My Experience in Trinity’s Legislative Internship Program

My Experience in Trinity’s Legislative Internship Program

Connecticut State Capitol

This semester, I am taking part in Trinity’s Legislative Internship Program. This is a full- or part-time program that places students with Connecticut state legislators. I’m doing the program part-time, and I get to spend my days at the Connecticut State Capitol and Legislative Office Building. I applied to the program last semester, and 14 students were given the opportunity to be interns this year, most of whom are majoring in political science or public policy and law. The program is selective, and the application process was somewhat long and a bit stressful, considering that I applied during finals. However, in the end everything worked out, and thanks to Trinity I am gaining unforgettable work experience and learning so much about local and state politics.

The job of an intern at the State Capitol might sound like easy work, since one would assume this is regular office jobs. Sure you have to make copies, file stuff, and do other tasks that might seem tedious,  but there is so much more than that. For starters, as an intern you get see some of the meetings that happen behind closed doors between legislators. You get to attend hearing and forums regarding legislation that directly impacts all state residents. Furthermore, you get to meet so many interesting and nice people that care about the state of Connecticut.

I am currently working for the Senate Majority Leader, Bob Duff. I can truly say that this has been an unforgettable experience. I have seen how Senator Duff meets with people and interacts with the public. In addition, I have learned on how he fights for legislation that he thinks is important. This is legislation that will help the people of Connecticut, as well as towns like Norwalk and Darien, which are the towns within his district. He has definitely taught me a lot about government and how much time and dedication public service requires. Since Connecticut has a part-time state legislature, Senator Duff drives all the way from his district, which can be almost an hour a day with traffic. Every day he comes into the office ready to talk to people that are interested in passing legislation that can help Connecticut.

However, the internship is not done once I step out of the Capitol. As part of the Trinity Legislative Internship program, we have to analyze and study all of the politics that happen within the Connecticut State Capitol. Every Tuesday evening, from 6:30 to 9:00, all of the interns meet for a seminar. We have readings assigned, and we also have to type weekly analytical reports that relate to legislation and or issues that our assigned legislators are facing. Furthermore, we have to give an update on what we did during the week and explain are our current projects within the Capitol.

I would recommend this program to any student who is interested in working in the government or politics. You get an exclusive look at how state government operates, what it takes to create legislation—including what happens behind closed doors and the debates that rage on over specific legislation that you might care about. This of course is great work experience and will give you an edge if you plan to go into this field. For this reason, I urge students interested in politics to apply.

My Experience Studying Abroad in Ireland

My Experience Studying Abroad in Ireland

Like many of my fellow juniors at Trinity, I have decided to study abroad this semester, so hello from Ireland! Since I’ve been in this new country for almost three months, I thought I’d reflect a bit on my time here so far. I’ve learned a lot about navigating a new country, a university environment, and how to make the most of my travel budget.

Life While Studying Abroad in Ireland

The School

The university I’m currently studying at is University College Dublin, or UCD. UCD is about 15 times the size of Trinity in terms of student population. So that’s something I have definitely been having to get used to. There’s people everywhere all the time! At Trinity I really only feel crowded on campus when classes end and people make their way to their next class or the library or Mather or wherever. Here, there’s 30,000 people who study here so there’s always a crowd of people around. UCD also isn’t directly in the city center like Trinity College Dublin (no affiliation) is, which is nice because it doesn’t feel like a tourist destination. We get a lot of the benefits of living in a city without a lot of the downsides.

The Classes

Irish classes are different than American, or at least Trinity, classes. First off we have to take 6 classes per semester. The normal class load at Trin is 4-5 classes. And there are different amounts of class time in each class (which are called modules) here. Usually most classes will have 1 lecture and 1 seminar/tutorial per week. Lectures can be huge, with up to 200 people. Seminars (also known as tutorials) are much smaller, usually around 15-25 people. But not all classes follow these rules. I have classes that have 2 lectures and 1 seminar, 3 seminars and no lectures, or just 1 seminar and no lectures per week. At Trinity, there are either seminars or lectures, and they meet 2-3 times a week, at the same time. The 3 seminars a week class meets at different times on different days; the two lectures and a seminar class has different meeting times and places for the lectures. This might sound really complicated, but trust me, you do get used to it. Nearly all classes here are 50 minutes and almost no one has class on Fridays, which leaves lots of time for weekend travel to different parts of Europe.

