PeopleNew to the Parish

‘First, I felt afraid to talk, because we are not native speakers’

New to the Parish: Mother-of-two Tabasum Kouser moved to Ireland from India in 2015 and found her ‘dream job’ after completing an IT training course

Around the time Tabasum Kouser moved to Ireland in 2015 with her three-year-old son and her husband, a software engineer, she became pregnant.

She was not working in India when her husband was offered a job in Ireland. The company gave them two months’ accommodation, and afterwards, the family found a place to rent.

Recently the family moved to Citywest in Dublin. They had been living in apartments and the children, now aged seven and 11, wanted a garden to play in. They are still renting.

In India, Kouser “always had a dream” to work, she says, but “I never got an opportunity to work there.”


She was a stay-at-home mother until 2019, when she joined an English school and worked in childcare for two years, building her confidence, after completing a childcare course beforehand.

“First, I felt afraid to talk, because we are not native speakers – what will they feel if I talk? Will it be not nice? What will they think?” Kouser says.

She was afraid people would think she did not know English properly and would judge her. But slowly, she learned that many of the staff spoke English as a second language. Her confidence increased.

However, Kouser had studied a bachelor’s degree in computer science in India, and wanted to work in IT. She had a 10-year career gap, and did multiple courses and paid a lot of money to try to upskill and re-enter the job market.

Her children helped, offering her tea and coffee, setting the table, motivating her to get good marks.

“They supported me all the time, they’re very lovely children, they never annoyed me, even as babies, I slept all night. My friends were telling me, ‘I’m not sleeping because of the kids’, and I felt like the luckiest one, I should not tell them,” Kouser laughs.

But finding a job proved more difficult than expected, and Kouser felt herself getting frustrated over the situation, applying for many positions but getting no offers.

If I was in India maybe I would think, oh, my age is gone, I can’t study. But when I see people here, all the time they’re changing the career and doing something else, and they keep studying

“I cried a lot, I got frustrated. So, my friend suggested I join a Generation bootcamp, they will help,” she says.

Generation Ireland is a global non-profit that provides free, short training courses for jobseekers. It operates in 17 countries and has placed over 100,000 graduates in relevant careers, with 78 per cent of graduates placed in a job within three months of programme completion.

Kouser did a three-month bootcamp with the charity in 2023.

“It was amazing, I can’t describe in words. I learned technical skills, soft skills, transparency skills, many skills, the overall confidence I gained, it’s through Generation,” she says.

Shortly after completing the course, Kouser got a job at Marsh McLennan, as a disaster recovery specialist. “If any one server fails, it automatically starts another server. It could be human disaster, national disaster, anything, so everything is in the cloud, I’m working in the cloud side.

“My manager is good, he’s excellent, he helped me a lot. The company is very good and all the team members are very friendly and nice.”

Kouser’s position is her “dream job”, and she believes that had she not done the Generation bootcamp, she would not have secured the position.

“I was passionate to work in Ireland, like I never worked before. Maybe I had that enthusiasm, I wanted to work, and my husband supported me a lot,” she says.

“I always seen him working, and I’d say, ‘One day I will work, one day I will work’, but today I’m working. I feel like we don’t think age matters, we can work even if we are 50 or 60, this opportunity is given by Ireland.

“If I was in India maybe I would think, oh, my age is gone, I can’t study. But when I see people here, all the time they’re changing the career and doing something else, and they keep studying. I get motivated by Irish people.”

Kouser’s husband came to Ireland four or five months before they moved and loved what he encountered in nature, but warned his wife about the cold.

“The first time I got here, my hands were shaking and I needed two blankets to warm myself,” she says. But that is the only real negative, she feels.

Although things have worked out for Kouser, she still misses India.

“My country is a very lovely place, but I miss my family, I miss my neighbourhood, which I am lacking here, but somehow we are interacting with people and fulfilling that feeling through friends,” she says.

Kouser says that being so close to family in India can sometimes mean people do not have the chance to “explore ourselves”. She used to visit her mother weekly, and other family members too, and it would take up a great deal of time.

But still, in Ireland she misses her family a lot, “which I can’t describe”.

“[Family is] the only thing I’m missing, I love both the countries, I feel like I’m the luckiest one, I get everything from that country as well [India],” she says.

I always tell my kids, look where I was, where I am now. Through your hard work, you will be somewhere someday

Kouser has been back to India to visit her mother and three brothers a few times since the move, and her sons have mixed views, she says.

“My elder one says, ‘I don’t want to go back to India’, he loves Ireland, he misses friends. My younger one says ‘I love here, I love India as well because if we go to India, we don’t have to read anything’ because he thinks he is on vacation,” she laughs.

But her children are at home in Ireland, they love the people, playing football, going to football matches, meeting friends.

“I always tell my kids, look where I was, where I am now. Through your hard work, you will be somewhere someday,” she says.

Kouser is at home in Ireland too, having made many friends, including neighbours. She gives her friends some leftover Indian food sometimes, with one neighbour in their previous apartment building conveniently smelling Kouser’s food from next door and coming over to ask what she has made.

“My husband says, ‘Will you give something to the neighbour as well?’ So then, I started giving it [to her] and she loves it,” Kouser laughs.

“When we were leaving [to move to Citywest], she was like, ‘I’ll miss you, you guys are very lovely’, but I told her ‘When I go to the new house, I’ll invite you once I’m settled’. It’s a good friendship. We should keep all the friends.”

We would like to hear from people who have moved to Ireland in the past 10 years. To get involved, email or tweet @newtotheparish