Dubliners during the summer

July 30, 2013 11:00 AM

Alex Chasick

Twenty Tulane students have returned from the inaugural Summer in Dublin four-week study-abroad program that exposed students to Irish literature, history and culture.


Tulane students studying abroad in Ireland stop in Burren during a four-day excursion to the country’s southern and western areas. Grant McCall, associate professor of anthropology, chose the site because of its archaeological importance. (Photo from Grant McCall)

Students were housed at University College Dublin, situated south of the city center, and had numerous opportunities to explore Dublin, Ireland, and even other countries. They received month-long bus passes to get into Dublin, where they experienced the city’s museums, music, food and pub culture.

The entire group took a four-day trip through scenic southern and southwestern Ireland, and students took advantage of free weekends to travel to Galway, Ireland, as well as London and Paris.

Professors of history, anthropology and English — Terrence Fitzmorris, Grant McCall and Molly Travis — accompanied students on a trip into Belfast, Ireland, and taught them about the area’s political turmoil and archaeological sites, as well as Northern Irish writers.

The program’s premise is that being in Ireland enhances students’ learning experience by immersing them in the culture they study, says Travis, associate dean for international programs and executive director of the Center for Global Education at Tulane.  

Travis, an associate professor of English, taught classes in Irish literature and film during the trip. Her literature students enriched their study of James Joyce by participating in Dublin’s Bloomsday, an annual celebration of Joyce’s Ulysses. Irish film students attended a film night hosted by the Irish Film Institute.

Students who participated in the program were rising sophomores, juniors and seniors, and some were embarking on their first study-abroad experience. Travis says that Ireland was an ideal place for these students because, in addition to being an English-speaking country, the friendliness of the people and breathtakingly beautiful environment helped students feel comfortable.

Tulane plans to offer the program again in 2014, Travis says, and expects to expand the group to 30 students.

Alex Chasick, a freelance writer living in New Orleans, is a 2005 graduate of Tulane University.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu