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Ireland in Text, Image and Transmedia


Dublin, Cork, Doolin, Galway, Ireland

Program Description

Experience Ireland and its culture for five weeks while earning a combined 6 hours of SMAD and/or ENG credits.

The theme of the program for 2016 is “The Irish Imagination.” Through a wide variety of cultural activities and explorations of the cities and countryside, you will experience the lively heartbeat of this special place and its rich culture. What do we mean by the Irish Imagination? The resilience, charm, and spirit of this small country seems shaped somehow by an Irish sense of humor and wonder, even in the midst of adverse past history. The creative spirit of the people and place is testimony to the power of the Irish imagination. In this program, we will ask you to explore, discover, witness and feel its magic in Irish literature, film, music, and visual arts.

This study abroad experience is designed to develop participant’s analytic, writing, and media production skills while gaining a greater cultural knowledge of Ireland and its people. You will cultivate the arts of perception and expression in storytelling through original writing and visual media that will be published online. No previous media experience required.

This is a 6-credit program designed where students take 2 of the following courses.  Students will enroll in courses as either ENG or SMAD. 

Course 1 - 

ENG 302 meets with SMAD 305

Course 2 -

ENG 385 meets with SMAD 398

Course 3 -

ENG 496 meets with SMAD 311

Location Description

During the program students will travel throughout much of Ireland and stay in four locations.

The journey begins with three nights in Ireland’s largest city and capitol, Dublin. Staying at historic Trinity College in the heart of the city’s center, students can easily explore Dublin’s diverse, vibrant, and acclaimed cultural offerings.

From Dublin, we travel to the southwestern city of Cork for ten nights. The stay usually coincides with the Cork Midsummer Festival with theater, dance, music, and art. In the surrounding countryside students can visit the famous Blarney Castle, the Killarney National Forest, or the coastal village of Kinsale.

Next the program travels west to the scenic coastal village of Doolin for four nights. Located on the Wild Atlantic Way near the majestic Cliffs of Moher, it is world-renowned for its traditional Irish music scene and hiking. Day trips include a visit to the Aran Islands for exploring and biking.

Moving north up the coast, we will spend two weeks in Galway (considered the arts capital of Ireland) during the city’s internationally recognized film and performing arts festivals.

Finally, the program heads back to Dublin for three nights, another chance to experience modern Ireland before you leave.


Tom McHardy | | Media Arts and Design
Shaun Wright | | Media Arts and Design


In Dublin, students will stay in student housing at Trinity College, usually single and double rooms and a shared kitchen. In Cork, students will stay in student apartments with private en suite rooms and a shared kitchen/living area. In Doolin and in Galway, students will stay in two and three bedroom holiday apartments with a shared bath, kitchen and living area.

All accommodations include Internet access and laundry facilities. Housing is located within walking distance of city centers and convenient to public transportation.
Students will be allocated a weekly meal stipend sufficient for groceries and some meals out. Kitchen facilities are available in all program lodging.

Additionally, some group meals are included.

Additional Items to Consider

Some students extend the travel abroad experience with personal travel before the program start date or after the program end date. It is relatively inexpensive to travel further in Ireland by train or to fly to other nearby locations in Europe. More travel information will be provided upon request.

During the program, students should not plan to have friends or family visit as you are not allowed to have guests in program lodging or to miss program activities.

Cell phones are not provided. In the program orientation, we will discuss several options for voice, texting, and email communication with friends and family in the states.

All of the courses in this program will have online components offered through Canvas in the four weeks prior to arriving in Ireland. These components will include readings, film screenings, and discussions. Doing this portion of the coursework before we get to Ireland will 1) better prepare you to be there, and 2) free up more of our time for hands-on experiential travel and learning.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.7

Sophomore, junior or senior standing

Open to all majors, but meets degree requirements for SMAD, ENG, the Creative Writing Minor, and the Film Studies Minor.

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 
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • 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 Closed for 2016

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ENG 302: Special Topics in Literature and Language: The Irish Imagination (3 credits)

SMAD 305: Special Topics in Media Production: Ireland and the Irish Imagination (3 credits)

ENG 385: Special Topics in Field Study: Irish Film (3 credits)

SMAD 398: Critical Studies in Media Arts & Design: Irish Film (3 credits)

ENG 496: Advanced Topics in Creative Writing: Tourist, Traveler, Pilgrim (3 credits)

SMAD 311: Feature Writing (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.