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Ireland: Media, Culture and Society


Dublin, Derry, Donegal, Galway, Ireland

Program Description

Experience Ireland and its culture for six weeks while earning a combined 6 hours of SMAD, SOCI and/or ENG credits. Selected students will visit major landmarks and cities and come to appreciate Ireland’s rich culture and society by analyzing its films, media, and food.

During their stay, students will collaborate on a media based project with the Galway division of the nonprofit organization Foróige in order to examine the perspective of young people in today’s Irish society. Students will also examine the social and cultural impact on Galway and its culinary community by being designated a European Region of Gastronomy. The program will provide students a special opportunity to help document the stories of local youth and food vendors in Galway.

Throughout the trip, students will also document the impact of their own journeys and experiences by creating reflexive content in various media formats. This study abroad program is designed to help develop participant’s analytical, media and cross-cultural skills while gaining a greater knowledge of Irish society/culture and self.

Location Description

During the program students will travel throughout Ireland. The journey begins in the country’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.

Next the program travels north to the city of Derry in Northern Ireland. The city has a long, colorful and at times troubled history, but today the city is in the midst of a compelling transformation into a more positive, creative and welcoming place.

Finally, the program heads south along the Wild Atlantic Way where students will spend the last four weeks in the city of Galway (considered the arts capital of Ireland) during the city’s internationally recognized film and performing arts festivals.


Shaun Wright | | Media Arts and Design
David Trouille | | Sociology


Housing will be provided and students will share accommodations in conveniently located apartments, residence halls, and hotels. All locations include free Wi-Fi and access to onsite kitchens.

The program will provide students with a weekly meal allowance, and additional meals (several group lunches and dinners) will be covered as well.

Additional Items to Consider

A full itinerary will be provided once students are enrolled in the program.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.6

Sophomore, junior or senior standing

No prerequisites

Open to all majors, but targeted toward SMAD or SOCI majors as well as Film Studies minors.

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 
  • 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. 

Program Closed

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Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


SMAD 305: Special Topics in Media Arts and Design (3 credits)

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

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

SOCI 334: Socialization and Society (3 credits)

SOCI 395: Special Topics in Sociology (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.