Ireland study abroad session to be offered for summer

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Students of all majors will be taking part in a study abroad program in Ireland over the second summer session. During the trip students will have the opportunity to earn school credit, as well as take part in a service-learning project with The Galway Arts Festival.

English professor, Christie Fox, organized the three-week program in Galway, Ireland in hopes of offering students a unique experience not available anywhere else.

“I’ve always wanted to take a group of students to Ireland,” Fox said. “Last year I was awarded a faculty development grant and was able to attend a seminar in Ireland. Because of that, I was able to organize this trip.”

Students will be offered six hours of English credit for the study abroad course taught by Fox and including a series of guest speakers. Fox said classes will consist of readings by J. M. Synge, William Butler Yeates, and Lady Gregory as well as other authors of short stories and plays.

The literary seminars will coincide with excursions to the places where these authors wrote and lived along with other historical, literary and archaeological sites.

“I hope that students will be able to enhance their experience of Irish culture and literature,” Fox said.

Along with classes, students will participate in The Galway Arts Festival, a two week celebration of the visual and performing arts organized by a non-profit community arts and theatre organization.

Artists from all over the world come to Galway to display their talents in music, theatre, readings, dance and visual arts. Its aim is to show the local and national culture of Ireland.

“The Galway Arts Festival and the English credits lured me towards my decision to go to Ireland,” student Laura Hagler said. “I looked up information on the festival and it seems like an awesome experience.”

Students will be volunteering in the festival’s parade; a one-day event that showcases floats that act like puppets, along with other outdoor activities. They will be among 100 volunteers who help with creating and running the parade, which attracts 50,000 to 100,000 people.

“One of Dr. Fox’s goals is to not be a tourist, but to assimilate with the culture,” student Whitney Duesing said. “I’ve always wanted to go anywhere in Europe and this will look good on my resume.”

When the students are not in class they will have the opportunity to tour Ireland.

Three excursions are scheduled including tours of Aran Islands, Yeates Country and Connamara. A trip to The Burren, a region that has unique geographical and botanical sights that do not exist anywhere else, is also planned.

“Just to go to another country will be a great experience,” student Crystal Lee said. “Plus I get to put on my resume that I helped in a theatre program in another country.”

Fox, an avid traveler to Ireland and a graduate of Trinity College in Dublin, said she feels the trip to Ireland is a great way of learning that involves doing something for a non-profit organization.

“I hope that students will be able to experience foreign culture in an intense way,” Fox said. “I think that international travel lets you see your own country more clearly.”

Students who are interested in traveling to Ireland July 9-30 are asked to contact Christie Fox at 294-1427 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Since spaces are limited Fox asks that students get in touch with her as soon as possible.