By Sarada Symonds
Visiting Student Blogger
While living in a new country is a pretty exciting experience, you also have to somehow find the time to study. Even though you might have less homework, it’s better to start preparing for exams early, since they’re a huge part of your grade. If you’re like me and have lots of free time between classes, it’s important to find places around campus where you can block out distractions and focus on work. Here’s a few local spaces I found that were great for studying.
At first, I found Berkeley intimidating when I first arrived at Trinity for my semester abroad. It’s was much larger than the library at my home university, and it gets busy around the end of the semester. However, there’s tons of workspaces available, you have access to lots of research material, and it’s right on campus for your convenience. If you like having desk space, Berkeley has tons of options, from wide tables to small desks surrounded by partitions. It all depends on your study style. You can also book rooms for group study that include white boards and other materials. There’s tons of windows so you can study by natural light, and the Wi-Fi access is super quick and reliable.
- Third Space Smithfield
This is where I liked to study on the weekends, when the Berkeley and Hamilton Libraries were closed or the weather was bad. Many study abroad students might find accommodation off campus, and one popular place for students to stay is Binary Hub. On the days I didn’t feel like going to campus, Smithfield is just across the Liffey River from Binary Hub. Third Space is a coffee shop and lunch stop in Smithfield Square that offers free Wi-Fi. It can get crowded here sometimes, but if you don’t mind a little noise it’s a great place to work for a couple hours.
- The Global Room
Almost all my classes were on the east end of campus, while the Berkeley Library was on the west end. While it’s less than a 10-minute walk from one end of campus to the other, it can be inconvenient if you want to get some work done, don’t want to use the Hamilton, and you only have an hour between classes. The best solution for international students is to use the Global Room, which is located on the east end of campus in the Hamilton Building. The Global Room has some tables and couches that you can use, and it’s usually not that busy. It’s also quiet compared to some of the other places on this list. While it’s sometimes used for meetings or presentations, it’s still useful to have an option that’s closer to your classes, where you can use TCD Wi-Fi.
Ok, some people will probably say Costa Coffee is better, but it’s really up to your preference. Back at my home university, I used to study at Starbucks all the time, even though the coffee wasn’t that great. There are multiple Starbucks near campus (honestly, I won’t even bother counting), and they all offer a mix of seriously comfy couches and tables where you can work. The Starbucks in Ireland closely resemble the Starbucks in the United States, so it’s a good choice if you want to study in a familiar environment.
Honestly, when I’m working on a project, as opposed to taking notes or writing an essay, I prefer to work someplace more relaxed. One of the best places for this is Accents. It’s about ten minutes from campus, so it’s not as crowded with students during the day. Accents offers comfy chairs to sit in, and they’re open late if you like working at night. It can get somewhat loud in the evening, so it’s not for people who like working in quiet environments. I’ve also found the Wi-Fi here is more reliable than Starbucks, which gets slow during the day. Accents also has amazing hot chocolate for cold and rainy days.