Posts Tagged ‘activities’

The Universal Language of International Students

Tuesday, October 10th, 2023

Prior to arriving in Dublin, I hadn’t really processed or identified with the idea that I was going to be an international student. Coming from the United States, I recognized that studying in another country that is English-speaking and heavily influenced by American culture is probably not as intense of an experience as studying somewhere that is entirely foreign in both language and culture. However, I quickly came to realize that, even in less obviously foreign places, there are many experiences shared among all international students.

The first example, and perhaps the one that is most difficult to get used to, is the time difference between school and home. Everyone struggles at least a little with homesickness when they go to college for the first time, but there is truly nothing like an 8-hour time difference to throw you into the reality of adulthood. The first few days at school felt a little unreal, but eventually it set in that I wouldn’t be in the same time zone as the rest of my family for another 3-4 months. 

Something that made the experience especially difficult for me was having a boyfriend back home. With busy schedules on both of our ends, and having spent much of the summer together, it was extremely difficult at first to transition to only calling once or twice a week and having the majority of our conversations being just words on a screen. While our communication has strengthened since we first started long-distance, it would be a lie to say it isn’t still difficult to feel such a constant disconnect between us in our periods apart.

What I can say worked best for me to ease the sadness that the distance brings was meeting and spending time with people at school who are going through the same thing. I like to think of it as a sort of universal language between all international students – the homesickness, the struggle to adapt, the stresses of learning how to succeed academically and socially all while in a near completely unfamiliar place. I have found that no matter where other international students come from, there are always things we can relate to each other about over what we have experienced in this new location.

One resource that has been especially helpful to me at Trinity College is the Global Room. The Global Room is a place where many international students can take refuge to ask questions, attend informational events, and even celebrate the holidays of their home countries. One of the first times I visited the Global Room was a Thanksgiving party (a holiday I definitely didn’t realize I’d be going without for a few years). There, I was able to meet many fellow Americans and bond over some familiar holiday foods and gratitude activities.

A craft I did through the Global Room!

I’ve also learned about other cultures through a variety of Global Room events, such as an Irish trivia night and a Teru Teru Bozu-making class (Japanese rain dolls). There is something quite special about bonding with other international students over a shared lack of knowledge about the new place you’re in. Many of my first conversations with my current closest friends revolved around the unpredictable Dublin bus schedules and the expensive prices of toiletry products at Tesco. Even better, as you broaden your network of international friends, you in turn get to learn more about where they are from and what their lives are like back home. 

Overall, whether you are an international student or not, I think there is much room for bonding and meeting people over the shared unfamiliarities of university. Maybe you have the same boring professor, or you’re both struggling to finish the same assignment. Instead of lingering in the difficult and frustrating parts of the college experience, you can use them as opportunities to seek out positive relationships, which will help you further down the road in navigating your path.


  • Being an international student can add further difficulties to navigating university life
  • I struggled with the time difference between school and home, especially with having a boyfriend back home
  • Making connections with other international students helped me feel more grounded in my new community
  • The Global Room was a helpful resource to meet more international students and learn more about Irish culture
  • Anyone, international student or not, can form new friendships through bonding over shared struggles

Save on your next grocery trip with this coupon and your student ID!

By Bella Littler

Bella is a second year film student within the Trinity College Dublin / Columbia Dual BA program. She grew up in Iowa, but is currently living and studying in Dublin. On the average day, you can find her watching obscure movies, going on aimless walks around the city, or raving about any and all Taylor Swift lyrics.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

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Free Activities In the City!

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

written by Adam Davis

It might be tempting to stay in the office or the apartment during the hottest months, but New York City offers plenty of free summer activities that don’t involve huddling by the air conditioner.  And what better time is there to relax, meet new people, and enjoy some arts and culture?

The best part of summer is Summerstage, a performing arts festival that includes dancers, singers, and even poets and novelists.  This year Summerstage is expanding to include performances in parks throughout New York City, thus making these can’t-miss shows available to people in all five boroughs.  During its 25 years, Summerstage has hosted over 1,700 notable artists and writers, including David Bowie, M.I.A., Toni Morrison, and Joni Mitchell.  This summer’s lineup consists of 91 free shows, including artists such as Dan Deacon, White Rabbits, and Public Enemy, along with a four-night concert featuring the alternative rock band Pavement.  See for specific dates and times of various shows.

If you appreciate classical music, you have to check out the New York Philharmonic, or the “Big Five.”  They are the oldest orchestra in America by almost four decades and had their record-setting 14,000th concert in 2004.  During the summer, the “Big Five” perform for free at parks in all the boroughs, but most often at the Great Lawn in Central Park.  All shows begin at 8 p.m. and are followed by fireworks.  Check out for a full schedule.

On the other hand, if Sting, Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 and Lady Gaga are more your taste, the Today Show summer concert series offers a chance to see them for free, if you are willing to get up early enough.  The concerts are hosted at Rockefeller Center at 7 a.m. on Friday mornings, but you have to get there up to two hours earlier (depending on the popularity of the performer) to ensure you get in.  For more info, go to and click on “Concert Series.

For those who look forward to summer blockbusters, Bryant Park’s Summer Film Festival shows movies—albeit classic ones—every Monday night. The lawn opens at 5 p.m. for blankets and picnicking and the films begin at dusk, usually between 8 and 9 p.m., but make sure to get there early in order to secure a good spot and enjoy some classic animated shorts. Some films scheduled to appear on the 20-foot screen this summer are Goldfinger, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Rosemary’s Baby.  To get a complete list of films and dates, visit and click on “Summer Film Festival.”

Another interesting thing to check out is the Brooklyn Flea Market, which moves outside during the summer. The flea market has recently expanded from its original venue in Fort Greene to include a second location at the Brooklyn Bridge Park.  The Brooklyn Bridge Flea Market features over 100 vendors, with antiques, jewelry, and local artwork galore. If you get hungry while browsing, feel free to sample some of the unique local foods like McClure’s Pickles, Early Bird Granola, or fresh lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound. The Brooklyn Bridge Flea starts June 14th and takes place every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  To see the latest finds, check

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