Hofstra in Ireland
June 20-July 17, 2017
We begin in Dublin, with Trinity College, the Book of Kells, and the Abbey Theatre, and then move up to Derry/Londonderry, the artistic and cultural hub of Northern Ireland, to tour the city with local historians. Possible day trips include Giant’s Causeway, the Titanic Museum, and the Peace Wall in Belfast. We continue on the Wild Atlantic Way to the misty mountains and expansive beaches of Donegal, staying in the fishing village of Killybegs. Day trips include Slieve League (the highest cliffs in Europe), an Irish football lesson taught by a local GAA Coach, Art classes taught by a local artist in the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking town) Gleann Cholm Cille, or, weather-permitting, nearby Ardara where we can explore Maghera beach and its sea caves. Moving on, we head slightly south, stop at historic Mullaghmore, and then on to Yeats country in Sligo as Mary’s farmhouse guests in a 700-cow family dairy farm. All along the way, we will be reading the literature of places as we also live in them: McPherson, McDonagh, Friel, Heaney, Carr, Joyce and Yeats. Classes are taught by Hofstra faculty and are specifically designed for the Study Abroad program. The assignments provide students with an opportunity to make connections between class readings and discussions, and their daily experiences in Ireland. Class meetings will be held in the common rooms of our accommodations and will sometimes take the form of day trips.
And then there’s Galway: we have over two weeks on its breathtaking Atlantic coast, at the National University of Ireland, Galway. We’ll attend plays, poetry slams, concerts, comedy, dance, street performers, the local music scene, and art shows and films from around the world during the Galway International Film Festival (Fleadth) and Fringe Festival. A day trip to Inis Oirr, the prettiest Aran Island, can make one feel as if they stepped into the 12th Century, and of course we will see the Cliffs of Moher. Galway is a world-class college town with teeming streets and a vibrant night life, and just a short taxi ride from the beaches and promenade of Salt Hill. The Saturday Open Market is open every day during festival season, where you can pick up fresh food (international food made from local ingredients) and the work of local craftspeople. International internships are available for the Fringe Festival.
Our program is grounded by a rich history of local contacts and family everywhere we stay. Typically, our friends in each place are sad when Hofstra students leave and they tell us so. Cead Mille Failte, One Hundred Thousand Welcomes, is never as true in Ireland as it is for Hofstra. There are two free weekends (July 7-9 and 14-16) when you may travel independently within Ireland as you wish, or take advantage of inexpensive flights to U.K. or the European continent.