BackgroundInterview Date:June 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Private international high school in Mexico with about 180 students in my class. All the classes were in English. Some of the students go to college in the US but most of them stay in Mexico and it’s a very different college culture.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Electrical Engineering
Extracurricular Activities: Habitat for Humanity and I was part of the IEEE Engineering Group on campus.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
There is a lab component for every engineering course once a week. For lectures, you have problem sets for homework.
What are your major graded assignments?
Tests, we have a midterm and a final. Those are mostly what make up our final grade. The next big grade is lab reports.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
The electrical engineering department is lacking new equipment.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I would say it’s very collaborative. Electrical Engineering majors are very united. We are always helping each other study.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
Digital Circuits and Systems. It was the first Electrical Engineering course I took and the most basic one. What I really liked about electrical engineering was the labs.
What has been your least favorite class in your major?
Engineering Materials because we didn’t have a lab for that class and we didn’t know how to apply anything.
Did anything about Trinity or college in the USA overall surprise you when you arrived on campus?
Yeah, opportunities for doing research. I didn’t really know much about that until I got to Trinity. I got involved with a professor and was able to publish a paper my freshman year. I went to Shanghai to present it and that was something that I would never have done in Mexico.
How did you get involved in research?
I was part of the interdisciplinary science program and we were about 20 students and the adviser would set us up to do research. It was easy to get in touch with professors to [talk about] research, but it depends if you stay with them or not.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
In the beginning, I wanted to go with Biomedical Engineering, but I didn’t think the faculty was that strong. I thought the strongest engineering faculty was in the Electrical Engineering department. I’m happy with my choice.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Wheaton in a single. There was a conjoined door with another room but I never opened it because I was not that close with the person next door.
Sophomore: High Rise with 3 other roommates. I was in a single room with a common room.
Junior: Vernon Place with 3 roommates. I’m in a single room and we have a common room.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
We have campus safety on campus and they are always walking around. At night it’s scary because the neighborhood around Trinity is not that safe. It’s scary when there aren’t that many campus safety officers around and you’re alone in the dark.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Hartford Baking Company. I like to go to just have a coffee or hang out. They have a very cool area to do homework.
How was transitioning from Mexico to Hartford, CT?
It was hard at first because of the weather. My first winter was rough because Mexico’s really warm. It was tough not having my parents around and not knowing anyone on campus so it was very different.
Pros and Cons of being in Hartford, CT?
Pros: (1) The location is perfect because it’s 2 hours away from New York City and Boston.
(2) The weather. I really like the weather in Hartford because it’s very cold in the winter.
(3) There are many internship opportunities because Hartford has a big financial district.
Cons: (1) There’s not much to do. There are no bars or clubs we can go out to.
(2) The lack of safety. Hartford is unsafe.
(3) Not being able to walk around the city or get around easily. We can only get around by Uber or car.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I go to frat parties, that’s pretty much it. I go out two or three nights a week. So, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
What have been your favorite days or nights at Trinity?
There’s nothing that fun going on on-campus, but at the frats I’d say Thursday nights are big, and then Saturday day parties and night parties.
How was transitioning from the nightlife in Mexico to the nightlife at Trinity?
In Mexico, I’m used to going out to just bars and clubs and then get-togethers at my friends’ houses. But in college, frat parties were very different. I wasn’t used to having that many people in such a small place.
How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
It would be nicer if there were more bars around campus and if we had the option to go to bars. After freshman year the nightlife gets very repetitive.
How did you meet your closest friends?
During international student orientation, I met a girl from Canada and we became really close friends. Once school started I met people through the dorm meetings and became friends with people in my dorm.
How would you describe the social scene?
It’s fun, but since it’s a small school it gets really repetitive because you see the same people every night and you go to the same places every night. But, it’s fun.
To what extent do international students mix with domestic students?
It depends, but I’d say not a lot. Not a lot of international students mix with domestic students. I have a lot of friends from the US, but most international students stay amongst themselves.
How effective are the systems in place to make international students feel more at home?
It’s good because the international house hosts a lot of events and they try to bring the international students together. They do a very good job of bringing the students together.
How would you describe the student body?
Small, because you see the same people every day. It’s very [homogenous]. You see the same type of people and there isn’t much variety where they’re from. [67% of the student body is from the Northeast. About 65% of students are White.]
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Trinity by the time they graduate?
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The main quad and the long walk. It’s a very nice place to hang out when it’s warm outside.
What is something that we haven’t touched on that international students should know?
They really have to branch out if they want to have friends from the US. It’s very hard to mix with domestic students because of all the international student events that go on.
Reasons to attend Trinity:
1) The close relationship with the faculty. I know all my professors and they know me and that’s really great because you get to have more opportunities, and get to talk with them and learn more.
2) The very good alumni network. Trinity alums really like to help out current students with job opportunities.
3) Everything around campus is really close so it’s nice to have everything in walking distance.
Reasons to not attend Trinity:
1) The food options are the worst. There are not a lot of options on campus and the quality is not that great.
2) The nightlife gets really repetitive. After freshman year you get really bored of going out.
3) There’s not a lot to do in Hartford so it gets pretty boring to live there.