Íris, 20, originally from the independent and small but utterly beautiful country of Iceland, moved to Brighton in October 2016 for an au-pair position “It’s great, I love it!”
How are you feeling about your decision to come to Brighton?
“I’m feeling really good about the move, it was the right choice. I think Brighton is a perfect town for me, its not too big, its not too small. Its SO open minded. I feel like people here really want to make foreigners feel welcome. I’m never ashamed of being a foreigner. I haven’t had too much prejudice or anything of the like.”
What kind of prejudice have you come across?
“Sometimes when people hear my accent they don’t really talk down to me.. Well yes they do. “
In what way?
“Well.. I’ve had really rare occasions when people hear my accent and they instantly think that I’m not intelligent because I’ve got quite a strong Icelandic accent. Most people are really welcome though. Once, I was getting on to a bus and I asked the bus driver something about the stop I was getting off. And he started making fun of my accent and then everyone on the bus started to make fun of me too. He pretended not to understand me. I felt so bad that the next day, I was too scared to talk English to anyone and i just pretended that I didn’t know the language when I had to speak. But then… I just remembered that it was just an isolated incident and that the majority of the people here are really nice and don’t have a problem with my foreigners.”
Why did you decide to make the move from Iceland to Brighton?
“It’s really silly but since I was a girl I always liked the sound of Brighton. I knew nothing about Brighton and then I saw a Facebook post about an Icelandic women living in Brighton looking for an au-pair and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Then I started googling Brighton. It was really an impulse decision. And I knew that I wanted to take a year off before uni because I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do… Well I’ve got too many ideas… I just wanted an adventure.”
What would be your ultimate career then?
“I want to teach English. In fact, when I moved to Brighton I took up an English language course to pursue that further.”
What makes you want to become a teacher?
“I feel like it’s the perfect position. I want to be able to travel (you can teach English anywhere) and help people. I want to be more than a teacher, I want to help. When I was in school some of the good teachers would talk to about my life after lessons and they would advise me on certain things. I want to be that person.”
If you could be an animal, which would you be?
“I probably would be a giraffe. Because, yellow is my favourite colour and because I really like the giraffes spotty pattern, it makes me happy. And they look really confident with their necks stretching up to the sky. I wish I could be that confident. I feel like giraffes are always happy.”
What makes you happy?
“Exploring new things. Meeting new people. I decided before I came that I would never say no to anything here. That I would say yes to life.”
What would be your inspiring message to humanity?
“Mmmmm… Don’t think too much about what the most practical thing is to do. Be more selfish than that. Pursue your happiness.”
And let the magic continue…..!!!!!!!