Located in the heart of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin is the top-ranked university in Ireland, and it is among the top universities in the world. The stunning 47-acre campus offers stellar services and facilities to students, providing them with a vibrant and friendly environment in which to live, study and experience Ireland.  

SchoolApply had the opportunity to interview two students from Trinity College Dublin - Femi Falana, a 4th year student from Nigeria and Mohammed Saeed Al Shamsi, an 18 year old from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Here is what they had to say about their experiences at Trinity.

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Why Ireland?

Femi Falana is a 4th year student at Trinity College Dublin. He is originally from Nigeria, but moved to Ireland when he was 6 years old. He went to primary school at St. Patrick’s Boys National School in Mayo, Ireland and later enrolled in St. Gerald’s College in the same city for his secondary school education. Femi played basketball at school and was part of the team that came in third in the All Ireland Championships. He also took part in other sports and in his final year at school, he was a mentor to a group of first year students.    

Femi’s family moved to England after his graduation from secondary school, but he decided to stay in Ireland for his higher education. “I had fallen in love with the culture and the way of life. Trinity College is the top university in Ireland, so it was inevitable it would be the number one option in my application process. Also, being a small town boy, I really wanted to study in Dublin and experience the city life,” Femi says.

Choosing a Smaller City

Mohammed Saeed Al Shamsi is 18 years old and from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He studied in Abu Dhabi before going to Trinity College Dublin to complete the International Trinity Foundation Course. Mohammed had different reasons than Femi for choosing to attend Trinity College Dublin. “I came to Ireland because I wanted to be close to London and my siblings, but not IN London as I find the city too busy and crowded,” he says.

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What Are They Studying?

Trinity College Dublin offers over 400 undergraduate courses, and a wide range of world-class postgraduate opportunities to its students. The research-based teaching methods and renowned professors give students an academic experience steeped in the latest innovations, practical learning, and critical thinking.  

Femi is studying Engineering with Management because he always had an affinity for numbers, and enjoyed studying science subjects in school. “At the time of my application to Trinity, it was the only university offering an Engineering with Management degree and that is what I really wanted to pursue,” he says.“My favourite module is Engineering Design. We have this module every year and it consists of a group project where we have to design something. In the past years we had to design and build a 3D printed windmill, a robot that is aware of its surroundings and able to react accordingly, and a battleship game using Matlab code. I really enjoy this hands-on aspect of engineering.”

Mohammed is pursuing a degree in Business Economics and Social Studies (BESS). “I chose this degree because of my interests in business and economics; I enjoy environments where there are a lot of discussions on real world issues and relevant theories and I believe that the key to a profitable business is knowing the external factors that can affect its overall success,” he comments.

First Impressions

Femi tells us that from his first day at Trinity College, he felt an air of pride and prestige from the students at the school’s ranking as one of the top 100 universities in the world. He also comments on the camaraderie that exists on campus, “Some of my closest friends are the guys that I met on orientation day and the professors, staff and community are all very friendly.”

Mohammed says that one of the first things he noticed was Trinity’s beautiful, lively campus and how there were always events taking place for students. “The community embraces its student body and everyone is very welcoming. My first few days at Trinity were very exciting as there were parades and events being held throughout the city. On the first day of my foundation program, I felt a bit shy and out of place, but within a couple of weeks I gained confidence and really started enjoying my classes and professors,” he says.

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Adjusting to Dublin

Transitioning to a new life at university can be challenging for any student, but it is also a time for adventure, fun and new experiences. “The first few weeks adjusting to city life were interesting. I remember walking on O'Connell Street for the first time on my way to my Orientation Day and almost fainting from the large amount of people surrounding me on the street!” exclaims Femi.  

“Most people would say it’s hard adjusting to the weather in Ireland, but since I come from a place with lots of sun, I actually prefer Irish weather. My biggest problem was getting used to the long days of summer and the shorter days of winter, but with time it all became manageable,” Mohammed explains.

Outside the Classrooms

College life is not all about classes, reports and projects; the social aspect of university is equally important. In this regard, Trinity College Dublin offers many extracurricular activities to its students, starting with over 200 societies and clubs to join.

Femi, for instance, was elected President of the Afro-Caribbean Society for the 2016/2017 academic year. In this role, he has managed events such as ‘AfroJam’, a music concert showcasing local and international acts, and ‘Letters from The Motherland’, a discussion panel touching on topics such as cultural appropriation, slavery and the future for Africans.   

If sports are your interest, then students can follow in Mohammed’s footsteps and join a football league or one of the many other sports teams on campus.

Trinity College is also located in the heart of the capital city of Dublin, putting it in close proximity to shops, restaurants and entertainment from all around the world.

New Student Experience

Mohammed had only praise for the university’s orientation process. “The Foundation program really helps you adjust to college, and to Ireland as well. In the first two weeks, the administration helped us transition into our new lives by assisting us in setting up bank accounts and arranging accommodation for those who had not done so,” he says.

Regarding the academic experience, Mohammed notes that there is a heavy workload as would be expected from one of the world’s top universities. Although, he adds that the faculty and staff are very helpful, and are available if students need extra help or advice.

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School Strengths

“First of all, the university is the top university in Ireland and is in the top 100 in the world. I believe the university’s strengths lie in its location, its excellent facilities and its desire to be a diverse and culturally aware university,” says Femi.  “Attending Trinity College has taught me how to be responsible and how to take initiative.” he concludes.

Mohammed adds that Trinity College Dublin is an ideal place for international students. “They take care of their students by providing advice and guidance and it is wonderful to have a lot of international students on campus that can relate to your concerns and experiences,” he says.  

If you are interested in Trinity College Dublin, apply now!