A few years ago if you had asked me to picture my life I wouldn’t have seen myself going to dental school, and certainly not in Ireland. But it has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I am currently in year two of five years at the Dental School at Trinity College in Dublin. I applied to dental school quite late during my third year of undergraduate science at The University of Guelph. I was accepted toward the end of August, just over a month before school started and I was very concerned about how I was going to pick up my entire life and move it to Dublin Ireland within the month. Atlantic Bridge was incredibly helpful and informative and made the move possible.
My first year at the Dublin Dental Hospital at Trinity was great. I learned a lot about the dental program and what to expect over the next five years. First year was very heavily science based with large focus on head and neck anatomy, dental anatomy and PBL (problem based learning). Second year is proving to be more practical as we are in the skills lab three times a week for Basic Dental Care and in clinics once a week. Having the opportunity to start working on patients in second year is one thing that I find so valuable about being at Trinity. When you move into third, fourth and fifth year, the times spent in clinics also increases, giving you an abundance of hands on experience before you head into private practice upon graduation.
There is a brand new state of the art skills lab that was opened this year at the Dental Hospital, which mimics the layout of clinics. The facilities compliment the high level of didactic education. The class sizes are also quite small, with only 45 students in my year, which allows us a lot of one on one time with our supervisors which I find very beneficial especially when it comes to learning new skills and how to improve.
I know academics is the main priority but the social aspect of the program is also important because when you are away from your family, the friends you make over here become your family. At Trinity there is no shortage of school events whether it be Trinity events or Dental Hospital events, through which I have met some great people that will probably be apart of my life forever.
Lastly, I just want to bring up the traveling aspect of going to school in Europe. You have the opportunity to fly to Paris or London for the weekend and for someone like myself who has always wanted to travel, it’s an incredible opportunity. The weather in Ireland may not be ideal, but I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything else in the world.