Coming into Trinity as a freshman, I was uncertain about a lot – from the courses I’d enroll in to the clubs I would soon join. However, one thing I knew for sure is that I wanted to study abroad at some point during my four years of study.
Trinity currently has seven programs across the globe in Barcelona, Cape Town, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Trinidad, and Vienna. Students can apply to any one of these cities for a term abroad where their credits and grades will easily transfer back to Trinity. With these
programs, there is a Trinity contact or partner on-site with the students who serves as a resource to the city and all of its offerings.
Last semester I studied at Trinity’s newest program, an exchange with Fudan University in Shanghai, China. I wanted to explore a part of the world and culture different than what I am used to, while taking classes that would benefit my studies. The Trinity-in-Shanghai program fit just that. I was able to take courses on Diplomacy and Political Economy through the lens of a Chinese classroom, while improving my Mandarin skills with an intensive language course.
Many students who go abroad utilize their time to travel and see other parts of the world. Being in Asia, I was fortunate enough to see the Great Wall and travel within China, then backpack around Asia to Taiwan, Cambodia, and Thailand. The exposure to these countries and cultures opened up a brand new perspective on the world. One of the most valuable experiences from my time abroad was hearing how others view our country and its policies. As a Political Science major, I was especially interested in the different attitudes of Americans and Chinese towards our respective government systems.
In addition to the Trinity study abroad programs, there are over 100 pre-approved programs and locations where students and alumni have previously studied abroad. Although these programs do not have Trinity contacts on site, students are still able to apply and have their courses transferred back to Trinity for both their major and graduation credit. In fact, students in all majors from engineering to studio art are encouraged to go abroad.
Any and all matters related to studying abroad are addressed through the Office of Study Away (the red house down Vernon Street). As early as freshmen year, students are able to meet with one of the Study Away program coordinators to discuss their interests and potential plans to study abroad. These coordinators are knowledgeable on both Trinity and outside programs, and are a tremendous resource to students before, during, and after their terms abroad.
Trinity students are able to study away as early as Sophomore year, and can study abroad for either a semester, full-year, or summer program. My time in Shanghai was incredible; the people I met, the food I ate, the lessons learned, and the sights I saw are truly unforgettable. I would encourage anyone to consider studying abroad.