How Kaede Gordon found herself at home studying engineering in Dublin

In Ireland, the CEE senior found community and camaraderie among engineering students similar to Rice.

Kaede Gordon

This story is the part of our series of study abroad experiences contributed by Rice Engineering students. Learn more about ourĀ study abroad opportunities and global programs.

Studying abroad at Trinity College Dublin was an unforgettable experience. I was nervous at first as the only engineering student in my program but found that the engineering population at TCD was incredibly welcoming and helpful.

The classes were slightly more applied than those I was accustomed to; the first day of my hydraulics class I was put into a group of Irish students to model a hydraulic network for a small town. I quickly found that the culture, community and camaraderie among the engineering students were very similar to those at Rice and I was very grateful for how quickly I was adopted into the system. I found my peers to be both remarkably intelligent and multifaceted as people, all while being very proudly Irish.

We struggled together through the lab assignments, poked fun at our professors, and despite the Irish/American language barrier, found that many of our stories had parallels that sowed connections I am confident will last a lifetime. I ended up leaving Dublin early due to the COVID 19 pandemic, but my professors were understanding and made the transition to online study abroad from home very smooth.

My new friends immediately reached out to me to make sure I was keeping up and continued to help me navigate our online exams. Overall I couldn't recommend Dublin more as a study abroad location, especially for engineers. There were millions of differences between TCD and Rice, but the sense of academic excellence paired with strong student support and culture was familiar enough that I felt at home almost immediately.

Kaede Gordon is a senior in civil and environmental engineering.