Li-Ann Smal- California Trip

By Li-Ann Smal


Hello everyone! I’m Li-Ann Smal, a Psychology student from Greystones, Co. Wicklow. I’m a third year student living and breathing in the fresh California air in Santa Cruz. I decided to come here because of the sea and the natural surroundings, for the laid-back atmosphere and the banana slugs!

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student on exchange in Georgetown University, in Washington, DC

By Sophie Donnelly

My name is Sophie Donnelly and I am a Junior Sophister PPES student on exchange in Georgetown University, in Washington, DC. Although my degree subject is PPES, here at Georgetown I have specialised into a “double-major” of Politics and Economics, and am taking a selection of classes from both of those fields over the course of my year here.

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San Diego

By Tadgh Healy

Hi everyone! I’m Tadgh, a third year English Literature & Philosophy TSM student and I’ve just completed my first week studying abroad at the University of California, San Diego.

From the early signs, it’s clear I’ve been incredibly fortunate to land where I am. I chose to study in San Diego primarily because of the quality of education – and in my particular case I had read (and enjoyed) the work of a couple of the professors here, so jumped at the opportunity to be able to sit in their lectures.

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Welcome to Montreal

By Hannah Treanor

My name is Hannah Treanor and I am a PPES student in Trinity College Dublin. This year I decided to change my usual by-line and embark on an adventure to Montreal, Canada to study in the prestigious McGill University for the year. Political Science and Economics were to be my academic ventures. My reason for choosing McGill? I have always had a dream of studying in America and as I grew older and the politics in the US of A became slightly bizarre, I decided Canada would be a preferable substitute. Next step, in the summer of 1st year, was to look at the rankings, as I figured if I was going to travel to a country where I would not avail of the Erasmus grant, I should go to an amazing University. McGill stood out to me as a picturesque internationally-acclaimed university which was quite a bit smaller, population-wise, (at 40,000) to its 85,000 strong academic counterpart, University of Toronto.

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Student Blog – Sydney, Australia – Life Down Under

By Sibeal Wheatley

Hey guys – my name is Sibeal and I’m studying abroad for the year in Sydney, Australia.  I’m in my 3rd year in BESS, now taking single honours economics, and have wanted to go on exchange since I was in 6th year. To be quite honest, I didn’t put much thought into coming to Australia on exchange- in fact it was the only Australian university I had on my form. I think I just wanted to go somewhere far away, for a complete change of scenery and to challenge myself. By the time you finish second year you’re truly in your comfort zone, so feeling like a fresher all over again has been great fun, but also a bit daunting at times. I’ve been here for just over two months and will be writing a few blog posts over the coming year about my experiences down here. As this is my first post, I’ll write a little bit about my first impressions and what I’ve been up to so far.

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Museums in Dublin: a Few Highlights

By Jessica Murphy, Summer Study Abroad Blogger

My name is Jessica Murphy and I am a rising sophomore at Brown University from New York City. I am still not sure what I am majoring in—or as we call it, “concentrating”—but I am interested in fields ranging from international relations to development studies. In fact, I was initially drawn to the Brown/Trinity summer study abroad programme in Dublin because of my interest in political science. The possibility of studying contemporary international politics, participating in an internship, and living in a completely new country sounded like a remarkable opportunity. I am so glad that I decided to sign up, because it has truly exceeded my (already high) expectations! Dublin is a fascinating city with a rich and layered past, and I have really enjoyed learning and exploring every single day.

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From Southern California to Dublin: Culture Shocks and Assimilation – Coffee, Coins and Self-Deportation


By Allison Woodworth, Summer Study Abroad Blogger

“I cried,” my sister said, sheepishly admitting to getting emotional while listening to the “Outlander” soundtrack as she and her boyfriend drove through rural Ireland on their way to visit me in Dublin.  My sister and I grew up in suburban southern California, where the only sheep we saw on a regular basis was the puppet Lamb Chop and where nearby historic sites consisted of late 18th century Spanish Catholic missions. Where San Diego is dotted with palm trees and coastline, Dublin is blanketed in nature and history and rain. I mocked my sister’s emotions as an older sister should, but I couldn’t deny that Ireland was beautiful. Four weeks earlier, I’d found myself staring out the airplane window over Ireland and thinking that this surely embodied “picturesque”. I wasn’t quite sure if it was the 18 hour travel, the lack of sleep, the rabbits hopping around the runways, or the impeccable timing of an early morning arrival to catch my first Irish sunrise, but everything felt surreal.

My nine weeks in Dublin have been grand. I’ve learned to use a French press, broken a French press, almost been pancaked by bike and bus, claimed a couch in the Rathmines library as “my spot”, and was visited by Irish immigration (more on this later). I’ve enjoyed all my small culture shock moments because they personify both the fun and the difficulties of assimilation. Here are a few of my observations, experiences, and culture shock moments:

  • The Library: anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to hear that my “goals after landing” were listed as such: 1) sleep 2) find grocery allison_blog-1_photo-1store 3) locate local library. I was thrilled that the Rathmines public library was a short walk from our dorms. Andrew Carnegie funded construction of Ireland’s first public access library in 1913. Although the two story neo-Georgian building appears huge from the outside, it has a rather small, efficient layout. I did try to immediately sign up for a library card, but they insisted I be a resident or have a resident vouch for me. This was a huge disappointment – I collect library cards like some people collect shot glasses – but I compromised by reading shortallison_blog-1_photo-2 graphic novels and comics when I stopped off on my walk home from work before the closing gong around 8pm. Yes, closing gong. I’m not sure there is a PA in the library. Just before closing, the staff gives bangs a gong by the door to warn patrons to head out – or in my case to jump three feet off my seat in fright. Every time.

Photo 1 (above): Rathmines Library Gong

Photo 2 (left): Rathmines Library

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A modern look at an historic university.