaudible]?

>> They are, well, they're not the little [inaudible] planes. They're not like two seats on side [multiple speakers]. No, it's kind of like Southwest [multiple speakers]. No, it's very [inaudible]. You don't have room to put your bag under a seat. It's just, you can't do that.

>> Like it's [inaudible].

 

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>> Yes [multiple speakers]. But on a plane. Yeah. Yeah. And the seats are not very comfortable. But they're cheap. So, if you have a chance, and they don't generally fly into the bigger airports. Like I don't believe it flies into Heathrow at all. I can't really think of any other ones right now. But it generally flies into neighboring airports. Not too far away. When I got off the airplane in most of these places, it was a bus that takes you to city center. And then from city center you can usually navigate where you're going. I know there's options on the iPhone. I did not do that. I actually, I took my iPhone with me, and I used it for when I got into Wi-Fi areas. I did not make any phone calls with that. I usually used Skype. You can put money onto there, and it's super cheap. It's like a penny a minute or something like that. And you can see your family members or loved ones or you can just make a phone call and it's cheap. I did acquire an Irish phone. It's just a regular little tiny one that doesn't do anything. I didn't know how to use it. I just know it rang, and I almost couldn't answer it. But, you know, it was for local, local use.

 

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>> So, you didn't purchase any international plan for your cell phone [inaudible]?

>> No. No.

>> OK.

>> No. I probably, if I ever do it again, I probably might. But I was fine. Skype was fine. There was plenty of places that have Wi-Fi. And there's plenty of little coffee shops. Restaurants usually have Wi-Fi. Pubs even have Wi-Fi. So, it's not hard to, it's not a quiet place [inaudible] you generally have to make phone calls. But, yeah, I mean I got around. I got through, and I got to talk to everybody back home. And it was fine. I didn't really spend very much on my phone call either. It's usually, with my Irish phone it was 20 Euro top it up, and that would last me for like maybe two weeks depending on how many calls I made [inaudible]. And there's [inaudible] places at all the different like [inaudible] and gas stations and stuff like that. So, I apologize for cramming them all in. This is my [inaudible], and yes those are [inaudible].

>> Wow.

 

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[ Inaudible ]

>> Can you see that better [multiple speakers]? OK. So, this is my street. And yes, this is [inaudible]. No [inaudible]. I just saw, I saw pretty much a rainbow every single day. And [inaudible] every single day are pretty much wet or about to be wet or just got done being wet. And my house is on this side. It looked just like this one. [Inaudible] this is on top of [inaudible]. And it is not accessible. There are stairs, lots and lots of stairs, on both sides up and down. And [inaudible]. If you're families with Belgium, that's [inaudible]. I got lost [inaudible] statue, a famous status in Belgium [multiple speakers]. And they dress him up and everything. And I was expecting this huge like sculpture. And so I like almost killed myself walking up these cobblestones [inaudible] I'm very short, you know, so that took a lot out of me, and I'm not in the best of shape. But, you know, cobblestones are not made for short people. And it took forever.

 

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And I finally saw it and I was just kind of a little disappointed. [Inaudible] statue [inaudible] and it was like, wow, [inaudible]. That is down in Southern Ireland, on the [inaudible] side. That's on top of [inaudible] castle. I actually did kiss the [inaudible] stone [inaudible] anyway, but maybe I was [inaudible]. I believe, this [inaudible] Sweden going up towards the state building. It was very cold, very windy. I do not suggest bringing an umbrella. Same with in Ireland. The umbrellas are useless. Bring a jacket that has a hood and is water resistant. That's going to be your best bet. And [inaudible] on my trip, umbrellas. It was totally shredded. This is in Barcelona. It's [inaudible]. I did, I saw all of [inaudible] the church. I did the parks. I also did one of the palaces. It was amazing. Beautiful if you ever get a chance. [Inaudible]. This is in Scotland. One of the things that [inaudible] a Red Bull but way sugarier [phonetic], and it's a bigger can. It's like a full size can, like a, maybe not a 40-ounce, but it was pretty good. And that is one of their pride and joys. I drank like maybe half of it and I couldn't finish it.

 

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>> Where was this?

>> That was in Scotland.

>> The other one was [inaudible] food like liver and [inaudible]. There's not, I can't remember it now [inaudible]. No, I did not eat that. But they have a vegetarian version that is really good. The vegetarian.

>> Really?

 

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>> Mm-hm. So, I [inaudible] and I tried the vegetarian one, which was, it was really, really good. So, that's something [inaudible]. Of course Germany and during Oktoberfest. This is actually one of the [inaudible] is all over Munich. I actually, when I was in Munich, I got a chance to go to [inaudible], a concentration camp that's about only a train ride away, not even an hour train ride. That was just an unbelievable experience. I did not put any pictures up there. I was just [inaudible] I was even there [inaudible] that place. This is more Irish countryside. And this is actually the [inaudible], which is [inaudible]. Geological formations along the coast of Ireland [inaudible] really pretty. Heineken Brewery. [Inaudible] in Amsterdam. This is all from Amsterdam. This is some of my [inaudible]. And in closing, go for it. What have you got to lose? [Inaudible] everything. This is in, part of my background, I had [inaudible] and I also work for UCP. So, I [inaudible] coverage for both of those areas while I was gone. I came back, picked up right where I left off. So, it is possible. Just try to figure it out and do what's best for you. Do your research on the company, on people that you possibly want to go with, or the agency that you're wanting, you know, to be involved with, or a country that you want to go to. Research them. Always ask questions.

 

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The chances are if you have that question, other people are going to have the same question. So, [inaudible] be safe when you're traveling. Be mindful of where you're at and the people you're around. I did not have any issues with losing anything even while I was drinking or while not drinking I didn't lose anything. I didn't get anything stolen from me. I was very aware of my surroundings and who I was with or where I was at. I [inaudible] who had traveled there. And luckily my roommates that I found, they were well traveled, and told me about tips of traveling to different places. If you're going to stay in a hostel, bring extra locks. [Inaudible] those Master Key locks. I wouldn't do, I don't really care for the ones that have combinations. The key lock is actually, I found it more easy. Just a big package of three or four of them. Just bring a couple of those. You'll be fine. I even used, I had a shoulder bag. In places that I was not too comfortable in, I would just use one of the key locks and [inaudible] the zipper to the side of the bag so nobody could get in and I had the key. So, that's my internship experience. Also, so I [inaudible]. It's the Acquire Brain Injury Weekly, and this is about Quest and brain injury. This is just their program, what they made. So.

 

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>> How long [inaudible]?

>> I'm sorry?

>> How long did this last for you?

>> Oh, my internship, how long it lasted? I was there for four months. I left August 9th and got back November 29th or 28th. While I was there, Quest celebrated their 10-year anniversary. And I was a part of the party. I actually helped make the food. I like to cook. They were open to suggestions. And I'm Mexican also and so I, I kind of made some of, I made taquitos I think and brought in tortillas [inaudible]. And I also made salsa [inaudible]. This is a blurb from the Galway newspaper that was [inaudible] about the 10-year anniversary. This is a pamphlet that they hand out to each one of their clients. And it just, it kind of explains the program. It explains what they do in the program with the clients, the classes that they provide, useful information about Quest and its surroundings. Just all that there. While I was at Quest I had opportunities to work on a family care pack. And it's basically an information packet that, and I don't want to say dummied down, but it's not using so many professional terms because I know just from my experience that when someone acquires a brain injury, not everybody needs a doctor. So, you want, you know, if you're a family member, you want to be talked to with information you don't understand. So, [inaudible] putting together an information packet for families and their loved ones about useful tips. And this is all pertaining to people in Ireland. So, [inaudible] or whatever [inaudible] just different resources and [inaudible] useful for someone with an acquired brain injury. And they actually used it.

 

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>> [Inaudible] on their website now?

>> I think they're in the process of it. When I left I had just finished it. And they had [inaudible]. And I think after that they were going to put it in. Quest also, they do, they have an art class. Art and music therapy are very, very useful techniques in therapy. So, this is all tapings of past clients. And [inaudible] for, you know, to get more funds to their program and just to generate more funds. And this is all [inaudible] at Quest now or prior. Another really exciting thing while I was there, they put together a book. And this a book with all, not all, but a lot of clients that wanted to participate, this is their stories all written by them. Hardly any editing, you know, [inaudible] clients' words. So, sometimes it doesn't all come out exactly the way they want it to. So, there's limited editing here. But it's all stories from past clients. And also some of the staff at Quest. So, it was really, really cool. When they had the 10th anniversary launch party or 10th anniversary party, it was also a book release. So, this is their book [inaudible]. And last but not least, I put my memories down in book form. And if anybody is aware of Shutterfly, it's an amazing thing. And so this was just my, my just memory and everything of all my pictures and, you know, just things that I saw there, people I met. So, I was able to put them all in a book and then I had an Irish Thanksgiving actually that I kind of put together [inaudible] took over and [inaudible]. Are there any other questions?

 

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>> How much money did you bring? I probably brought around four grand, $4,000. With my ticket, if you buy on Tuesdays it's a lot cheaper, not a lot, but it's generally cheaper on a Tuesday if you buy it. I would suggest not flying out on a Friday. Fly during the week. It's cheaper then too. My flight for the wintertime it was around $960 something. My flight going back there for the summer was over $1,000.

>> Yeah.

>> It kind of depends on when you fly. I also would suggest an international, no international fees credit card. I had Chase Preferred. And I was able to get no fees on that, no international fees acquired on that at all. Also I would take advantage of when you buy things on a credit card, get the [inaudible] because you'll get all the [inaudible] that put on there, you get them back. And they give you the envelope for them. At the airport you just put them in a mail slot. And then you'll get the charges back on your credit card [inaudible]. Any other questions [inaudible]? All right. Well, thank you for listening to me talk. I appreciate it [multiple speakers]. Thank you.

[ Applause ]

>> Thank you for sharing this.