Alumni Spotlight: Gabriella Chioffi

My name is Gabriella and I am from the United States. I study European Studies here at Trinity College Dublin.

Why did you choose to study at Trinity College Dublin?

I initially heard about Trinity through the Dual BA Program with Columbia University, of which I am a part. As I started to learn more about Trinity itself, I was increasingly intrigued by the courses and alumni network it has to offer. One of my biggest reasons for choosing Trinity, however, was the campus itself. I really appreciated that Trinity was so centrally located in one of the great European cities, but, at the same time, its campus provided a quiet reprieve from the bustle of the city. Even after two years of studying here, I am still in awe of the beauty and history of Trinity's campus every time I walk through the Front Gate.

What was the application process like at Trinity College Dublin?

As I said before, I am part of the Dual BA Program, so my application process was slightly different from the norm. I was required to send transcripts, letters of recommendation, SAT/ACT scores, and two personal essays. After the initial application, there was also an interview component for the shortlisted candidates. Even though the application process was slightly different than applying through the CAO, for example, it was absolutely worth it to be a part of this program.

What is the international student experience like at Trinity College Dublin?

Trinity itself is a very international university, so it was very easy to find other international students with whom I could relate, both at Trinity Halls (my first year accommodation) and on campus. I also felt very supported by the Global Room, a space dedicated to helping international students, who were always available to answer questions and also hosted many great events throughout the school year for all students, not just international ones.

What is it like to live in Dublin as an international student?

I was definitely nervous coming to Dublin at first because I had never lived in a different country and, having lived all my life in a small American town, I didn't know what to expect from city living. Yet as soon as I arrived in Dublin, I was blown away with how warm and welcoming the people were, and have really enjoyed exploring Irish culture and visiting the many parks, museums, and landmarks around Dublin. Dublin is a safe and manageable city, and it has become like a second home to me.

What is the cost of living like in Dublin?

The cost of living in Dublin is on the higher end, which can sometimes be challenging on a student's budget. At the same time, however, I have been able to cut down on costs and save money by taking advantage of the student deals or discounts that are often offered by restaurants, stores, and museums. On campus, especially, the dining options and cafes offer really affordable prices to students. It's also manageable to have a part-time job along with school to help with some of the costs, which is what I did with the Global Room my second year at Trinity.

What have been some of your favorite activities outside of the classroom?

Outside of the classroom, society events have been some of my favorite activities. Through the University Philosophical Society (or the Phil), I was able to attend an event to hear Howard Shore talk about his experience as a composer, particularly his time working on The Lord of the Rings movie soundtrack. As an Ordinary Committee Member of the Europa Society, I have helped plan some really fun events, including a language-themed game night and a European trivia night. Even through the Student 2 Student mentor program, I have gotten to interact with first-year European Studies students and help them navigate and adapt to university life. There is a society for everyone at Trinity, and not only is it a great way to meet like-minded people who are not necessarily in your course, but it has really enhanced my university experience at Trinity.