Ireland's People and Culture

Galway, Ireland
May 15 - June 2, 2017 

Program Highlights

  • Explore Galway through walking tours
  • Visit the Kylemore and Glenstal Benedictine Abbeys
  • Tour the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands
  • Travel to Derry in Northern Ireland
  • Learn some conversational Irish
  • Discover the rich culture of traditional Irish music, dance and song
  • Experience a pickup music session in Spiddal pubs
  • Live in a traditional Irish cottage

Program Description

Galway, Ireland is located on the west coast of Ireland, and sits on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay. The area is rich in the tradition of the Irish culture, particularly the arts. The area we will be staying in is the largest of the Gaeltacht areas of Ireland (where the government recognizes Irish as the 1st language and the traditional music, dance, and singing are fostered). During the three week Summer Term, you will experience the welcoming people, performing arts, and the incredibly beautiful and diverse landscape of the west coast of Ireland. In addition, learning excursions will take you to other parts of the Island to visit sites that are course related and to give you a taste of the whole island.

Kylemore Abbey

Course Information

Course Name: Ireland's People and Culture

Course Number: COLG 280I

Credit Number: 2

Designation: Intercultural

The course is designed for you to learn about the Gaeltacht region of Ireland near Galway.You will study the Gaeltacht area to learn about the government policy to restore the Irish language as well as social and artistic traditions in music, theatre and dance. You will reflect on the role of music, theatre and dance in the Gaeltacht region and how this has changed since 1926 with the formation of the Irish Free State. Comparisons will be made on how the Gaeltacht area differs from the rest of Ireland. You will critically reflect upon your learning to identify cultural comparisons and points of difference with the United States.  The course includes classroom learning, guest speakers and learning excursions designed to complement classes. The course carries an Intercultural designation (IC) - 2 credits.

During your time in Ireland we will focus on the following learning goals:

  1. To understand how the Gaeltacht Areas have changed since the early years of the Irish Free State.
  2. To reflect upon what the texts and excursions are teaching you about Gaeltacht culture. 
  3. To discover how your perspective on the Irish culture and the Gaeltecht area are influenced by your background.

Program Cost

The estimated Program Fee is $1,500 plus the cost of 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $573 per credit).

This price includes:

  • Accommodations during the program
  • Local transportation
  • Learning excursions
  • Admission to museums, theatre and other cultural events
  • Some meals

The Program Fee does not include:

  • Round trip international airfare to Dublin or Shannon airport. (This will differ depending upon the departure city. Estimated at $1300 from MSP)
  • The cost of transportation from the airport to Galway at the beginning the program and from Galway to the airport at the end of the program.
  • The cost of 2 credits at CSB/SJU (approximately $573 per credit)
  • Personal spending money
  • Activities, housing, or transportation not associated with or included in the program
  • Most meals

Group with the President of Ireland


During our time in Galway and the surrounding areas the group will be housed at the Park Lodge Hotel located 12 KM from Galway city and 1.5 K from Spiddal. This is the same place that houses the fall semester-long study abroad program through CSB/SJU. You will live in 5 person cottages at the lodge where classrooms are also located. The cottages have fully equipped kitchens where you can cook your own meals. Washing machines and dryers are available on site for a reasonable cost. Due to the housing in cottages, we need to take into consideration applicant's affiliation with CSB or SJU. The minimum number of students accepted is 15.

Important Information

  • Bring good walking shoes - there is much walking and uneven terrain
  • Pack lightly - washing machines and dryers are available on site
  • A back pack for day and overnight trips is advisable
  • A water proof (not water resistant or water repellent) jacket


Leading the program are Molly and Keith Ewing. Molly is the Humanities Librarian at CSB/SJU, Keith is retired faculty from SCSU. They have previously directed the SCSU semester and summer study abroad programs at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England, and have visited Ireland as tourists multiple times.

Clonmacnoise and the Cliffs of Moher