The City

Exploring Dublin
Exploring Dublin

I feel like Hartford has prepared me pretty well for living in Dublin and UCD is kind of like Trinity because it’s not located quite downtown but is still close enough to go into the city very easily. Dublin is obvious much larger than Hartford but it’s not as big as other cities like London or Paris. It’s very easy to get around with the bus and tram system (called the LUAS but pronounced like Lewis) and suburbs like the coastal town of Howth and Blackrock are just a short ride away. I didn’t know much about Irish history before coming here but taking classes on this subject and just living in Dublin has taught me a ton about medieval Ireland, colonized Ireland, and modern Ireland.

How to Study Abroad on a Budget: Travelling

Like many students studying abroad, I want to get the most of my time here and travel all over the country and across Europe. However, even on this continent, those things cost money (Euros specifically). I quickly realized this and, three months in, thought I’d share some things I find useful to get the most of your time here without spending the most.

Save save save!

I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to save up, even just for a semester abroad. I’d recommend saving as soon as you know you want to study away. For me, I have had quite a few jobs on campus and a paid internship this past semester, so I was able to save up a sizeable amount. I also cut a few things out while I was still on campus in the fall that would I know I would be grateful for in the long run. For example, I often told myself I could either get a coffee from Goldbergs in Vernon Social now or a coffee from a local vendor in Paris in a few months.

Make a list of your top places to visit

This semester is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go tons of places I probably won’t be able to see again, at least not for a long time. My friends and I wanted to go everywhere in Europe but quickly realized we only have a certain number of weekends. So we made a list of everyone’s top place to visit and narrowed in down to a few, plausible cities and started planning from there. It’s not possible to go everywhere you want to but make a point of going to your most dreamed about

Shop around

It’s good to have a general idea of when you want to go to certain cities but be open to change. Some weekends are much cheaper than others (for example, the last Sunday of each month, the Vatican Museum in Rome is free) so start planning early to get the cheapest flights possible. Also be aware than the more popular the season, the more expensive—and crowded—a city is going to be. Look on sites that compare multiple vendors, like Kayak or Sky Scanner for flights and Hostelworld for hostels.

Get creative

Maybe late Thursday evening is the cheapest flight you can find but also be aware the extra night you’d have to spend on a hostel. Sometimes the cheapest options turn out to cost you more money. You don’t have to fly home with the same airline you initially flew with. Different airlines have different prices! Also don’t rely on hostel to be the cheapest places to stay. Generally, they will be but you’d be surprised at the prices of some Airbnb rentals and even some hotels (although do your homework if you want to stay at an Airbnb!).

Postcards!

Postcards are a super, super cheap souvenir that are easy to carry and show where you’ve been. Most postcards are less than 80 cent and much smaller than a t-shirt or snowglobe and can be mailed home easily.

Travel within the country

Yeah, Amsterdam and London are cool but have you seen the Peace Wall in Belfast? Or the Cliffs of Moher and Galway? One of the first things my program here stressed was the beauty of Ireland and suggested we not spend every weekend on the continent. We haven’t and I’m glad we did. The Irish countryside is stunning and Dublin is a bustling city full of a vibrant culture. I love learning about Irish history through experience and it’s much cheaper to spend a day in Cork and kiss the Blarney Stone than flying for three days to Prague and spend money on a hostels and nice meals. There must be a reason you chose to study in a certain country so go explore it!

Of course, I’m writing from the point of view of a European study abroad experience. Different countries have different exchange rates and different prices, so I’d highly recommend researching as much as possible ways to save money in the country you’d like to study in but I hope these few tips have helped at least a bit.

