Studying, working in Ireland: pros, cons, personal experience?

I am American. The personal reasons why I would like to change that as soon as possible could fill a notebook, but I'll stick to what really matters here.

My greatest goal in life is to study at Trinity College Dublin. I've been researching the particulars of moving to Europe for almost three years, so don't assume I'm being hasty here: I am very serious and now I've come across a road bump and I need some honest opinions and unbiased information. I speak fluent textbook French (I've never actually been to a French-speaking country) and my area of academic interest is biochemistry. I surpass the admission requirements for Americans and the reason I would like to study in Europe as opposed to America is to get my foot in the door with European laboratories, particularly French and Swiss ones, as that seems to be where all the biochem jobs seem to be in Europe.

First, I'd like to know: What are your experiences with moving to another country, particularly from America? Did you face difficulty in finding a job that was greater than it was from where you came? Were you discriminated against in employment or renting/buying housing?

Second, which visa or residence permit did you choose? The more I research this crucial point, the more complicated it seems to get.

Third, and probably the most important: Under my circumstances, would you advise for or against studying at TCD? If you would advise against it, why, and in your opinion, should I study in America or elsewhere in Europe?

Finally, which country, in your experience/opinion, is the best for employment in my field of interest, or any field of highly educated work?

My mother is a highly qualified attorney and holder of a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in law with decades of experience and has been searching unsuccessfully for work for nearly four years. My father, a quadrilingual computer programmer and technical writer with a bachelor's degree in French and an associate's degree in something computer-related, has been stuck with the same employer working 10-11 hours a day on pay that can barely support my family. His job search has been ongoing for over six years and the only job he found was in Alberta, but with three teenagers, we could not afford to relocate to another county, much less another country. Heck, we even live in the Denver area--that's supposed to be one of the best places in America for work! My biggest reason for wanting to leave America is to avoid their predicament. My parents are so highly educated and qualified that they sound like an outlandish example from a business textbook, yet their employment prospects look permanently grim. I am also open to moving to Canada or France, or anywhere but here within reason. I don't want to starve to death. :( Please tell me what you think and what you recommend. Languages come fairly naturally to me, so I can learn pretty much any (not so sure about non-Latin ones, though) if I have to. I'm terrified of what might happen to me if I try to get a job in America...


Uncle, that's precisely my issue: there is literally no work here. Zip. I can teach cello, and that's pretty much all I'll be able to do until more jobs are created. America's employment scene is absolute hell.

Update 2:

@thinkingtime: We can't afford to relocate, as in my siblings and I have the best high school around and our educations and futures can't afford to lose the opportunities our school and community present. I'm applying for scholarships left and right anyway, and I've already got the finances worked out--if you must be so rude about it, TCD is less expensive than the in-state university my sister is attending when you add in the scholarships I've won and airfare. Now, what have you to say about my original question, or are you only interested in picking apart my wording?

5 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Firstly, science degrees from TCD tend to be a bit troublesome as TCD for some weird reason awards BAs for science rather than BScs as you would expect. This can lead companies who are not familiar with TCD to be very suspicious of somebody with a 'BA' in a science subject and it makes it difficult for that TCD graduate.

    TCD is very prestigious and their degrees are good but Ireland has very little biochem industry going on and as you've already stated that you know that other countries such as Switzerland have lots of biochem work - why are you thinking of studying in Ireland? You said you speak French so why not go to a university closer to where the jobs are?

    I work in the pharmaceutical industry and so know a bit about the European situation and as you said Switzerland is very strong and Belgium has a lot going on also, I'm not familiar with the situation in France. There's a bit going on in Germany also, and the UK has a bit but it is constantly shrinking.

    FYI, all the Swiss pharmas are based in German speaking Switzerland, but the day to day language of all large pharmas is English so it's not a problem if you don't speak German.

    There are some jobs in the US but they are shrinking fast also - but they are there. I would advise you to look for a degree with includes a period of time on placement with an external biochem company - as that is often the foot in the door to getting a job after graduation. I'm pretty sure that TCD doesn't do placements

  • 4 years ago

    Residing in a broad bay, Dublin lies between Howth in the north and the headland of Dalkey to the south and the River Liffey split the city in two creating from this city an interesting town that you will have the opportunity with hotelbye to visit it. Dublin has given the entire world such famous literary like: Yeats, Beckett, Joyce, Shaw, and Wilde. Dublin was a UNESCO City of Literature this season therefore is surely an exciting town to see particularly when you want to visit Bewley's Oriental Café ;.Several could claim that Bewley's Oriental Café could be the gem in the crown. Bewley's Oriental Café is an institution that has been integrated 1927.

  • 9 years ago

    Your family can't afford to relocate but they can afford to send you across the world to college? Have you allowed for international fees?


    Oh dear, that did put me in my place, didn't it! I am humiliated but I will try again.

    If you are so keen to get your foot in the European door, why not use your fluent French to study a little closer to Europe?

    I studied and lived in three countries, no -one ever gave me a hard time. "Non Latin" languages aren't too difficult once you have a couple of latin languages.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    stay in the US get a PhD ..and a few years experience

    then you have a chance ..European can hire other European without expensive visas ..

    so they get the first chance experience is what counts

    a friend of mine is a Nuclear medicine expert in the UK ...he gets head hunted every month

    because of his skill and experience

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  • 4 years ago


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