Posts Tagged ‘Study Abroad’

Communication Studies goes to Ireland

September 7, 2016

irelandgroup2016The Department of Communication Studies at EIU hosted a study abroad trip to Ireland over the summer of 2016. AJ Walsh, faculty member in Communication Studies at EIU, included International Business Abroad with Jason Kight of the Lumpkin School of Business in her faculty-led Intercultural Communication Study Abroad program.

The group of 7 students and 2 faculty members spent 26 days in Ireland. The students visited Northern Ireland as well as the Republic of Ireland.  A major component of the trip was learning about how Irish history has shaped intercultural communication and communication practices in the region. For example, the students took a Bloody Sunday tour led by a former member of the IRA, who is now working to bring peace and reconciliation.  They also visited Corrymeela Reconciliation Center and learned about the negotiations between Northern Ireland and southern Ireland during “The Troubles” and the continuing efforts to improve communication between nations and cultures. A major component of the program involves having students interacting with the Irish and British peoples, exploring contemporary expressions of culture.

A.J. Walsh will lead another study abroad program this coming summer to the same locations.  According to Walsh, the experience of study abroad is indispensable for students because it is a “life-changing perspective-altering experience at a critical time in a college student’s life.”  Further, she notes that spending nearly a month living in another country isn’t something that students will likely be able to do after college.

Study Abroad trips like these offer students cultural awareness they can bring to their future beyond EIU. While the team of faculty members continues to try to make study abroad affordable, many students are only able to attend because of scholarships “Finding funding for students is always a challenge, and we help students turn over every rock” says Walsh.

Submitted by Dr. Molly Niesen