Audrey is one of our international students from the US. Here she lets us know about her experience of studying European Studies at Trinity, one of our Top 10 Courses.
Your name: Audrey Williams
Your year of study: 2nd Year
Your programme of study/ course: European Studies
What made you decide to study your course at Trinity?
When I was a senior in high school, my sense of adventure persuaded me to apply to Trinity, and my enchantment with the university and the charming city of Dublin when I visited induced me to stay. I liked how broad my course is, and it has allowed me to study a wide range of topics – French, Spanish, politics, history, economics, sociology, and philosophy. I found my course’s mandatory year of study abroad to be appealing as well – and next year I will be studying abroad at Sciences Po in Paris – one of the world’s most renowned universities for political science! As travelling is perhaps my all-time favourite thing to do, it worked out perfectly that Dublin is a great base to travel around Ireland and, thanks to Ryanair, Europe. Besides seeing most of Ireland on road trips with my family and going to friends’ houses, I have visited London, Edinburgh, Berlin, Brussels, Lisbon, Strasbourg, Oslo, Vienna, Salzburg, Krakow, and Warsaw.
What, if anything, was the most challenging thing about moving to Ireland to study?
Of course, it was difficult to move so far away from home, and in a completely new country to boot. Not being able to go home on the weekends, dealing with the immigration process, and opening a new bank account were all added complications that my friends at American universities did not have to face. However, it was all worth it, and going to Trinity has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
If you had one piece of advice to any other students about to start your course in Trinity what would it be?
If I had to give one piece of advice to any student about to start studying at Trinity, it has got to be: get involved in societies!! This, I believe, is what makes Trinity truly unique – the social life is almost completely run by the students and we achieve some pretty incredible things. There is such a wide range of societies and sports clubs – the French Society, the DU Gender Equality Society, DU Snowsports, the Environmental Society, the Investor Society – there is really something for everyone.
If I had to pin it down to one thing, the student societies, and the amazing people I have met through my involvement in them, are what have made my experience here so special. For example, as the Debates & Exchanges Convener of the French Society, I planned and executed an exchange trip between our society and a university in Brussels, where myself and fourteen other students went over to Brussels for four days in October, and they did the same in January!
I am also the Public Relations Officer of the Society for International Affairs (SOFIA), where I direct social media outreach, invite ambassadors and other guests to speak to our society, and organize events. I have organized the visits of many high profile diplomats speaking to our society, including the Mexican, Russian, Swedish, and Vatican Ambassadors, as well as events surrounding the refugee crisis, the Ebola outbreak in Africa, and more.
I’ve gotten to do so many other cool things – see my heroine Amy Poehler give a talk to the University Philosophical Society, give a chamber debate on the motion ‘This House Would Support Hillary Clinton’ in front of hundreds of people, and get involved in the Trinity Students’ Union’s Body & Soul Campaign–a week long campaign directed at promoting high self esteem, mental health, and positive body images on campus. There have been so many advantages to coming to Trinity, and if I had to do the whole process over again I wouldn’t change a thing!