SOPHIA GOURLEY ’19
This semester, Jenna Behan ’19 is studying away at Columbia University in New York City through their Visiting Student Program. At Columbia, Jenna is able to work towards her goal of graduating with a double major in English and Urban Studies by taking Trinity-approved classes and experiencing what it is like to live in New York City. When looking at study away options, Jenna went back and forth between some of Trinity’s programs in Europe including Barcelona and Paris, but ultimately found value in studying away domestically. “I knew I wanted to experience a semester outside of Trinity, but wasn’t sold on the idea of traveling all the way to Europe,” she tells the Tripod. Jenna decided to look at options in one of her favorite places, New York City, with the intention of seeing if this fast-paced global city would make a good home after graduation. “This was really my only way to experience living in New York City be-fore graduation. I’ve heard the City isn’t for everyone, so I figured this would be a great chance to see if this was the kind of environment for me, without committing to anything long term.”
Jenna is currently taking “Victorian Poetry” and “American Literature from 1800 to 1870” for her English major and “Neigh-borhood and Community Development” and “Urban Ecology and Grand Infra-structure” for her Urban Studies major. “I really like my Neighborhood and Community Development class because its focus is on New York City and we actually get the opportunity to take local excursions throughout the semester.” She also added that the class sizes are small, similar to Trinity. While all of her classes are lectures, there are smaller breakout sessions for discussions on the course material throughout the week.
When Jenna isn’t in class, she is taking advantage of all the city has to offer. Living in a studio apartment on the Upper West side, which tends to be a little quieter than the downtown area, she is able to enjoy the benefits of being so close to everything, but without the noise and chaos. “Everything is just so accessible here,” she says. With her Columbia student ID, she is granted free admission to several museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim. Jenna also is able to see Broadway shows very inexpensively. So far she has seen Chicago with some of the other visiting students, and is dying to see Kinky Boots soon.
“I’ve also enjoyed being able to use Columbia’s state-of-the-art facilities and go for runs around the City. Being a student -athlete, I’m glad I am somewhere where I can continue to stay in shape for field hockey.” One of Jenna’s favorite places so far is the Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Although she has only been in New York City for a few weeks, she can al-ready see herself living there after graduation. “There is an energy here that is really indescribable. Starting off a career as a young professional in this environment would be amazing,” Jenna says.
When most people think of studying away, they automatically think that it entails traveling internationally. However, Jenna is a case in point that you can have a fulfilling experience away from Trinity’s campus without crossing an ocean. “If you’re not comfortable going abroad for an entire semester, then this is a great alternative,” Jenna notes.