Ever wondered what life after study abroad is like? Former Ambassador and Trinity College student Heidi takes a look back on everything that’s happened and all the opportunities that have opened up since her study abroad experience…

Shortly after graduating from Trinity College Dublin in April 2016, I began to realise that my time there and the experiences I took hold of while studying abroad took my personal and professional life to another level. Here’s the abridged version of my story after Trinity…

In the beginning:

I remained in Ireland for a full year after submitting my thesis to experience the country’s work environment. A year-long Master’s program felt too short to really get to know Ireland and how I fit there! During my alumni year I moved from being a volunteer to a paid employee at one of my favourite places: The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children. I spent my days giving tours of Trinity College and the Book of Kells as a guide for Authenticity Tours and assisting arts workshops for children and families at The Ark. I even had the chance to teach drama classes after school once a week with children aged 6 through 12.

I briefly left Ireland to visit a friend in Brazil who I met through my program at Trinity. On the journey to Brazil I met someone who also works in arts education but in Galway! We stayed in touch and…long story short…I was soon hired to work as the Schools Liaison for an international children’s art festival in Galway called Baboró to round out my second year in Ireland.

In the middle:

Once my post-Trinity year was completed, I moved home to New Jersey and was invited to attend a showcase for International Performing Arts for Youth as a Jim Rye Fellow. Through this program I saw and discussed Theatre for Young Audiences from around the world. I then worked on an article based on my Masters research, published, and presented it. This was the moment I realized I could connect what I learned in Ireland and what was happening in the USA seamlessly. I was proud to share my research and eager to learn more. After 8 months in the USA, I returned to Galway on a work permit to work for Baboró again.

In the end (that’s really the beginning of a new chapter):

In February 2018 I had the unique opportunity to join the planning team for a once-off event hosted by Baboró called Wide Eyes, A European Celebration of Performing Arts for Early Years. I saw and participated in theatre made specifically for children aged 0-6 and met 200 arts education professionals. It was monumental. After the six month work period with Baboró, I returned home to New Jersey. I am currently preparing research on the topic of Theatre for Young Audiences to present in Auckland, New Zealand at IDIERI 9 as a Tom Behm Award recipient. My dream of living a life as an interconnected, traveling researcher is only just beginning. And I’ve already booked a ticket to return to Ireland this summer! I have accepted that I will always be connected to that place in a way I couldn’t have imagined pre-Trinity.