The Film Community at Trinity College

The Film Community at Trinity College

I always knew I wanted to be a film major ever since I was in middle school. I grew up watching movies from all eras, all qualities, and all languages. Film has been one of my favorite hobbies for such a long time. When I was in high school, I even made my own movies. Therefore, when I was seeking colleges, I knew that film would have to be a big part. Well, I am glad that I came to Trinity because Trinity can boast of a vibrant film community.

The film community begins with taking film classes. Here you will meet many students that are already film majors, or students that are interested in film as a major. I would recommend taking many production classes because those can be very time consuming, so its best to get them out of the way if you are planning to become a film major. The production classes allow you to meet people who love movies as much as you do. Furthermore, the film production classes allow you to get hands on experience using high quality equipment such as DSLR cameras or high-end audio equipment. This all becomes more fun when you start learning with some of your friends and eventually start making movies for class together. Finally, another reason why film studies is a great major is because its simply fun! You get to make movies about anything you want. You get to meet interesting people who are currently working in the industry. Finally, you make great friends that spend most of the time with you talking about movies. For this reason, I think that film studies should always be considered as a potential major.

Trinity also has an on-campus movie theater called, Cinestudio. How many other colleges can say that? Students that love film often volunteer to sell tickets, or manage the theater, making sure that everything runs smoothly. This movie theater is open to the public and often you will see people from outside Trinity come to enjoy movies with students. Trinity students along with other college students get discount tickets to the movies. However, if you volunteer, you actually get rewarded with free movie tickets for you and your friends. Overall, this is a great place to enjoy watching movies and meet other people that enjoy watching movies, too. Volunteer here if you definitely love movies.

What about discussing film? Well theory classes actually offer a platform for discussion. The film professors are very engaging and some of the most fun people you will meet at Trinity. They know so much about the history and theory of film and their classes are always interesting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch a movie every week and then talk about it? For example, last semester I took a film theory class where we saw a James Bond movie. After the class, I did not expect to know so much about psychoanalytic theory and all the things that go into making a James Bond movie. Some professors also assign movies that are shown at Cinestudio for class assignments! How about having class in an old fashioned movie theater?

The Trinity College library can boast of one of the best collections of films from all over the world. You can check the DVDs out and watch them in one of the many rooms that have a projector or TV within the library. Many of the Criterion Collection DVDs are here, and of course all film lovers love the Criterion Collection. Therefore, try watching a movie in the library with your friends. Bring popcorn, and I guarantee you can have fun.

Finally, one of the best things about the film community at Trinity is the Trinity Film Festival. This is an annual event where undergraduate students from all over the country submit 10 minute films to the festival that are then judged by celebrity judges from the film industry. There is a red carpet rolled out for this event and after the screenings of the films there is a black-tie reception where all the filmmakers get dressed up and are awarded prizes for their films. The event is open to the public. This year, the Film Festival will be held on May 5, 2018 at 5 pm. Hope to see you there!

Housing at Trinity College

Housing at Trinity College

One of the wonderful things about Trinity is that students are able to live right on campus all four years. Living on campus allows students to be involved in many different groups and activities without having to go very far. It also creates a fun, intimate and engaging environment right here on campus that makes Trinity a great place to be.

Because Trinity’s dorms are all unique, we asked a few students to talk about their rooms on campus and highlight some of the perks of on-campus housing. Here’s what they said!

Brendan Clark – Class of 2021

What do you like about living on campus?

Living on campus means that you are connected with your peers in a more personal way. Rather than having to coordinate times to come to campus to study or catch up, you can simply walk to their room. Further, living communally prepares you for those essential tasks of life which will become a feature of adulthood: cleaning and laundry. 

What is your favorite part about living in your dorm?

Having a single. You get privacy and the ability to sequester yourself from society when you must get something done, while also having the benefit of still hosting friends and inviting them over for evening discourses. In addition, being able to have space (especially for my wardrobe of suits) makes it all the better. 

Where is your favorite place to live on campus?

