In more ways than one, this semester was not anything like I had expected. Going into my semester abroad in Dublin, my biggest concerns consisted of figuring out public transportation, finding my way around a city I had never been to before, and navigating an entirely new school system. The potential of there being a global pandemic was certainly the last thing on my mind.
The middle of March is a blur to me. I was sitting in a pub on Camden Street on March 11th when the news hit that President Trump was banning travel of foreign nationals to the United States. Two days later, my study abroad program announced that they were shutting down all of their European study groups. Not two days after that, on March 15th, I was sitting in the Dublin airport with all of my belongings and a plane ticket that cost most of my savings (prices of tickets sky-rocketed after the travel ban was announced). The whole experience was completely surreal, as it only took four days for my time abroad to become completely unravelled.
Since then, I have been social distancing in my home in New York, attempting to make sense of my remaining month or so of online classes (just as all of my fellow Trinity students have been doing). I have never taken an online class, and have only been taught in a classroom setting, so as you might imagine this has been a time of major change and growth for me.
One resource that has been a saving grace to me, however, is my history tutor. Despite there being an ocean between us, she has been an incredible help to me and has been unwavering in her support. As she is a PhD candidate herself and has other students to tutor, her timely responses to my questions and genuine interest in how I’m holding up have not gone unnoticed, especially in a time when she has a lot on her plate, as well.
It is these relationships that, when I reflect back upon my time abroad, I will be forever grateful for. Even though my time in Dublin was cut in half, I will never forget the people that had a positive impact on my experience at Trinity, whether it was on the physical campus or from thousands of miles away.
January 7th, 2018: I am moving to Hong Kong tomorrow. I. Am. Moving. To. Hong. Kong. Tomorrow. I am moving to Hong Kong tomorrow. No matter how many times or different ways I say this to myself the reality of my upcoming relocation to the other side of the world tomorrow just won’t sink in. People keep asking me if I’m nervous, and the truth is not really. Perhaps if I could actually believe that this was happening to me then maybe I would be a little nervous. But for now, I am going to enjoy my serene state of mind. All the same, I really should start packing.
Hello! My name is Carina, a student from the University of California, Berkeley, and I’m currently studying at Trinity for the spring semester. I chose Trinity, and Dublin specifically, because of the “small-big city” vibe (much like my home city of Berkeley), the exceptional Trinity academics, and especially opportunities to travel all over Ireland and Europe! I have only been here a month, but already I love the history in Dublin, the endless beauty and quirkiness of the city, and the friendliness of the Irish people. I am lucky enough to have been able to travel to a different place in Ireland almost every weekend as well, so I wanted to share my experiences, to help any students uncertain about what to do while they’re here! Continue reading Top 8 places to check out during your first month in Ireland→
How is it already two weeks into my second semester at Trinity?! Time is flying by way faster than I would like it to and a lot has happened since my last post! I think it would be best to pick up at my trip to Amsterdam. The Saturday after my first semester classes ended a friend and I took a flight from Dublin to Amsterdam to meet up with my roommate, Lydie, as well as her friends from home. Here we had a blast, like any reasonable twenty-year-old would. For me, the highlight of the trip was spending a sunny day weaving in and out of the side streets and small parks, that are dotted across the city, on our rental bikes. Thanks to a foodie in the group who was determined to try as much traditional Dutch food as possible, we were able to indulge in ‘chips in a cone,’ olliebollen, poffertjes, and more delicious bites to eat. With adequate fuel, we wandered around a few colorful markets and checked out a variety of thoughtfully constructed museums. Two particular museums that I enjoyed, due to their intense content that forces visitors to unwittingly leave their superfluous thoughts and anxieties behind, were the Anne Frank Museum and the Museum of Prostitution in the Red Light District. Continue reading My Travels whilst attending Trinity→