A Day In the Life of a Study Abroad Student at Trinity

By Danielle Dailey, Michaelmas Term 2019 Study Abroad Student, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Before I came to Trinity, I was eager to find out what my “new normal” would be like. How would be my walk to uni? Would I enjoy my classes? What sorts of clubs would I join, and what kind of friends would I make? While everyone’s experience at Trinity will differ (as it should!), here’s an inside look at what a regular day looked like for me.

7:30 AM: Time to hit the snooze button a couple of times until I can get myself out of bed to get ready for the day. I’ve found that Trinity students can be pretty fashion forward, so I’ve enjoyed this time abroad to branch out from my typical way of dressing for class. Since I’m usually in a rush in the morning, my go-to breakfast is porridge, which you can find for super cheap in Dublin! (pro-tip: Lidl has a bag of oats big enough to last you for the term for just €1)

8:20: Leave for class. I live in a student accommodation in the Liberties, so I’ll usually just walk to school (save for when the Irish rain hits), and it takes about 20 minutes. If you walk to school, you’ll notice there are a lot more tourists to dodge as weekenders are visiting the city on Fridays and Mondays.

9:00: First class of the day! One thing I’m grateful for here is that they don’t (as far as I know) have any 8 AM classes, so this is the earliest you will have to get to campus. My first class is an Urban Geography Module titled “Cities, Space, and Culture”. One of my favorite things about my classes here are the new perspectives they encourage me to take on.

11:00: First class of the day, completed! Don’t worry if your schedule seems completely full, class will typically end about 10 minutes early to leave students time to get to their next module. Also for two hour classes, your professor will typically give you a small break in the middle (this was something I was worried about!)

11:15: I will usually spend this time meeting up with friends and getting some other schoolwork done while I wait for my next class. The Arts Block has tons of chairs and tables and is the perfect spot to catch up with friends or do some readings for class.

12:00: Time for my next class! This is a history module called Early Christian Ireland, and I would definitely recommend it if you want to learn more about medieval Ireland. It is a large class in a lecture hall, and has a few discussions throughout the end of the term as well.

1:00: Time for lunch! If I’m treating myself, I’ll buy lunch at The Buttery; Trinity’s very own restaurant on campus. They are known for their budget friendly meals and are definitely worth trying. But with a student budget, I will usually just bring a packed lunch. (Pro Tip: there are microwaves in the Student Union kitchen in House 6 that you can use!)

2:00: After lunch I’ll typically try to be productive for a couple hours. Although I’m a bit hesitant to give this away, my favorite study spot on campus has become the Usher Library. If you head up a few flights, there are tons of desks overlooking College Park through large glass windows, making it the perfect spot for a quiet work environment and to get some natural light.

5:00: Time to hit the gym! All Trinity students have access to the gym, which has everything you would need for your workout, as well as a pool and sauna. The gym also has a rock climbing wall and fitness classes that you can take part in for a small additional fee. 

6:00: By this time, I usually start to head home for the day unless something is going on on campus that I want to stick around for. For me, this has included Study Abroad Mixers, going for a drink at the student bar during Pav Fridays, taking part in the Food and Drink Society cocktail making class, seeing my friends performance from the DU Players, attending a Phil Debate, and so much more. There are so many clubs and societies at Trinity, you are bound to find one that you enjoy!

6:20: My walk home is usually my favorite part of the day! I usually try to walk a different way home every so often, just to soak up the Dublin atmosphere and see new bits of the city.

7:00: Time to make dinner! My favorite low-cost (and low effort) student meals include stir fry, cheese on toast (with some onion chutney if you’re feeling extra fancy), spaghetti bolognese, and roasted potatoes with veggies.

8:30: Around this time my friends and I will usually head to a bar or pub! Some of our favorites have included Sophies, No Name Bar, Flannery’s, and Wheelan’s.  

10:30: Some nights we will go from the pub to a club night, and I am especially fond of the ones that Trinity Ents puts on. It’s a great way to meet other Trinity students, as well as experience more of the “Uni life” here. Some of my favorite club nights this term have been at Dtwo, Copper Face Jacks, and Dicey’s. 

The best thing about coming to study abroad at Trinity is that you get to decide what your experience will be like. So don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet, you won’t regret it.

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