As a first-year, I have not had much experience yet with other housing options. I have enjoyed living in Funston because I like being close to Summit Street and it is quieter on this part of campus. As for the future, I have applied to live in the Fred, as the atmosphere with an emphasis on community is something that I find attractive. 

What makes your room unique?

My room reflects my love of antiquities and times gone by. Oil paintings, including a rendition of Renoir’s The Apple Seller and smaller vignettes in the manner of Fragonard, convey my love of Romantic and impressionist works. Further, a small sampling of my collection of tomes on history and law reflect my academic passions. 

Is there anything else you would like incoming students to know about housing?

My experience as a first-year has been great! I had a fabulous experience with my pre-orientation group (Hartford Highlights), which exposed me to many of the fun activities and opportunities available to me. I have also learned to use the Bantam Network as a resource for many events with other organizations I am involved with. As an SGA Senator, I and my fellow class officers worked extensively with the Trinsition Fellows to plan a First-Year Ball. Also, in my work with Admissions as an Overnight Coordinator I have consulted with the Trinsition Fellows to identify potential student hosts.

Brooke LePage – Class of 2019

What do you like about living on campus?

I like not having to find parking everyday, the ease with which I can walk to class, the gym, the library, meetings, etc, the ability to attend all campus events 

What is your favorite part about living in your dorm?

My own room, huge rooms, proximity to Goldbergs, proximity to the going out scene/ trivia, AC, proximity to two parking lots 

Where is your favorite place to live on campus?

Cook- the location is incredible also they have really cute fireplaces, arched doorways, and views. 

What makes your room unique?

The size. Vernon singles are some of the biggest on campus. It’s also one of two dorms that has air conditioning. 

Francisco Chang – Class of 2019

What do you like about living on campus?

I really like that I can see my friends wherever and whenever. It is nice that I can hang out with them really late into the night and then my bed is nothing but a short walk away from their rooms. Living on campus really provides a strong sense of independence and freedom. You also never have to worry about parking or being late anywhere because you live close to everything.

What is your favorite part about living in your dorm?

The best part about Goodwin is the location. As the most central location on campus, everything is super close. The library is right next to the dorm so you can stay in the library until 2 AM and your bed will be waiting there. In addition you are never late to class because all of the classes are located close to it and you never have to walk too far when it is snowing or raining. In addition, the views are priceless since the Long Walk is right next to it.

Where is your favorite place to live on campus?

Goodwin and Cook are my favorite because of their location. Again, nothing really beats those views. During the Spring, its nice to stay with your windows open and yell at friends to come into your room to hang out. Its the best location.

What makes your room unique?

My room is unique because its decorated with various movie posters. My favorite one has to be the biggest one right above my bed which is a poster of my favorite movie Drive (2011). I like that the window is big and allows so much light to come in.

Hadjj Mare – Class of 2018

What do you like about living on campus?

I really love how close all of my friends are. We are all in a small space and can really interact with each other with a quick walk to the dorms.

What is your favorite part about living in your dorm?

That I have a kitchen! I can finally buy groceries and stay in and have dinner if I feel like it.

Where is your favorite place to live on campus?

Crescent without question

What makes your room unique?

My room is a little odd because I designed it without having a lot on the walls but just a mirror with stickers on it. I feel like that’s enough of a decoration without having to do much.

Is there anything else you would like incoming students to know about housing?

Just enjoy it and take advantage of the close quarters with friends because this only lasts for 4 years haha!

Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Trinity Days on Campus

Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Trinity Days on Campus

Although Trinity Days is a time in which many people go home or travel for the long weekend, it is also a pretty special time to spend on a much quieter campus. Whether you are here for sports or just staying, the often overlooked opportunities and ventures available around campus make for wonderful weekend plans for both those looking to relax and those seeking activity.

