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Program Overview

Fáilte go hÉirinn! (Welcome to Ireland!)


Ireland offers you opportunities to explore what it means to assume the responsibilities of global citizenship from the lived experience of a specific place.

Living in Dublin, studying at The Institute of Art, Design and Technology, working for community-based groups and agencies in the city, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a rich and varied cultural heritage and get to understand first hand the current issues of both native Irish as well as immigrants to Ireland’s shores.

Ireland’s capital of Dublin has transformed itself over the last 20 years from a quiet, rather old-fashioned place into a modern, thriving and youthful European city. (Ireland was the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote!) Universities abound and create a youthful energy as about 35% of Dublin’s population is under 25. Lively urban areas with historic pubs, live music and restaurants mingle with churches and libraries, ancient ruins and lush green spaces. The Liffey river (spanned by numerous beautiful bridges) divides the city into two distinct areas. You’ll find Dubliners to be welcoming people who are excited to share the best of what their city has to offer.


During your time in Ireland, you’ll live with a local family. Partial board (breakfast and dinner Monday – Friday and three meals per day on the weekends) is included. An integral part of the program, the homestay offers you the opportunity to make life-long friends and experience the culture from the inside. All host families are carefully selected and experienced with hosting students. Instead of being a tourist, you’ll get to know what it’s like to be a true part of Irish culture.

Program Director: Jennette Kilroy 


The program welcomes students of any nation who have a high school diploma or equivalent credential. TOEFL equivalent 550.

Coastal ridge in Ireland


Required Courses

Community Organizing and Social Activism in Ireland

The focus of this course is to explore community organizing and social activism in Ireland with the goal of learning how to effectively translate these ideas and techniques into a concrete knowledge of social activism (including a practical tool set and the development of a personal ethic of advocacy) that can be applied across cultures, countries, and efforts. The course starts with an overview of social change institutions, explores the history and ethics of international service and moves to the examination of past and current political and social movements and advocacy efforts in Ireland. Students will learn the theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning in an Irish context. This course complements community service placements and helps students make sense of their international experience in order to develop their intercultural competence. Topics are examined through the prism of hands-on community service in Irish NGOs and other non-profits and include intercultural communication, the mechanics of Irish non-profits/NGOs, citizenship in Ireland, local civic engagement/advocacy efforts and the exploration of civil society.

Contact Hours: 45

Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Introduction to Community Organizing and Social Activism in Ireland (ONLINE)

This course is delivered virtually and begins before departure and completes after returning. The content includes both pre-departure and post departure information, discussion and reflection and serves to compliment the Institutions in Society Course. The course explores the theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning to help make sense of the international experience and to develop intercultural competence. One credit will be awarded for 15 hours of academic work and 2 credits for the  hands-on service-learning volunteering. Contact Hours: 45 Recommended U.S. Credits: 3


Participants can select up to four elective courses (3 credits each) from the following:

English, Media, and Critical Theory

  • Documentary and Film Studies

  • Political Economy and Globalization

  • 19th Century Literature

  • Tragic Theatre

  • Popular Cultures

  • Writing for multiple media platforms

  • Genres of Popular Fiction

  • 20th Century Irish Writing

  • James Joyce

  • Cultural Identities

  • Contemporary Cinema

  • Research Methods

  • Modernism

  • TV Drama

  • Work Employment and Society

  • Research Proposal Development

New Media Studies

  • Documentary, Film, and Global Media Industries

  • Media Production

  • News writing

  • Multiple Media platforms

  • Gaming and media

  • The Music Industry

  • Media Technology

  • Design thinking

Arts Management

  • Digital Marketing

  • Visual Cultures

  • Law

  • Financial Management

  • Performance studies

  • Cultural Event Management

  • Business Research Methods

  • Music Publishing

  • Sectoral Analysis

Irish countryside

Volunteer Service

The service-learning program in Dublin, Ireland offers students the opportunity to experience international volunteer service in a large urban metropolis with many pressing environmental social problems that effect the entire population. Students may support non-profits, NGOs and community development agencies working with:
  • at-risk youth

