Pavel is one of our US students who is in his final year in Trinity. Here he lets us know about his experience of studying Law at Trinity, one of our Top 10 Courses.
Your name: Pavel Rozman
Where you’re from in the US: Philadelphia
Your year of study: Fourth year
Your programme of study / course: Law, LL.B
What made you decide to study your course at Trinity?
My mom was born and raised in Dublin, so anytime we were over visiting family we stopped by Trinity. It’s as central to the city as possible, and just gorgeous to walk through. I applied and when I got in, a high school teacher of mine asked me: “Will you regret passing on this incredible opportunity to go to the same state schools everyone else is?” I didn’t pass on that opportunity and I couldn’t be happier here. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Professionally speaking the advantages it puts me at are incredible. I’m able to be a lawyer in the EU or Ireland/UK or the United States all for the time and price it would take most students to get only their undergraduate degree.
What, if anything, was the most challenging thing about moving to Ireland to study?
I got very homesick, I struggled to find close friends or get involved, and I was really jealous of the things I saw my American friends doing. There’s obviously some latitude depending on who you are. Lots of American students at Trinity instantly thrive, for me it took a while but I’m definitely very happy now. Looking back, I think a lot of this was my own mind set heading into it. You have to fully grasp the magnitude of an picking up an 18 year old who’s never lived away from home and placing them in a new country 3000 miles away from home. It’s a huge, huge step and at the time I honestly don’t think I was ready for it. But I stuck it out, and I’m so glad I did. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t take the leap. Missing my home, parents, friends, country made me so much more appreciative of my blessings, and into the person I am today.
How did you overcome the challenge?
Time mainly, perseverance as well. By second year my friend group began to form and get close. I found a society I could really invest my time into. My studying became more serious and focussed. I found places to get foods from home, and watch American TV, and get involved with my culture through sport while abroad. I stopped worrying about what my American friends were posting on Facebook, and started worrying about making the most of my opportunities in Ireland.
What aspect / module of your course have you enjoyed studying the most so far and why?
I’ll never take a math class; I will never have an intro to English class. Every day I wake up and I learn about the law right here in the city where most of the legislation is written, most of the cases are decided. I get to dig into such a deep level of discussion with professors and peers about a subject I truly care about learning and devoting myself to. The professors here are world class. They know their subject inside and out, often times writing the leading textbook on it: being a foremost expert in their discipline, and often times a practicing lawyer or politician in addition. Despite this, any one of them would take time out of their day to meet with you, to talk to you about what you’re studying or not understanding or how to improve your time at college.
If you had one piece of advice to any other students about to start your course in Trinity what would it be?
Get ready to deal with a lot. Moving to a foreign country, and studying a foreign country’s law is a big, but rewarding decision. Resist the urge to be worried if you have no idea what you’re supposed to be learning or reading or writing: nobody else really knows what they’re doing either. Go to your lectures and explain clearly that you don’t understand something or you’re struggling with the style of essay. The professors are very accommodating and absolutely want to see you succeed: take advantage of that incredible generosity.
What is your favourite thing about Dublin?
It’s a great balancing of juxtapositions. Every other block is a 500 year-old building, or a brand new cutting edge tech company. It’s modern and ancient, fast and slow, bursting with things to do. There’s mountains and rivers and parks to escape to but also dense urban blocks packed with so much culture. It’s radically different in every way from most American cities, but the longer I’ve lived here the more I wish American cities were more like Dublin. Capital city aside, Ireland is such a regional diverse nation. You could spend every weekend in a different county and still not see everything there is to offer. And then when you check out of the home sod, jet off to mainland Europe for literal pennies via low cost airlines, slum it in a hostel and travel like a true European. See France, Norway, Scotland, in a week. There’s absolutely nothing like how accessible the city is to the rest of the world. Everything you could want it here.
What three words would you use to describe Trinity to someone who’s never been here?
Beautiful. Pleasant. Home.