Ushma Shah

During the journey of applying for dental school, I had never imagined myself ending up in Europe, let alone Ireland!

Initially I was fixated on staying within North America. However, when I heard about the reciprocal agreement between Canada and Ireland, I decided to do a little more research, which eventually led to me applying to the Irish dental schools through the Atlantic Bridge Program.

Amidst applications and interviews within North America and Ireland, I was eventually accepted to a dental school in the U.S and also to Trinity College Dublin through the Atlantic Bridge Program. I was at a crossroad and ultimately needed to make a tough decision on where to pursue my dental qualification. There were many factors to consider including clinical experience, prestige of the programs, expenses, etc. Weighing-in on the pros and cons of both schools, I finally decided to make the leap to Ireland. I can wholeheartedly say I do not regret the decision.

TCD is recognized globally for its academic excellence and transformative student experience. Located within the heart of Dublin and with centuries of history, I can tell you that my walk-through campus never gets old. I am currently in my second year of the 5-year dental program at TCD. The dental facility within campus is the Dublin Dental University Hospital (DDUH), which operates as a standalone entity from the rest of the university and the majority of our classes, labs and clinics take place here.

The TCD dental program is quite unique as there is a greater emphasis on critical thinking and self-development through problem-based learning throughout the 5 years, and students can start seeing patients in the second year. In this regard, the program really trains you to think on your feet and provides you with apt clinical experience to step into the real world as a highly competent and confident dentist.

Transitioning to a new country can be daunting, but the friendly Irish and my fellow international students made the entire process much easier. I have truly started to feel that Dublin is my home away from home. Studying in Ireland also has its perks for the inner explorer, as the rest of Europe is just around the corner for holiday travels.

I am thoroughly enjoying my experience as a dental student here in Ireland and cannot wait to see what is in store for the future!