  • refugees and immigrants

  • the elderly and other marginalized and vulnerable populations

  • the homeless

  • people struggling with addiction

  • people with physical and mental disabilities

  • children and youth  (tutoring, sports and rec, etc)

Volunteer Service Examples

Following are examples of agencies where students have served in the past or may be able to serve. Other service placements may be available. Your placement will be determined by community and agency needs, as well as your interests, goals, and skills.

After-School Clubhouse for At-Risk Youth

This organization is part of a global network of 105 clubhouses, and is based in a disadvantaged area of inner city Dublin. The clubhouse provides educational and personal support to a range of young people, and students participate in these activities, including art, music, film/TV, theater and technology.

Public Health NGO

Founded in 1996 as a patient support organization, this NGO is dedicated to reducing incidences of a preventable disease by promoting healthy behaviors, and provides support for sufferers and their families.

International Non-Profit for Sustainable Development Projects

Working in 26 of the world’s poorest countries, this NGO works with local people to make major and sustainable improvements in their lives. Interns help research and collate information on the organization’s ongoing projects, contribute to the organization’s newsletter, and participate in ongoing work on social and behavioral change.

Non-Profit Dedicated to Racial Understanding through Sports

This organization is dedicated to creating opportunities for people to participate in social integration projects both in Ireland and abroad with a view to promoting intercultural dialog and harmony. Students assist with a variety of tasks including event planning and promotion, fundraising and research.

International Human Rights NGO

This international organization is dedicated to the protection of fundamental human rights across the globe. Students work in the dynamic fundraising unit, contributing to a variety of projects, events and campaigns.

Community Based Youth Resource Center

Based at a purpose-built community youth center, students work a variety of programs and events in support of professional Youth Workers. The work includes the day-to-day work of the drop-in center to special initiatives targeting certain minority youth groups.

Services for the Unemployed

Unemployment is the most pressing social issue in present-day Ireland. Founded in 1994, this non-profit has come to play an increasingly important role in Dublin. Volunteers work on different programs, but always with the intention of supporting their search and helping them regain their confidence and dignity. "This organization became more to me than just my service site. It became a comfortable environment filled with support and encouragement, as well as a place to receive constructive criticism. I've seen how the organization works, and volunteers are essential to helping complete the day-to-day tasks that the staff have push aside. We all work hard, and I hope I contribute to the environment and cause I respect so much.” Gentry H., Psychology Major, Emory & Henry College, 2013

Animal Shelter and Placement Organization

Established by a group of women over 25 years ago, this community-based and entirely self-funded charity houses over 70 animals that have been abandoned or rescued from situations of abuse. Volunteers mainly work closely with the animals, helping to feed, clean, groom and exercise them. “The chance to combine service, real service, with something that I love is not an opportunity that I am presented with often.  This place is more than an animal shelter, it's a sanctuary.  We can learn much and more from animals, if we bother to pay attention.”  Will P., Biology Major, Emory & Henry College, 2013 Street market in Dublin

Things to Do

Travel is an essential part of studying abroad. Taking knowledge from the classroom and applying it through direct observation allows for greater classroom comprehension and cultural understanding.

Excursions MAY Include:

  • Dublin City Bus Tour for Orientation

  • Book of Kells

  • Glasnevin Cemetery

  • GAA - Gelic Athletic Association

  • Weekend excursion to west or southern coast 
  • Day trip to Wicklow county

  • Day trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland to visit Peace and Reconciliation centers

Students in Ireland may also work with program staff on-site to arrange for independent travel to other areas of Ireland or to the continent. As with all travel, weather and other travel hindrances can affect the exact destinations of excursions. In such cases, program staff make every effort to find suitable replacement itineraries.

Castle in Ireland