Cover Photo Image


Dublin, Scariff, Galway, Keel, Lehinch, Cork, Ireland

Program Description

In this program, students study how culture, community, and environment intersect in Ireland. We will accomplish this by exploring water as a central theme throughout our travels, and we will use interdisciplinary methods to better understand how this critical resource shapes how we interact with one another and the planet.

The projects we will undertake in this program are in partnership with national and local community organizations in Ireland, which will give you an experience of “the real Ireland” unavailable to most tourists. These projects will be formative, substantial, and memorable parts of your study abroad experience, not to mention your time at JMU. They will provide you with professionalization experiences you won’t find through regular coursework which are sure to become valuable entries on your resumé, regardless of your major or intended career path.  

The first project is a community engagement initiative in partnership with Waterways Ireland (a government body that stewards the country’s inland waterways) and the town of Scariff in County Clare. During this week-long project we will work with our community partners to promote and advocate for the environmental, cultural, and spiritual value of the river that runs through Scariff Town.

For the second project, students will work with faculty and community partners in Cork City to design a public performance about water security and water rights through the international event Global Water Dances Day. We will undertake this activist- and education-focused performance as a part of the international Midsummer Arts Festival.

Location Description

The program will take place in a variety of locations in Ireland, all of which are uniquely shaped by oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water.

We will begin our journey in the country’s capital, Dublin, where the beautiful Trinity College will be our home base. There, we will orient ourselves to the history and culture of Ireland through walking tours on both sides of the River Liffey, and we will also attend the Dublin Dance Festival.

From there, we will journey to the harbor town of Scariff in County Clare. Scariff is located alongside Lough Derg, the sacred Sanctuary of St. Patrick.

Our next stop is the wild County Mayo coast in the northwest of Ireland, one of the most scenic and culturally rich areas in the country. We will live and learn alongside the Atlantic Ocean, and weather permitting, we will even have the opportunity to take a break from our studies to go surfing.

Next up is a stop in tourist-friendly Galway on the west coast, a city rich in culture and cuisine. As we leave Galway, we will swing by major visitor attractions such as the Burren National Park and the famous Cliffs of Moher.

Our last destination will be Cork City in the south of the country. During our two weeks we will get to know the city and the region well as we participate in the Cork Midsummer Festival, and learn about the city’s relationship to the River Lee.


Zachary A. Dorsey | | School of Theatre & Dance

Patrice Ludwig | | Biology

Seán McCarthy | | WRTC


Various accommodation types will be used throughout the trip, such as houses, apartments, and dormitories. Most will have internet access and full kitchen and laundry facilities. Students will largely be in single or shared double rooms.

Students will be allocated a weekly meal and grocery allowance, and several group meals will be paid for by the program.

Additional Items to Consider

No visas, immunizations, or background checks are required.

Cell phones that work internationally will be required for all students.

A detailed itinerary will be provided once students are enrolled in the program. Mid-trip, students have the option to stay in Galway for four nights, or to travel around Ireland and Europe independently.

Students who are excited about working across the disciplines in small and large groups will find the program the most rewarding.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

All majors and class levels welcome

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


WRTC 486 : Writing in the Community (3 credits)

SCOM 354: Environmental Communication and Advocacy (3 credits)

DANC 303: New Directions in Dance/Topics in Theatre (3 credits)

THEA 303: New Directions in Dance/Topics in Theatre (3 credits)

BIO 103: Contemporary Biology (3 credits)

BIO 426: Topics in Biology (3 credits)

GHUM 251: Modern Perspectives (3 credits)

THEA 210: Introduction to Theatre (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


Back to Top