The Emerald Isle: Fall 2018
The University of West Alabama has announced its inaugural short-term, faculty-led study abroad program, with plans for travel to Ireland’s County Donegal in November 2018.
Students participate by enrolling in the course, “The U.S. and Ireland: Culture, Nation, and the State,” for a semester and study comparatively anthropology, literature, and history.
The study will explore why complex cultures form, how national identities emerge, and the ways those give rise to modern states. The term will be capped by an 11-day journey to the Emerald Isle for intensive, hands-on explorations across six millennia of human settlement. Undergraduate and graduate students alike are encouraged to participate, as are both majors and non-majors.
Dr. Rob Riser, associate professor of history at UWA, is the program director and has high expectations for the program.
“I am particularly excited for students to have the opportunity to study an array of human pursuits on the ground, in tactile fashion,” he said. “Really, there’s no study destination that better encapsulates these things than Ireland.”
UWA students have the opportunity to participate in semester-long exchange programs, but those are sometimes impractical for many students who may have other financial or time obligations. But according to Riser, the students who stand to benefit most from overseas study may be those who can least afford it.
“We’ve changed that with ‘UWA in Ireland,’ Riser explained. “By opening registration so far in advance, and by compressing the travel schedule, we intend to ease both the financial burdens and time demands upon students and their families.”
Riser has led efforts to launch the program, with special attention paid to controlling costs. The cost to enroll for credit-seeking students will be $1,750, and that includes all in-country transfers, mandatory insurance, room and board, and entry fees. Non-students may participate as well at the cost of $2,250.
According to UWA Provost Tim Edwards, this program’s financial structure reflects UWA’s ongoing commitment to control costs of attendance and opportunity for students.
“This is a real opportunity for UWA students to gain a valuable study abroad experience at an extremely affordable price point,” Edwards suggested. “Ample research shows that study abroad experience actually makes a recent college graduate more marketable as he or she enters the job market.”
Organizers have initiated fundraising efforts to further offset students’ program and travel costs. A “UWA Ireland” fund has been established with the UWA Foundation, and anyone who would like to contribute any amount may contact the Advancement Office to make a pledge. Limited edition program t-shirts are also on sale for $25, all proceeds benefitting students.
Program slots will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participants are urged to apply early. The University has made reservations for a guaranteed maximum of 25 participants.
“We don’t expect to fall short of our goal,” Riser said “because no one will want to miss out on this.”
A twenty-four-page program viewbook is available at: http://online.flowpaper.com/7cbf0771/UWAinIrelandViewbook71117/.
For more information, contact Dr. Rob Riser at (205) 652-3638 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the program on Facebook at “UWA in Ireland.”