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Expat Stories: Teresa Lewis

Get to know Ireland’s Country Representative and Business Development Coordinator, Teresa Lewis.

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Teresa Lewis receiving the 'Women in Business' Go Global Award 2022 on stage

Welcome back to Expat Stories, where we welcome members of the Mauve Group team to discuss their experiences of relocating and life as an expat. This month we meet Teresa Lewis, who having joined Mauve Group over five years ago, is a hugely valued member of the team, and has kindly agreed to share her experience of relocating from her home country of Wales.

Tell us about yourself and your experiences of relocation.

I am Teresa and I am the Country Representative and Business Development Coordinator for Mauve Group in Ireland. I have lived in Ireland for over twenty years now, and relocated after travelling the world for almost two years. What began as four girls from Wales travelling to India, evolved into a tour of Southeast Asia and a long stretch of time working in Australia, which was where I met lots of Irish people who became solid friends. When our time came to return to the UK, I really wasn’t keen to go home. I was easily convinced to join my Irish friends in Dublin and relocated in 2001. That was in the midst of the Celtic Tiger economic boom years. I found myself a job in market research shortly afterwards and have since settled down here.

Were there any factors which made relocation easier?

I stayed with friends throughout the relocation process, which really helped while I applied to open a bank account, found my own accommodation, and sought a job. It didn’t take long to forge a career path for myself in market research, which gave me great experience.

What were the most challenging aspects of relocation?

I think, perhaps, the most challenging part was sorting the documentation and logistics. I was lucky that most of my good friends moved to Ireland with me, which meant we were all going through the same process and, equally, I couldn’t miss them.

How was navigating the visa and immigration process?

Both the UK and Ireland are members of the Common Travel Agreement (CTA), meaning that UK nationals do not need a visa or residency permit to live, work, or study in Ireland. I felt really lucky that I didn’t have to worry about the visa and immigration process. So, I could concentrate on applying for jobs. I did, however, find the process of providing proof of address tricky when applying for jobs prior to having a permanent place of residency.

How important do you think it is to have experts, such as Mauve Group, to assist and guide you through the relocation process?

So much has changed since my relocation. For example, the need for global employment, secondment overseas, or fixed-term global mobility projects was not as prevalent when I relocated twenty years ago. Local labour and employment laws vary hugely from one country to another, and far more businesses are looking to internationalise. So, there is far more to consider when moving abroad. I continually hear from our clients how valuable they find the resources, knowledge, and expertise Mauve Group has to support them with global business expansion.

What is your favourite part of living abroad?

I love the experience of living abroad. Dublin is very multicultural and international, and there are so many different flavours of the world here in Ireland. Equally, it is really wonderful to feel as though you have two homes.

What would be your top tip for moving to a new country?

Researching and planning goes a long way. I would advise not leaving it until the last minute to avoid panic. There will always be things that occur unexpectedly. But if you are prepared for relocating ahead of time, then it will make overcoming the small issues a lot easier to deal with.

What surprised you the most about the relocation process?

When I first moved back in 2001, I was surprised by how different Ireland was from my expectations. Despite Ireland not being geographically far away from my home country Wales, I enjoyed learning about all the differences.

Thank you, Teresa, for sharing your experiences of relocation with us! Follow Mauve Group on our social platforms LinkedIn and Twitter, to stay up to date.

If your organisation is looking to expand overseas and requires visa and immigration support, find out how our global HR solutions could help your organisation. Contact us, today.