1. Non-hierarchical: In America there is a very clear office hierarchy. You have subordinates and you have superiors. In general you do not associate with your subordinates or superiors outside of work, staying more with your peers. This, however, does not exist in Ireland, they have "Office Equity." Both during the work day and outside at the pub.
2. Time keeping: No one in Ireland wears a watch. No places in Ireland have wall clocks. And no one seems overly concerned with the time. Once in Ireland, you're on "Irish Time." In the US if you are not early, you are late. If you have work at 9, you're there at 9, or even 8:50. In Ireland the rules are not so concrete. 9:00 could mean 9:05, 9:10 or 9:15. The only things that are ever truly on time, if not early, are taxis.
3. Breaks: Tea Time. This is a uniquely Irish phenomenon. Around 11 the whole office takes a break to drink some tea, have a chat and eat some biscuits. Here's why I love tea time:
4. Speed of Work: "Americans live to work; Irish work to live." The placement team basically told us to take it easy. We would not impress anyone by finishing things at lightning-quick speed. As a matter of fact they might think we were trying to be cheeky or show off.
5. Language/Accent: Yes the Irish may speak English but it is not American English. Many words here have completely different meanings than they do at home. Especially when answering the phone I have to listen very hardly to understand what they are saying. Just like in the US accents differ greatly across the country of Ireland. Dubliners have a slightly more English sounding accent. Donegal residents have a notoriously difficult accent to understand and those that live in the West and South are extremely brogue-y. Also here a brogue is a shoe. Not an Irish accent!
6. Speed: Those of you that knew me when I was young, know that I use to speak 492574 words a minute. Actually, still kind of do. Well either way the Irish speak even more quickly! It really is a struggle sometimes to understand what they're saying.
7. Swearing/Slagging: Cursing here is much more socially acceptable, even in the work place. And I'm not just talking about PG swears I'm talking about the whole spectrum. Very, very bizarre. Slagging is slang for teasing and the Irish LOVE to tease! It's just a matter of giving as good as you're getting it.
Bottom line: Differences are not necessarily a bad thing.
NOTA BENE: These are observations that were presented to us by the placement team. These are not my own personal observations or experiences. I do not come to any of these conclusions as a result of my own experience in my internship. My internship is lovely and rather American, perhaps because it is a Colorado based Firm, either way I do not know. More on that later!