Depending on your course, Trinity Professors (lecturers) might have very specific expectations from their students. In some cases, these expectations are explained in your course handbooks, so consulting those is a very important step in gaining a better understanding of what you need to do. In other cases, you might feel the need to go beyond the course handbook if you need more specific information. You can read more about how you can approach your lecturer or teaching assistant in our guide How to Study in Trinity: A Guide for International Students.
Advice from Professors
We asked some of Trinity’s lecturers for more general advice for their international students, and you can see how, in many cases, their recommendations can be used irrespective of the school or course you are studying in.
Connect with Support Services!
“Please let your tutor know if you need particular supports, it is important to connect with the various people who are here to help you!” Dr. Desmond Ryan, Director of Teaching and Learning (Undergraduate), School of Law
If you are not sure who your tutor is, you can find out here
Academic English can be a tough skill to master, but do not despair, there are solutions!
“I think the typical issues for foreign students tend to be about polishing their academic English and developing critical writing. One tip I suggest to quite a few students (local as well as international) is to identify the top journals in their field, select 1or 2 articles that they like or that have been strongly recommended, and read them for style rather than content - eg: use of language, structure, referencing, clarity of argument etc. Becoming a reviewer is quite a good way to improve one's own writing. Reading carefully can help with sentence structure as well, but international students often need more specialised help with grammar, vocabulary and proof-reading.” Ruth Torode, Social Work
Make the most of what Trinity has to offer!
“Try to make the most of the many extra-curricular opportunities open to students within College. Trinity College has over 130 societies and clubs, catering for all interests. Several societies cater specifically for Law students, such as the Law Society, the European Law Students’ Association and the College Branch of the Free Legal Advice Centre Ltd. Involvement in these is an excellent way to integrate into the student community, as well as to develop many of the skills that are important in your study of Law" Dr. Desmond Ryan, Director of Teaching and Learning (Undergraduate), School of Law
If you need to find out more information about clubs or societies and those that are specific to your discipline, you can visit the Central Societies Committee
What Students Say
During academic year 2014-2015 we asked a few international students what advice they would give to their peers who are preparing to start their academic life in Trinity. Here's what they had to say!
Go to orientation!
"I would encourage them to talk to people during the orientation week, almost everyone doesn't know anyone, so it's a very good chance to talk to someone, because I guess like even Irish students used to be lonely and don't know what's happening, so I think that's a really good chance to get to know Irish students and keep contact with them" (Japanese student)
"Do all the orientation activities because that's something that a lot of people think they don't really need, all that information, but whether they need that information or not, it's still a great way to meet people" (American student)
"Especially if you come from a country where everything is really really organized, you just have to let go of that sort of idea that everything is going to be organized and just relax, it will be done eventually and in the meantime, just don't worry about it" (Swiss student)
Get involved as much as possible...if you want!
"Do not be afraid to, because we are the new ones here and also, there are so many services here it's important for us to be, to have the courage to merge into this new environment so do not be afraid that maybe you're not from an English speaking country, people will understand so do not be afraid to talk in English and talk with people" (Chinese student)
"Get involved as much as possible in societies and try to take advantage of all the opportunities that there are in College, the clubs and sports and everything, I think it's the best way to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people...I wasn't aware of all the services...try to see what's out there and be more open minded than I was" (French student)
"Get involved definitely, that's one thing that I didn't do and I regret not doing" (Italian student)
"Pay attention to those notices through emails and pay attention to the posts on the walls yeah, just join the life here" (Chinese student)
Do your best...but be realistic!
"Academically, I'd say do your best, and when you get your first result you can actually work on it, because before you've written your first essay you can't really tell whether you're on the right track or not and you have time, your first essay if it's bad it doesn't really, it's not the end of the world" (Swiss student)
"Definitely try and not fall behind because for internationals if you fall behind it's twice as much work, so just try and keep ahead" (Italian student)
"Improving your English is like fighting yourself...if you try to study hard and speak hard you can improve English, and if you try to work on assignments very hard you will get very high scores" (Japanese student)
"Work up on the self-study because I feel like it's very vital" (Brazilian student)
Ask questions. Ask for help!
"Don't hesitate to ask things because here they are really nice, even if they don't have the answer, they will always try to find a solution, so sometimes it's a bit frustrating because you don't have the answer when you ask the questions, but don't give up, insist to have the answer and just relax maybe, at the beginning you feel like everything is going wrong, but actually then it's OK" (French student)
"I would say be open, be open to people and to experiences and always ask for help, don't be confident in yourself in terms of "I can do it myself", because when you ask for advice you can do it yourself but you can do it better, so either the possibility for a piece of advice, for a hand and shoulder to support you, always take this possibility, you will always win with the help of this...so take whatever opportunity you can, take whatever piece of advice you are offered, just absorb from everywhere, absorb" (Russian student)
Erasmus and visiting students...
"Start picking your modules early, look into other departments because I found a lot of good modules in other departments...and check your sources, really pick your modules and don't be afraid to ask because usually people here are pretty friendly and they usually answer your questions" (Brazilian student)
"Contact the department personally...if they have special needs in terms of research...maybe contact the people, it's not that hard to find out who is the contact...if they need to make some progress with their work they have to make sure they will be able to do that" (Czech student)