Galway, a university town with a vibrant artistic and cultural atmosphere, is the administrative capital of County Galway and the largest city in the West of Ireland. This area of the country is noted for its geographic and cultural distinctiveness.
With the largest concentration of Gaelic-speaking communities in Ireland, the West is widely recognized as the most typically "Irish" part of the country. The Gaelic heritage is perhaps most evident in the Aran Islands (Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer), located just off the coast at the entrance to Galway Bay.
About the Program
Hobart and William Smith Colleges maintain an affiliation with the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) to provide students with the opportunity to live and study among Irish students at an Irish university. Participants in the program are also encouraged to join one of the many university clubs and organizations in order to directly experience Irish student life and culture. Community service options are available and provide a unique opportunity for students to gain access to the local community.
This program consists of a combination of special courses taught for the group and regular university courses. All students will take two required courses:
Contemporary Irish Culture and Society (1 credit)
This course, an interdisciplinary survey designed to give students insight into important historical events and processes that have shaped Irish culture and society, is organized and taught by faculty from the Centre for Irish Studies at NUIG. A series of excursions are linked to this course and will serve to illustrate key themes and topics.
Fall 2017 Director’s Seminar: Social Problems in Modern Western Societies: Ireland in Comparative Perspective (1 credit)
The focus of this course is the examination of fundamental social problems confronting contemporary Western societies. How social problems have emerged or have been perpetuated in recent years, and how social problems are defined and perceived by particular social groups are important issues for this course, as is the consideration of various types of attempts to address these problems. In what ways does a focused look at Ireland reveal particularly distinctive problems or essentially mirror larger patterns of problems facing most modern Western societies? Service learning placements will inform each student’s perspective in this course and the topics of their final papers.
Spring 2018 Director’s Seminar: Environmental Policy and Sustainability in Ireland (1 credit)
Historically, Ireland was slow to recognize and address environmental issues on a national scale. It was only in the mid-70s, at the same time that Ireland joined the European Economic Community, that it began a coordinated effort to work towards the sustainable management of natural resources, the protection of habitats and wildlife, and the reduction of greenhouse gases in order to address climate change. As a member of the European Union, Ireland is now viewed as a leader in terms of environmental progress, especially within the last 5-10 years. In 2016, Galway was awarded the European Green Leaf Environmental Award. It was chosen from hundreds of small cities across Europe with populations under 100,000 people as “Europe’s most environmentally friendly small city.” Ireland’s ability to meet EU and national standards more generally is, in part, because of its relatively small size and identity as a place where farming and land-use, on the one hand, and conservation of nature, on the other, can coexist.
This course will explore Ireland’s environmental policies and actions over the past 60 years. Our approach will be interdisciplinary, exploring the social, scientific, economic, political and ethical dimensions of environmental policy and the principles of sustainability that have shaped Ireland’s actions and accomplishments. Much of the course will be framed around the question of: How does what we see today in terms of Ireland’s environmental policies and accomplishments reflect its history and identity as a relatively small island nation and a member of the European Union?
Elective Courses (2 courses/2 credits)
In addition, students will select two electives from the regular NUIG catalogue. Following are examples of courses taken by students on previous programs. Consult the NUIG website for further details on course offerings: http://www.nuigalway.ie/international-students/studyabroad.html
Introduction to Northern Irish Politics; Feminist Thought; Shakespearean Comedies; Short Plays of Samuel Beckett; Women in Irish Society; Irish Art; Drama and Theatre Studies; Gaelic Language; Scottish Short Stories; Church and State in Ireland; Contemp. Irish Poetry; The English Language in Ireland; Irish Famine in a European Perspective
The Galway program is accessible to students from virtually any academic discipline as participants will be able to select two courses from the NUIG catalogue. Note that access for international students to some NUIG courses is limited due to such factors as the duration of the course and the nature of course prerequisites. Science students with very specific courses needs are advised to consult with staff at the Center for Global Education before applying to this program.
This program is open to juniors and seniors (sophomores may be considered in exceptional cases) in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students may be required to successfully complete a Reader's College orientation course during the semester preceding the program. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students on this program will be housed alongside Irish and international students in flats in a complex called “Gort na Coiribe”, located on the Headford Road about a 10-minute walk from the NUIG campus. Fully equipped kitchens are included in the flats and a large shopping center and a cinema complex are nearby. As you are responsible for your own meals on this program, you may choose to prepare your own at home. In addition, full meals may be purchased at the university canteen at government subsidized prices. To view the accommodations, visit the Gort na Coiribe website at http://www.gortnacoiribe.com
Several excursions linked to the Irish Culture and Society course are included as part of this program. They typically include visits to Northern Ireland, Dublin, Cork, Kerry, and the Aran Islands. Some local excursions in and around Galway may be organized as well.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover credit for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing, and program-related activities and excursions. Note that no HWS board fee will be charged. Students should plan to bring their board fee to cover meal expenses throughout the program.
Additional expenses not covered include airfare, visa, books, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $900-$1100 from the East Coast, visa at $350, and books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
- This program is offered every semester.
- All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and will be in October (for Fall programs) and March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) to date that have been uploaded by CGE staff. Program participants receive their updated copy of the handbook 2-3 months prior to their specific program's start date.
FALL HANDBOOK / SPRING HANDBOOK
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS for your program until you have received a notification from the CGE letting you know that the most recent version (your version) of the handbook (along with program start/finish dates) has been posted online and sent to your e-mail.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
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