Assistant A&E Editor
KU’s Ireland Study Abroad 2020 program offers a unique opportunity for those interested in art, history and culture. Going into its third year, the trip has been as popular as it is rewarding. Students have the chance to visit five cities—Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Killarney and Galway—and delve into Ireland’s own distinct atmospheres.
The program offers three courses: Ireland’s Literary Landscape (ENG 146), Religious Transition in Early Christian Ireland (HIS 206) and Self and Social Identities (PSY 115).
Ireland’s Literary Landscapes focuses on the cultural and historical intersections between Ireland’s vast geography and literature. Religious Transition in Early Christian Ireland is a course that explores the development of sacred and religious syncretism. Finally, Self and Social Identities focuses on Irish identity as it is connected to the psychological sense of self. The trip’s duration takes place from May 24 to June 24, 2020.
One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s study abroad trip lies in Galway. The Irish city was chosen as the 2020 European Capital of Culture by the European Union. Each year, the EU is responsible for choosing a different city as a capital of culture, and the city participates in a yearlong festivity of events.
The Celtic festival, Bealtaine, will be going on while the group is in Galway. Events taking place during that time include Project Baa Baa, a celebration of sheep’s contribution to Europe’s economy and culture; Interaction Galway Theatre Festival, a virtual reality experience; and Gilgamesh, a theatre production about a giant who is two-thirds god and one-third human. Galway itself is already a cultural hub, and with the extra layer of yearlong events, it is sure to be an exciting spot.
Another highlight of the trip takes place in the National Museum of Ireland, located in Dublin. The museum is split into four locations, three in Dublin and one in Mayo. With many exhibitions, the site features archaeology, decorative arts, country and natural history separated into different buildings. Some interesting exhibits include Ór, which showcases prehistoric gold, artifacts from Newgrange and preserved bog bodies.
Dublin also houses “The Book of Kells,” located at Trinity College. The exhibit is an essential stop in the city as it houses the world’s most famous medieval manuscript.
Finally, Belfast’s Black Cab tours provide a great historical experience for those interested in The Troubles. Black Cab tours are extremely versatile, with mural, political and titanic tours showcasing Ireland’s past. Mural walls were, and continue to be, a significant part of Irish history, as they reflected cultural values shared by the public.
Of course, these are only some of the greater highlights of a large sightseeing list the program plans to embark on. Other sites of interest for the program include Giant’s Causeway, Glendalough Monastic City, Ross Castle and the Latin Quarter. No matter what course, students attending will gain historic and cultural knowledge from this trip of a lifetime.
To apply, students can look under faculty-led study abroad programs. For any questions, students can reach out to Dr. Vogel, Dr. Lanter or Dr. Johnson.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment