Could Asia be the gateway to a flourishing career for teenagers?
Susan was at Croke Park today, but not for a match! In fact, the stadium was empty... So what was she doing there on a Monday?
During every #SavvyTeenAcademy session, teenagers share with us their dream of spending time abroad to discover the world. They imagine themselves walking down the avenues of New York, or travelling to Australia on a working holiday visa, or doing an internship in a swank office in London...
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Is Asia too far? Too intimidating?
Although this is changing, few of them yet have a long-held dream of going to Asia. They know Asia is on the rise, they know it is a continent of economic opportunities, but it seems that they find it difficult yet to see how they could 'land' in Asia.
After all, many Irish people have a cousin in Melbourne or an uncle in Chicago - but how many of us can boast a family connection in Asia? Family ties have been an absolute gift when it comes to giving young Irish people their first taste of the wide world, and of the workplace outside of Ireland.
But it is a bit more difficult to imagine yourself in a setting where you don't know anybody at all and you would be absolutely alone when starting out. This might explain why so few Irish teenagers think of Asia when they think of a gap year or an internship or a first job.
But what if I told you that there is a strong Irish community in Asia, waiting to welcome you?
Would that make you change your mind? Asian countries can seem intimidating because their culture looks very, very different from ours at first sight. How can a newcomer have any hope at all of navigating a complex foreign culture and a new language, on their own?
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However, in this Irish people are definitely not on their own. Did you know that several Asian countries have, not just one, but several GAA clubs? In the video below I mention Vietnam - the average Irish person would not associate Vietnam with a bustling Irish community, and still!
GAA clubs in Asia are thriving, and they are very welcoming. They are a true landing pad for the Irish abroad, the ideal warm community to have some great craic, and also to strike up wonderful friendships and strategic networking, not just with Irish people, but with other hurling and camogie enthusiasts from all over the world.
Watch the video below for a taste of things to come - the FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games are taking place in November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, and over a thousand people will be there.