Not only does the holiday weekend seem to fall at the most perfect time each semester but whether you are home or staying on campus, the break serves as the chance to get ahead on work and get a much needed mental reset. It is hard to not get caught up in a whirlwind of work during the semester, so the chance to re-balance your sleep schedule is crucial during this time. Similarly, if you are one to get overwhelmed by course assignments during the school week, this four day weekend is the perfect opportunity for you to get caught up on your work so that you can return to the semester more comfortable and confident. The beautiful library at Trinity College is the perfect environment to do so, with its calming natural light and even more available seating in light of the holiday! My personal favorite area of the library, aside from Peter B’s (the student run coffee shop) of course, is on the second floor by the tennis courts overlooking the chapel and the sports fields. The plethora of windows allow for a surplus of light to come in, and the large tables are perfect for spreading out your work materials. But no matter where you find yourself in the library, there is always a comfortable place to be the true academic weapon you know you can be.

If you are someone who is looking more to relax during the long weekend, Hartford can help. Despite it being a bustling city, the surrounding areas of Hartford offer a great variety of restaurants, services and outings that can get you both off campus and refreshed. For example, if a good meal is what you are looking for, look no further than the restaurants and shops just down Broad Street. If you travel just a half mile or so off campus you’ll eventually come to an industrial looking square that actually is home to one of Hartford’s best restaurants, Firebox Kitchen. Firebox is a cool, local restaurant that has great food and a great ambiance. Even better, you can feel good about eating there too because Firebox has helped support the local youth and adult workforce of the surrounding communities. West Hartford also has some amazing restaurants to get lost in, such as Barcelona, Averte, Max’s Oyster Bar and more. If you are looking for something a little bit more chill, the plethora of more casual dining options such as Chipotle, Bruggers Bagels, Robek’s Juice Bar, and Hartford Baking Company are all great places to get something to eat without the wait. Additionally, the upstairs seating area in Hartford Baking Co. makes it the perfect place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while reading a good book or doing some work. If you are looking more along the lines of true relaxation during the break, then West Hartford is also a great place to book a massage, get a manicure/pedicure, or catch a yoga or another group exercise class.

If instead you want to do something a little bit more adventurous during your break, then Hartford can help once again. Hartford is a perfectly walk-able city where you can find all sorts of parks, arts venues, museums, and hiking trails.

How to Get Invovled on Campus and Surprise Both Yourself and Your Parents

How to Get Invovled on Campus and Surprise Both Yourself and Your Parents

Upon entering my second semester of my sophomore year here at Trinity, I’ve gradually become more accustomed and familiarized with all of the broad-reaching opportunities this college offers its students both on and off campus. Especially for a student such as myself who struggled with homesickness much of my first semester of my freshmen year, getting involved and keeping myself preoccupied was one of the best things that I could have done to get myself over the homesickness hump. Despite it being overwhelming at first, the campus involvement fair, held every semester, was a great way to explore what the college had to offer and how I could get involved in something that personally interested me. I remember walking through the doors into the Mather Washington Room and being immediately engulfed in a sea of tables and fliers, all backed behind students enthusiastically cooing you to sign up for their club. The fair has everything from Investment Club to Puppy Club, with a series of clubs and organizations that could deem attractive to almost anyone. Looking to join a sports team at school but not exactly sure if you could handle the commitment of a collegiate sport? Look no further than the numerous club sports Trinity offers such as tennis, lacrosse, hockey, soccer etc. Sports aren’t your thing? Not to fear, there are a series of volunteer clubs and organizations connected with the school such as Best Buddies, Big Brother Big Sister, Relay for Life and more. Even if you are looking for a more chill club environment, artistic and musical clubs such as The Mill on campus and the event planning Barnyard Committee serve as a great way to get yourself involved in something that may taper more to your interest.

