Just about every aspect of modern life revolves around social media and an increasing number of people are jumping on platforms such as TikTok to create and share trending content. The popularity of the app has meant that everyone — from young people to professionals — are obsessed with creating what they hope will become viral TikToks.
With users desperate for the clout and views, viral TikToks range from being educational to downright absurd. Stunts, such as a woman sharing her experience of styling her hair with gorilla glue to young teens using nail files to shape their teeth, are examples of things you should never do.
Augusto Tomas Gil, however, an Argentinian English-language student in Ireland, opted to create a viral TikTok that would help him enjoy a coveted study abroad experience under a scholarship. Gil’s venture into social media started with his application to study in Ireland.
“I had to film myself, upload the clip and then get likes on it. My video was the most popular so I won the scholarship,” he says in an article with DublinLive. Continuing his streak with creating catchy content, he regularly uploads videos on Ireland’s go-to places. Below, we speak to Gil about what living in Dublin is like as an international student and his viral TikToks:
What made you choose to study abroad?
I’ve always wanted to study abroad but I was never able to make the decision. After many years of working as a lawyer in Argentina, I got bored of my office job and decided to enter a contest in 2019.
This contest came with a chance to win a scholarship to study in Ireland. Spoiler alert: I won the scholarship.
Tell us more about creating viral TikToks in Dublin. What do you like most about Ireland?
I like contrasts and Dublin has plenty. I think I have a lot of things to discover here so I’m excited about that.
In Argentina, I shared my city — Buenos Aires — in videos and started to do reviews of different spots. I put myself in the shoes of a tourist visiting my own city and through this perspective, I got viral TikToks.
My idea was then to do the same in Dublin. I think it started off well because, after my first video, I got invitations to visit different places. Now, I’m putting together a big list of locations I want to visit.
Besides being an international student in Ireland, are you also working there?
I never had to find a job in Argentina because I worked as a lawyer there for 10 years. When I came to Ireland, I took a barista course because that’s what most students do and baristas earn pretty good money.
I searched on TripAdvisor for the “best cafe in Dublin” and I placed a visit. I then talked with the owner and told him I didn’t have the experience but I wanted to learn from his cafe that was dubbed the best in the city.
He ended up hiring me. I love my job and I’m gaining a lot of memories along with experience through it. I’ve improved my English and my boss is amazing. He always shares my story with customers.
That’s so sweet. What about your hometown? What can you tell us about it?
You have a lot of things to do in Buenos Aires and I enjoyed sharing them. My TikTok viral videos are all about recommendations of places that many have not visited.
My favourite place to show is the Museum of Contemporary Art which belonged to a French family who made a mansion inspired by the Palace of Versailles in France. The most important thing is the free entry which I showed in a video of free activities.
What about the food in Ireland compared to Argentina? What’s your most and least favourite?
My work as a barista means we serve local food. Thus, I’m trying out the whole menu — which I’ve liked so far.
Next on my list is the traditional “Irish Shepherd’s Pie” (a mixture of ground lamb and beef with mashed potatoes on top). I have to find a good place to go.
My favourite would be fish and chips and my least favourite is “black pudding” (blood sausage) which comes in the Irish breakfast. Back home, we have something similar called “morcilla” and I eat it anyway!
However, I do miss Argentinian food like “empanadas” (fried savoury filled pastry) or “asado” (roast meat). I can find similar options here so I’m not too homesick.
Is it hard as a non-English speaking foreigner to talk with the locals?
I’m an English-language student here so I’m not really fluent yet. For me, it’s a bit more challenging to talk to locals with a strong accent. But, Irish people are very kind and friendly so they don’t mind explaining or repeating themselves.
What did you first think of Dublin?
I liked it from the first moment I visited the city as a tourist eight years ago. I never believed I would be able to return to make it my home.
What do you feel most grateful for in your life now?
The decision I made coming to Ireland. That moment you realise all the things you can do when you decide to step out of your comfort zone. I left a profession and a very good life in Argentina but I have absolutely no regrets.
Is there something in Dublin you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time now?
I’ve wanted to get a job in social media but that in Argentina proved to be impossible. I would like to try it out here but my level of English would make that challenging.
It’s my dream to work in social media for a big company.
If you had a deadline of a week left in Dublin, what would you do?
Too many things — I would rush to complete everything on my list. I can’t leave Dublin without visiting the Old Jameson Distillery, Dublinia and the Temple Bar. I also want to visit a secret bar called the Blind Pig and enjoy the view at Ryleigh’s Rooftop.
@augus.tom Vamos a tomar algo por Baires #argentina #viajes #buenosaires #turismoargentina #tiktokbuenosaires #vacaciones #bares ♬ New Soul – Yael Naïm
List three things you never leave the house without.
My phone (I can’t live without social media and my camera), my headphone and my wallet.