Know Before You Go
Home to 16,000 students and over 400 years of history, Trinity is Ireland’s oldest university. With a diverse range of national and international students and boasting such famous alumni as Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Mary McAleese, Trinity is an ideal setting for students to follow the footsteps of some of Ireland’s most influential figures.
Trinity is located at the heart of Dublin City, protected from the manic city centre streets by its ancient walls. Coming from the hustle and bustle of Grafton Street or Dame street through Front Arch into Trinity’s front square never fails to amaze as the noise of the hectic city outside is replaced by a peaceful calm accompanied by the gentle clip-clop of students making their way across the cobble stones – and occasionally falling (heels are not recommended). Standing in Front Square you can tell that not only is the college beautiful, but the atmosphere is both inviting and exciting and leaves you wanting to discover more.
Getting to and from Campus is very easy. Being in the centre of town, almost every bus will pass by, and of course, the Luas which stops in Stephen’s Green, a 5 minute walk from Campus, and the Dart stops at Pearse Street where there’s a back entrance to the college. Driving is generally considered crazy as parking in town is pretty pricey and parking on Campus is a no-go for students. The Campus itself is quite big with a wide range of architecture. While Front Square hosts the older buildings and is impressively beautiful, there are the occasional eyesores, like the Arts Block and the older sports halls. Generally the campus is very pretty with little treats such as the Rose Garden and many grassy squares ideal for chilling in the afternoon.
For food during the day there is the Dining Hall, The Buttery and number of smaller shops on campus. The Dining Hall does basic carvery food but the Buttery has everything from soups and salads to a big dirty curry chip. The Buttery is where the buzz is at for lunchtime and is always jammers. Of course, with Grafton Street on your doorstep, there is such a wide selection of places to go that most students go to various places in town to eat, or grab food somewhere and picnic on the Cricket Pitch or Library Square which is just outside the Arts Block. Beware of hours disappearing during such “lunch” breaks – they have a tendency to turn into entire-day breaks.
Students are generally divided between Arts Block kids and Hamilton kids (the science block). At opposite ends of Campus, visiting each other’s blocks is a rare occasion. However, the two are free to mingle at the The Pavillion (but do call it The Pav) the student bar. While it is pretty small and still the only student bar we have, it is constantly busy. People generally hang out outside the bar on the steps overlooking the cricket pitch, or just chill out on the pitch itself. Sunny afternoons in Autumn, Crisp snowy evenings in Winter, blossom-covered days in Spring and any time at all in Summer, The Pav is the place to be. The fact that a significant section of the Library overlooks this hub of excitement can act as a form of torture around exam season, and you’ll find that this is generally the busiest period.
The library is quite impressive. It is divided into three sections; the Lecky, which is quite prison like and lacks sockets; the Berkeley which is dark and scary and the Usher which is bright, beautiful and overlooks the cricket pitch (we have a winner). As it is a copyright library it has every book that you could possibly need and the staff are very helpful. It is important to note that the hours are pretty limited due to lack of adequate funding. It is often closed on Sundays and never stays open past 10pm. It is advisable to have a desk in your bedroom! The library can be quite sociable and there are sections that are just a glorified corridor, however you can always find a peaceful spot. The security guard keeps a watchful eye and the students have affectionately named him ‘Libo Cop’. The atmosphere on Campus is quite relaxed. Everyone seems to stroll everywhere, passing the usual groups of hipsters smoking ‘rollies’ or fitness junkies running laps of the cricket pitch or the famous campus pet cat, Trinny.
It’s the perfect size – big enough to meet new people regularly and small enough that you cannot walk from one end to the other without running into friends! Trinity has a large amount of International students, some visiting, and some permanent. The Irish contingent has a mix of those from inside and outside the Pale and all mix rather well. There are quite a lot of students from the UK, many of who are hailing from public school territory.