Studying abroad can be a great way to give students an incredibly enriching experience they won’t get anywhere else. Could one of the many exciting global opportunities be the right fit for you? I interviewed representatives from Trinity College Dublin, the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the University of Sydney, Australia to give you a sample of some different opportunities around the world to consider.
Trinity College Dublin
First up we had Sarah Dillworth from Trinity to walk us through their process and what you can expect if you choose to study there.
“Trinity is located right in the very city centre, the heart of Ireland’s capital city. We have been around for over 400 years, founded in 1592. Today we are a research intensive university so all of our professors are active researchers in their fields, and all undergrads do complete a capstone research project their final year of study.
When you apply to Trinity, you apply to a particular course meaning you essentially choose your major at application stage. So that’s a big difference between a school in Ireland versus most universities in the US.”
The application process is different as well. “Our application will open the first week of November and is accessed directly through our website. So we’re not on the Common App or anything like that; we do have our own application.”
With 50 different sports and clubs to join, 100 countries represented on the student body and a “global room” on campus dedicated to supporting international students, Trinity could be the perfect fit for the US student who is focused on a field of research and interested in gaining a global perspective!
If three or four years abroad seems a bit overwhelming, there are some unique programs that allow you to combine your study overseas with your study here at home.
Trinity has a dual degree program with Columbia University. “This entails students spending their first two years on Trinity’s campus and then year three and four would be spent on Columbia’s campus in New York City.”
To find out more about subjects of study and student life, watch Sarah’s presentation.
University of Sydney
Next we heard from Chris Lawrance of the University of Sydney, Australia.
Chris plugged the beautiful beaches and warm weather as a main appeal for US students to come to Sydney.
“At Christmas, you can be sending photographs of yourself to your friends playing beach cricket, having a beer with the blazing sun above you while they’re shoveling snow somewhere. If that doesn’t make them jealous, nothing will.”
Just like Trinity, you’ll be applying to a specific program at the University of Sydney.
“You apply to one program. We expect you to know what you want. From semester one, day one you’re studying what you want to study.”
This is great news for the students who say to me, “As long as I never have to take another math class…”
Student life includes many sports and clubs, including American Football, but Political Science majors will be interested to know that politics is “the most brutal contact sport at the University of Sydney.
We’ve produced seven Prime Ministers which is the equivalent of an American University producing seven Presidents, which none ever has. If you’re wanting to get into politics, it’s a great place to do that but be aware: it is not a gentle process.”
For more information about studying at the University of Sydney, admission requirements and how the school year is different, see Chris’ full presentation here.
University of St. Andrews
John Wells of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland focused on the uniqueness of campus life, the academic structure and admissions at St. Andrews.
“St. Andrews is a town of about 20,000 with a 10,000 student university so it brings a different kind of environment in that we are really in a campus town… so you’ll have campus buildings and private residences right next to each other with bookstores and pubs and grocery stores.
It’s the kind of place where if you step out of your residence and you walk three blocks down the street, you will probably see at least 10 people that you know. For some students, that’s ideal.”
If you’re liking the sound of that, you might also want to know that St. Andrews allows for an immersive academic experience as well.
“The focus of the academic structure is a lot more about depth in your subject area than the US system, which tends to focus a lot more on breadth of study and knowledge…Generally, if you’re doing history, you can’t take biology…and biology students don’t take history courses.
I usually get kind of approving smiles from both the biology majors and the history majors when I tell them that.”
Similar to Trinity’s dual degree program, St. Andrews has a Joint Degree Programme with William & Mary in the U.S.A. “The university to which you apply and where you complete your first year is your home university. The one at which you complete your second year is your host university.”
Splitting your education between two campuses like that can make expanding your global horizons feel a little less daunting.
John shared some interesting details about student life and traditions, academic qualifications and how to apply so check out his presentation for more on that as well.
Has this sample of the many opportunities out there enticed you to learn more about studying overseas? I’ve helped several students find their international fit and I can tell you that for the student who is focused on what they want to study and feels they would enjoy living abroad, it’s an awesome opportunity.
If that sounds like you, book a call with us. Finding your fit overseas might be more approachable than you think!