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Ireland and America: a Cross-Cultural Study of Identity

Location

Limerick, Ireland

Program Description

Students enrolled in this course will explore psychological perspectives on the development of identity in a cross-cultural context. While in Ireland, students will be introduced to Irish history and culture, through classes, tours and attendance at cultural events. They will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with Irish students and to explore with them questions of the impact of culture on identity. We will visit two major Irish cities in the Republic of Ireland, Limerick and Dublin, and will also visit a small Irish town and a rural location. We will also visit Northern Ireland. Diversity in the development of identity will be emphasized through facilitated sessions with representatives of different groups in Irish society, e.g., Irish Travellers, and also through reflection on the range of contexts and individuals that are encountered during the trip. The experience of another culture will be used as an impetus for students to reflect on their own identity in the context of the theories that we will examine. Through our observations of Irish culture and interaction with Irish young people we will explore what is unique about Irish and American identities, while also considering those aspects of identity that are shared and globalized. Students will spend most of their course time in Ireland with some orientation sessions at JMU in the semester prior to departure.

Location Description

Ireland is a beautiful, green country with a rich cultural history. The climate is very temperate and the weather is not extreme, although it is likely to rain at any time - hence the nickname 'the emerald isle'. Participants in this course have the opportunity to experience Ireland in the company of a course director who is Irish and therefore can offer important insights into Irish culture. They can expect to experience a great deal of history and culture in a beautiful natural setting. Ireland is a small island and so it is relatively easy to see a variety of settings over the course of the three week stay. Ireland is a friendly, welcoming English-speaking country. We will visit all four of the provinces of Ireland and students will be given every opportunity to explore identity through field trips, interaction with Irish students, and unstructured time for personal exploration. While most of our stay will be in the Republic of Ireland, we will also visit Northern Ireland, thereby gaining an insight into the different cultural and political traditions of the island. Our visit will take us to vibrant cities and to unspoilt rural locations and we will experience everything from museums, to musical events to unique sporting occasions!

Director

Claire Lyons | lyonscw@jmu.edu | Psychology

Accommodations

The primary accommodation will be in student accommodation at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Students will stay at these accommodations for most of the trip. Rooms are organized into groups of 5/6 with two shared bathrooms. Each student will have his/her own room. The accommodation includes kitchen facilities (with complimentary self-serve continental breakfast), wifi, and laundry and is centrally located to the city center and amenities. On field trips (approximately 7 nights), accommodations will be in hostels where students will be required to share rooms or dormitories.

Meals will be provided for in two ways. A student meal plan, including breakfast and a substantial lunch will be arranged while students are in Limerick. Students will be given a stipend for their evening meal. On field trips, group meals will be included and stipends will be given when group meals have not been booked.

Additional Items to Consider

Recommended for sophomore level or above, but freshmen will be considered.

This program takes place in two jurisdictions – Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Visas are not required for either jurisdiction. The currency of the Republic of Ireland is the Euro. The currency of Northern Ireland is the British pound sterling. You will need a three pin electrical adapter in order to be able to use the outlets in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Both jurisdictions have the same kind of electrical outlets as the United Kingdom.

When you are in the Republic of Ireland you may change Euro to sterling, but not dollars to sterling. In the past, students have been able to use their ATM cards in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland once they have informed their U.S. bank of their travel arrangements. Credit cards can be used without difficulty.

Your mobile phone can be used in Ireland if you have a data roaming plan but it is expensive. Wifi will be available in most (but not all) locations.

Travel within Ireland will be by bus and train. There will be no air travel within Ireland. We will make a daytrip to Inis Oirr (an island off the course of Ireland). To get there we need to take a boat trip of approximately 1 hour.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Prerequisite: PSYC 101  or PSYC 160 for PSYC 200 
Prerequisite: At least one Natural Science & one Social Science PSYC area class for PSYC 400

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 
  • Faculty Recommendation
  • Interview with Program Director
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU and first semester transfer students.

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

apply now 

Application Deadline

Dates


All dates are tentative and subject to change

Courses

PSYC 200: Topics in Psychology: Ireland and America - A Cross-Cultural Exploration of Identity (3 credits)

PSYC 400: Advanced Topics in Psychology: Ireland and America - A Cross-Cultural Exploration of Identity (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.

Cost