One of the most picturesque and remote parts of Ireland is the Connemara Peninsula, including Counties Galway and Mayo. The site of the classic movie, “The Quiet Man” and the more recent "The Guard," this area is also noted for a unique combination of geology, ecology, and history that intersects that of the eastern United States of the last 1.1 billion years.
The base site will be the Petersburg Outdoor Education Centre (http://www.petersburg.ie), in the scenic and historic Connemara Peninsula of Western Ireland, which has served as the base camp for the JMU Field Geology Course. This site is centrally located to a range of beach, mountain, woodland, lake, and peat bog environments. It is also a focal point for the Celtic history of Ireland. Students will stay in en-suite quad dormitory rooms, with meals provided). On-site attractions include hiking, caving, rock-climbing, and kayaking.
BIO 426 / BIOL 501. Topics in Biology: EESI – Biology (3)
GEOL 398 / GEOL 501. Topics in Geology: EESI – Geology (3)
A student that participated in the course in 2011 had this to say about the experience a year later:
I remember being thrilled about studying abroad because of the awesome adventures, people, food, oh and that thing called school, that I would get to experience in another country, all while earning credit for my undergraduate degree. This trip was so much work and so not what I was expecting. By the end, I was exhausted physically and mentally. However, all those expeditions, field work, research, etc. was going to be used for something greater than I realized; the hopes for future geoparks in Ireland. The experience and trip to Ireland was so meaningful and honestly one of the few times that I felt I learned so much in such little time. It was meaningful 1. because it was so hands on and 2. because we had the pressure of presenting to an audience- not just any audience either! People of community that we would be educating about findings that could be in their own backyards! And now, to think, that our hard work is hanging up as an example for a hopeful future. Amen to being a part of making a (hopeful) difference in the lives of others because of this experience, and also to the continued learning from this trip.
Telephone: 353 94 954 6483
Fax: 353 94 954 6705
Food: The main facility where we will be staying supplies food for breakfast and lunch, and cooked dinners for 6 days each week. While the dinner is cooked, we are responsible for cleaning up the eating utensils (plates, cups, knives, forks, spoons, etc._ The 7th day is your day off, and you will be responsible for supplying your own dinner (you are welcome to use the kitchen to cook your dinner). You will probably want some cash for snacks, pub visits, etc.
Medical: Proof of insurance, etc. will be handled through the JMU Office of International Programs. If you require prescription medicine, bring a 2-week supply. Non-prescription medications are available in the local "chemist" (pharmacy), although some names vary (e.g. Paracetamol = Tylenol).
Luggage: You should pack only as much as you can carry unassisted. This basically means a maximum of 2 checked suitcases plus a carry-on “day pack”. Your hiker's "day pack" will be necessary to hold your field gear every day in the field. Please weigh your baggage ahead of time, as airlines now charge substantial fees for overweight bags, sometimes greater than the cost of an additional bag. For example, most airlines allow the first bag free on transatlantic flights, while an additional bag may cost approximately $50. An overweight bag, however, many incur a $75 fee, and flights through Heathrow airport have an absolute upper weight limit.
Passport, money: GET YOUR PASSPORT EARLY if you don’t already have one. Your passport must be valid for 3 months beyond the end of your trip. Citizens of the U.S and many other countries do not require a special visa: if in doubt, check with your embassy. We recommend that you buy a week's worth of Euros before departure; there will be limited opportunities to exchange currency after arrival, prior your free day in Galway.
Flight: Most students arriving from the U.S. are flying overnight and will be expected to keep going (i.e. stay awake) throughout the following day. Try to adjust your sleep schedule in advance (and sleep on the plane, if possible). Stay hydrated and exercise by flexing muscles, either in your seat or while walking about the cabin. Note that we will have our first field exercise the afternoon of the day that you arrive – no rest for the weary! Please do not purchase airline tickets before given clearance by the course director.
Arrival: We will assemble in Shannon Airport on the morning of Monday, July 1st. Please arrive at the airport by 11:30 am, as we plan to depart from the airport by 12 pm. If you have problems with this schedule, contact us ASAP. The faculty will meet you at the airport and drive you 2-3 hours north to the town of Clonbur, which will be your home for the next two weeks. Please do not purchase airline tickets before given clearance by the course director. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Departure: We will return all students to Shannon Airport on Monday, July 15th, arriving no earlier than 8 am, at which time the course will officially be finished. You will then be free to return to the States or head off on other travels as you desire. As you should allow at least two hours before an international flight for check-in, please do not schedule flights to depart before 10 AM.
Pre/Post meetings: Because of the unique nature of this course and the total number of credit hours assigned, there will be a limited number of mandatory pre- and post-course meetings, scheduled at mutually agreeable times. We would like at least one of these meetings to be an overnight camping trip to Dolly Sods in West Virginia. All necessary food and equipment will be provided. We will use DoodleScheduler to set up these meetings, so please check your email for these regularly.
Telephones: Most US cell phones will not work in Europe, which uses a different system. If you currently have AT&T as your carrier, your phone will likely work in Ireland, but calls home may be expensive. You should check in advance on international rates. You can also consider acquiring a global-ready cell phone, but rate charges can be high. You can also use Google Voice with your global-ready cell phone, or purchase a pay-as-you-go phone on your arrival. These have gotten quite inexpensive, and the “top-ups” can be purchased in most grocery stores or from dedicated vending machines.
For the current projected costs for this program, please click on the following link to the Fees for JMU Study Abroad Programs page.
Students will stay in residence halls/dormitories for the duration of the program. All meals will be covered by the program fee , Most meals will be covered by the program fee (2 meals a day - 14 meals per week), All meals except on day(s) off.
For more detailed instructions and to download the application, please click on the following link to the Applications and Forms section for JMU Short-Term Programs.
Students must meet the minimum required GPA of 2.5 and hold a Sophomore stand or above in order to participate.
Completion of either [GSCI 161-166] or [BIOL 114and/orGEOL 110] are necessary prerequisites for the program.
In addition to the oIP application form, students are required to submit the following material:
The program is geared towards students who are seeking Teacher Certification in Elementary Education with Math/Science concentration OR seeking teacher certification in Elementary Education - Middle Grades OR seeking teacher certification in secondary education, Earth Science AND/OR Biology