Another great thing about Trinity College is the availability of on-campus jobs for students. For many students, keeping themselves busy with a paying job can be a much-appreciated bonus. If you were looking for more of an office job on campus, a job in either admissions or career development could be the one for you. Looking for something in the library instead? Lucky for you, the library circulation desk is a great place for students to help other students and become more familiar with the interworkings of our library. If you walk a bit further down the library lobby, you will stumble upon Peter B’s, one of the great student-run coffee shops on campus. Peter B’s is not only an awesome place to hang out, get some work done or grab a coffee or snack, but it’s also a lively and fun work environment. I’ve heard from many of my own friends that there is never a dull moment while working there, and being able to work alongside and serve your friends is incredibly entertaining. And you get paid to do so! The other student run coffee shop on campus, The Underground, is another great, more chill and relaxed coffee shop that is laden with large comfy couches and cool music. If the other jobs mentioned above don’t seem to do it for you, you could also get a job in the Trinity Recreation Department, either being a student gym supervisor or a lifeguard. When looking around at all of the available jobs and resources available to you as a student here, its crazy to think that last year I had hardly any idea these opportunities existed!

Furthermore, as a student reaching their sophomore/junior/senior year at school, the presence and talk of internships can become all encompassing. Lucky enough for us, Trinity offers a series of internships during the school year both on and off campus that can allow you to get a head start on your early-job experience. One trip to the Career Development Center will help you gain a better understanding as to what you may want to focus your interest in on, and how you can find the perfect local internship match for you!

We are incredibly lucky to go to a school that has all of the available resources and opportunities that Trinity College does, whether that is in terms of clubs and organizations, on-campus jobs or networked internships. Don’t string yourself along with empty promises that you will sign up tomorrow…get involved today!

Living in Barcelona

Living in Barcelona

Hola todos! (Hello everybody),

I am in Spain for the semester! Though the pre-studying abroad process can feel stressful and frustrating, especially since study abroad always feels so far away, it is by far one of the more worthwhile experiences I have had in my life. I am living in Barcelona, Spain for the semester and just wanted to share my first few experiences, impressions and struggles studying abroad.

I have been to Spain many times in my life, and I even have family that live in the capital, but coming to Barcelona has been a difficult and amazing adjustment. The first thing that hit me was the time difference. Since Spain is 6 hours ahead, adjusting was difficult because I was used to sleeping during the daytime here and doing things during the night. However after a few days of forcing myself to stay up during what felt like the night, it has become normal.

The Trinity team is full of nothing short of miracle workers. Agueda and Brian work to coordinate our schedules, our field trips, our money vouchers and so much more. Though we have been here a mere 3 weeks, we have had numerous outings, both optional and mandatory, which include museums, cooking classes, hikes, tapas eating, trips outside the city, flaminco dancing, self-defense and more. Gabriela, also on the Trinity team, often takes students on optional field trips.

We have been lucky enough, through Trinity, to access some amazing sites in Barcelona for free. The Trinity space itself is located on Pau Claris, which is an avenue in the center of Barcelona in walking distance from the Gaudi buildings and parallel to Passeo de Gracia. The advanced students are taking a history class which is located in the Ateneu, a historical building located right off the Ramblas, which has a renown library, a beautiful cafe in the courtyard, and classrooms on the top floor. The rest of our classes are at the UPF (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and are in the middle of the city, in all different parts of the school.

As far as housing during study abroad here, there are 2 options. Students can choose to stay at the TSH (The Student Hotel), which is located in the Melon district, or students can choose to live in a homestay. There are upsides and downsides to both choices, as with many things, but the perks of both situations significantly outweigh the potential costs.

In a homestay, students have the chance to fully immerse themselves in the Spanish language. Students are placed with families, meticulously vetted by Trinity’s staff, who have expressed an exceptional interest in taking in an international student. Students fill out a survey explaining both what type of living situation they are looking for (for instance, do they want little kids, pets, etc) and a form explaining their living personality. The host families do the same and students are matched to the best of the programs ability with a compatible home. Though the families all speak Spanish in the household, they are very patient with students learning the language. This semester we have a student in a homestay who speaks very little english, and both he and his host family are very patient with each other learning to communicate in broken Spanish and broken english. But the advantage of living in a homestay is just that: the student picks up the language at an alarming rate. Learning to speak in a language is very different from learning the dissect the language into grammatical concepts. Students in homestays get the chance to practice their conversational Spanish everyday and everyday they become better Spanish speakers. Another advantage of living in a Spanish household, is the advice they can give you about the city. Nobody knows the ins and outs of the city better than they do because it is the city they live in, and for many, the city they grew up in. Host families can give the best advice as to places to eat and exhibits to visit, but also the places to avoid, the cautions about living in the city and much more. Many people in homestays eat at least dinner with their families which gives them time to bond and time to practice their Spanish!

