Making the move overseas: My journey from South Africa to Ireland

Naydia Balassis


Making the move overseas: My journey from South Africa to Ireland

After completing my articles and staying on for a further year to work as an Assistant Manager at EY Johannesburg, I took a decision along with my boyfriend that it was time to embrace one of the many international opportunities available to us as qualified CA(SA)s and to make a move overseas.

EY Ireland, and particularly the Dublin office, appealed to us for a number of reasons. Firstly, it provided the opportunity for us to remain in our chosen sectors (FSO and UKI), with the added benefit that each sector provided us the opportunity to work on and gain experience on client industries we have not previously had the opportunity to work in, such as aircraft leasing in FSO and your major technology companies in UKI. Secondly, fantastic double-digit growth in EY Ireland meant that we would not have to ‘take a step backwards’ in our careers by making this move but rather that there would be opportunities for career progression going forward. Furthermore, it offered us the opportunity to work on audits of multinational companies with diverse teams; to make an international move to an English speaking country; to have a work-life balance, and finally, it offered us the opportunity to embrace and enjoy a European way of life.

To say that moving countries has not had its challenges would not be an accurate description of our move – finding a place to live in a city neither of us had visited before, adapting to life without a car, the different climate, joining a new office and starting work on new clients with new teams all whilst living thousands of kilometres from your family are some of the challenges we faced in our first few weeks here.

But, do the positives outweigh the challenges? – most definitely! Making this move has allowed us the opportunity to experience personal growth as we navigate and figure out this new way of life. It has given us the opportunity to work for a firm who genuinely shows that it values its employees, offering us support and assistance in making this move right from the moment we signed our contracts. It has allowed us to work on teams where you are made to feel welcome and a part of the team from day one, which has allowed us to forge wonderful new friendships, both within the ever expanding expat community and with our new colleagues as well, and to enjoy a way of life that allows you far more freedom than we were used to previously.

Moving to Dublin with EY Ireland has been a wonderful decision. In the few short months we have been here we have had the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. I would highly recommend a move with EY Ireland to others who, like us, would like to see what the overseas market has to offer.

Interested in making the move? Find out more and how to apply here 

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