The other option offered to students is TSH. The Student Hotel is located in the Melon district and is home to hundreds of students from all around the world. From the TSH dorms, it is about a 5 minute walk to the metro and it’s within walking distance of the beach and the university. Each student is issued a room key that allows access to the cafeteria, the building, the kitchen and the common areas. Each floor consists of about 10 rooms on either side of the hallway and at the end there is a shared kitchen. The cafeteria is on the ground floor and is connected to TSH but is a public restaurant in the area. The common space consists of a large study room, a large TV and viewing area, a pool table, ping pong table, fusbol table and more. The residents of the space are invited to regular events that are put on by TSH that engage students in activities with one another. Students at TSH also get to enjoy the rooftop area, which looks out on the city of Barcelona from 12 stories up, as well as a rooftop pool. There are also many advantages to living in the TSH. The rooms are small, but private with queen beds, and private bathrooms. There is a cleaning service that comes once a week, and a service that cleans the kitchen as well. There are shared fridges and cabinet space with allows students to cook during the week as well as store groceries for convenience. Living at TSH, students are entirely independent and entirely responsible for themselves and their needs, such as laundry and meals.

Either way, every student has amazing living accommodations while studying abroad in Barcelona and students from TSH and homestays have plenty of opportunities to spend time together during the week and on the weekends. Trinity does a great job with matching up families with students as well as placing students in the generous hands of The Student Hotel.

Overall, this trip has been amazing so far. We are so lucky to have so many amazing people on the Trinity in Barcelona staff who have helped us to get settled and encouraged us to explore on our own. So far, this has been an amazing semester and I cannot wait to share more of it with you as I go!

Three Services that Trinity Recreation Offers That You Might Not Know About

Three Services that Trinity Recreation Offers That You Might Not Know About

Staying in shape can be fun. Keeping a healthy diet is always great and nothing beats finishing that last set of bench presses. Trinity College offers some services that students can take advantage of. Here are some ways to maintain a fit and active lifestyle and keep a healthy routine while at Trinity.

Open Swim

Throughout each semester, Ferris Athletic Center holds open swim hours. In addition to the hours set aside for our swim team’s practices, anyone can go to the pool and get a work out in during the day.  There are student life guards on duty as well that watch over the pool and make sure that everyone is safe.

Fitness Classes

Trinity offers some fitness classes for those that are interested in finding alternative ways of staying fit. Be it Zumba, Spin, Barre, or swim lessons, Trinity has you covered. You can sign up for any of these classes on the college’s athetic website and get academic credit for the semester.

Renting Equipment

Ferris Athletic Center offers balls and rackets that can be rented out from the front desk. Interested in a pick up game of soccer, tennis or basketball? Well simply take out a ball from the front desk by leaving your ID in exchange for the equipment. Once you are done, just return it and get your ID back. In addition, you can also take out bicycles if you are interested in riding around campus or to downtown Hartford.

The Music Scene ‘Neath the Elms

The Music Scene ‘Neath the Elms

Trinity College is home to many talented musicians. Some students have taught themselves how to play different instruments on their own while other students have come from a more academic music background. Either way, students at Trinity love music and the musical opportunities our school offers. In addition to instrumental musical talent, we have very talented singers who perform in a cappella groups on campus. Trinity is also rich with poets and has a thriving hip hop scene. Even if you are not into performing, there are plenty of students who are always talking about the latest releases and guesses for album of the year.

The Mill is one of the biggest highlights for musicians and artists on campus. The Mill is our Music and Arts Community House and is always inviting off campus bands or having student bands perform concerts at the indoor or outdoor venue spaces. It is a place full of music lovers and musicians alike. The house includes a recording studio where bands and a cappella groups record their own music. The Mill also has open mic nights happening throughout the year. If you are interested in heavy metal, punk, indie rock, alternative or even folk music, then the Mill is the place for you.

The Mill also hosts events for organizations on campus such as Temple of Hip Hop and Iron Poet. The Temple of Hip Hop is always putting on events that have to do with Hip Hop culture, but not just the music itself. This includes graffiti artists and b-boy dancers. Temple of Hip Hop also organizes the Trinity College International Hip Hop Festival which brings people from all over to participate in this giant music and dance festival on campus. Iron Poet on the other hand is far more focused on poetry, rapping, and spoken word and also holds several events throughout the year.

Trinity has various instrumental and vocal ensemble groups that anyone can join. Some of them, like The Chapel Singers and the a cappella groups, are audition only, but other groups allow anyone to join without an audition. Trinity has 5 a cappella groups, two all female, two co-ed, and one all male group. There are also other vocal groups like The Chapel Singers, The Gospel Choir, African Choir and Trinity Choir. For other musicians, Trinity has instrumental ensembles like Jazz Band and Samba Ensemble. Students can also take individual lessons on any instrument of their choice for a semester or take part in a smaller ensemble for a class credit.

Finally, WRTC is Trinity’s radio station on campus that allows anyone to have their own show where they can talk about music and share their playlists. Whatever your musical interest or involvement is, Trinity has so many opportunities for any musician or music enthusiast ‘Neath the Elms!

Getting Around Hartford

Getting Around Hartford

One of the great things about Trinity is its location. We are located just outside of Downtown Hartford, a thriving city with museums, amazing restaurants, art and performance venues, and its own identity and culture. Trinity has implemented many resources to help students get around Hartford as easily as possible. Trinity’s campus is located at the conjunction of four residential Hartford neighborhoods, so there are only a few restaurants and markets within walking distance of campus. But Trinity has made it pretty easy to get anywhere you might want to go around the city.

There are a variety of ways that Trinity has set up for students to get around the city, and even more ways provided directly by the city of Hartford. The first thing Trinity has done is secure a shuttle that drives around the perimeter of campus at all times. It stops at different locations around campus every 20 minutes. The shuttle will pick you up anywhere on the outside of campus, and drop you off anywhere along the route. You can also call campus safety and request the shuttle to your location. There is also another shuttle that runs off campus. This shuttle has specific times that change every once in a while, but the main time it runs is on Saturday afternoons, when it takes students to Walmart, Target or the Westfarms Mall, and then picks them up and brings them back to campus. Trinity also provides each student with a free Bantam Bus Pass every semester. These allow students to ride the Hartford city buses completely free all around the city. There are even some field trips that require students to take the bus, and there are chaperones who teach and show the students how to use the bus system. Bus schedules and routes are located in Mather Hall.

There are many festivals downtown throughout the semester, and the bus is the perfect way to get around during those times. Its a great time for students to get a chance to experience the cultures of the city. Students also love going to the local coffee shops to get a change of scenery when studying for tests or doing homework. Story and Soil is a local coffee shop co-owned by a Trinity alum who wanted to celebrate the Hartford culture through coffee and community. There are also amazing arts venues and performance spaces around the city like Real Art Ways, Playhouse on Park, The Hartford Stage and The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Hartford is there to take full advantage of and students can’t be more grateful that Trinity offers so many opportunities to do so.

Aside from public transportation and the shuttles, it is also incredibly easy to order Uber or Lyfts to campus. This is a quick and easy way to get downtown if necessary, or for a night out to the theater, to dinner, or to a movie. The nice thing about Ubers and Lyfts is that they pick you up and drop you off exactly when you need and where you want to be. The other forms of transportation have specific stops. However, all are easy and fun ways to get around Hartford, and it allows the students to break out of the Trinity bubble and explore the amazing city of Hartford.