Tag Archives: IFSA-Butler

Embracing every county….bar one!

Megan Madonna | Vanderbilt University | University College Dublin Spring 2014

The Island of Ireland is divided geography into 4 provinces: Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught:

Ireland Proviences

This is further divided into 32 counties – 6 in Northern Ireland and 28 in the Republic of Ireland.

Ireland Counties

Each province and even more so each county of Ireland represents a unique aspect of our nation.

People are different; they speak with different accents, they have different customs and they take pride in their county colours when it comes to Gaelic games.

Places are different; the landscape varies from the rolling waves of the Atlantic to mountain peaks to the bogs of the midlands to the city centres.

Counties and their inhabitants are known by names such as The Rebels (Cork), The Banner (Clare), The Kingdom (Kerry), The Premier (Tipperary), The Royal county (Meath), The Lilywhites (Kildare), The Tribesmen (Galway)….the list goes on! Even for an Irish person, visiting all of the counties on the island is not an easy task to do over a number of years. For a single semester study abroad study Megan Madonna from Vanderbilt University has really seen the length and breadth of the Emerald Isle. Megan has managed to visit in some shape of form every county on the Island – except for one! Fermanagh (Fur-man-a) has escaped her. This however does give her a reason to come back to Ireland and achieve the ultimate goal. From all of us at IFSA-Butler Ireland well done on your fantastic achievement!

The challenge:

Map of Ireland











Here are some pictures of Megan on her travels around Ireland (courtesy of Megan):


Kissing the Blarney Stone
Kissing the Blarney Stone
Galway or Mayo?
Galway or Mayo?


Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway
Inch Beach, Co. Kerry
Inch Beach, Co. Kerry
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher

Na Cupla Focal *12 – Killary Adventure Weekend Newsletter

** In case you were unable to read the latest newsletter we emailed out today here is the text:

Killary Adventure Weekend 23/03/12

Order of Events

Friday 23rd March
Everyone will be picked up by bus and arrive in Killary by 12.30pm. We have an afternoon of activities followed by dinner that evening at the adventure centre and a table quiz (“trivia” in Americanish!) hosted by the staff of Killary Adventure Centre.

Continue reading Na Cupla Focal *12 – Killary Adventure Weekend Newsletter

Student Bloggers – 2012

Check out who’s blogging this semester:-

Colin Daunt – University of Puget Sound – University College Cork Academic Year 2011/2012

Colin’s Adventures in Europe

Rachel O’Connor – Arizona State University – NUI Galway Spring Semester 2012

Rachel’s Irish Escapades

Hannah Sutton – Butler University – University College Dublin Spring Semester 2012

Hannah’s IFSA-Butler Blog

Check out all the IFSA-Butler Bloggers and Vloggers here

Kat Conard – Providence College – Trinity College Dublin Spring Semester 2012

Katherine Go Bragh

Taylor Beard – University of Puget Sound – University College Cork Spring Semester 2012

Taylor’s Adventures in Ireland 

Na Cupla Focal *10 – Pre-Departure Newsletter

In case you were unable to read the latest newsletter we emailed out yesterday here is the text:

We told you this semester would fly by! Soon you will be back in the US and missing us desperately!

Here is some advice from us on making it home safe and sound.

How to plan your trip home

Check airport websites for flight updates before travelling to the airport. If your flight is delayed or cancelled due to bad weather, contact your airline directly. If you are on the group flight, you should also contact Missy Severance at mseverance@advantageagency.com or 001 315 4712222

If the airport closes it is important you monitor flight updates with the airline website. Contact the IFSA-Butler office and let staff know that you are yet to depart.

Arrive at the airport in plenty of time. If you have an early morning flight, consider spending the night in an airport hotel to avoid any extra stress or unnecessary delays.

Travel options

The following coach companies have services directly to Dublin Airport.

Continue reading Na Cupla Focal *10 – Pre-Departure Newsletter

I’m going to study there because of…..Cork

This is the first in a series of short blog posts highlighting a couple of great things about the Study Abroad options available in Ireland. First up is…..Cork.

Because of…..The English Market

One question that we get asked again and again is where to find a market in a city. Lots of cities have markets that take place on certain days in parks and public spaces, but in Cork there is a permanent one in the middle of the city, and it’s indoors! Great seafood, quality butchers, a huge range of olives and cheeses, organic produce and a yummy cafe call FarmGate. Click here for more information.

Because of…..the Gift of the Gab!

One of Ireland’s treasures, Blarney Castle was built over 600 years ago. Climb the staircase that leads you up to the famous Blarney Stone. Kissing it involves being held by a very old looking man (he looks older than the castle!) as you lean backwards, pucker those lips and go in for a smooch! It’s all worth it though, as kissing it gives you the gift of eloquence – or the ‘gift of the gab’ as we like to call it!

Festivals, Festivals Galore!

My goodness, we really do love our festivals here in Ireland. A simple search of google and you will find almost endless lists of events. They are a great way to get people out, having fun and enjoying all that is great about this little country of ours. Nothing beats a bit of organised fun!

Take July as a prime example of this, here is a list of what we would consider the top festivals that month:

  1. Oxegen, KildareJuly 8-10 – One of Europe’s biggest and best music festivals. This festival sees such notable acts as The Black Eyed Peas, Foo Fighters, Cold Play headlining while the “support acts” aren’t too shabby either, The National, The Script, Brandon Flowers, Beyonce and Arctic Monkeys to name but a few!
  2. Galway Arts Festival July 11-24 – The streets, bars and theatres are quite literally taken over for this 2 week festival of all things arts and culture. You will be blown away by street performers, musical acts like Blondie, Bell XI and Gemma Hayes and wonderful plays, the highlight being Misterman starring Cillian Murphy of Batman Begins fame!
  3. Vodafone Comedy Festival, Dublin July 21-24 – A great little festival situated in the heart of Dublin city in the Iveagh Gardens. Some of the top comedic talent in the country will be perform. The likes of Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne, Neil Delamare and David McSavage are not to be missed.
  4. Indiependence, Cork – July 29-31 – A nice small festival for all you cool Indie music fans! Great music sprinkled with arts, culture and chill out. Editors headline this year and will be accompanied by Ham Sandwich (one of our favourites this year, check out their hit song “Antz”), The Coronas, Gemma Hayes (again) and Frank and the Walters.

Continue reading Festivals, Festivals Galore!

Adventure Weekend 2010

Killary Adventure Weekend


  • Friday 26th March – Everyone will be picked up by bus and arrive to Killary at 6pm. We will all have dinner that evening at the adventure centre to be followed by a table quiz hosted by the staff of Killary Adventure Centre.
  • Sat 27th March – Let the activities begin! Nothing like an adventure day to build up an appetite, dinner in the adventure centre followed by entertainment.
  • Sunday 28th March – Morning activities. Depart Killary at 2pm. Continue reading Adventure Weekend 2010

October 2009 Newsletter

Cork Jazz

Na Cúpla Focal

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

Definitely the highlight of the Jazz scene in Ireland, the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is a veritable feast of craic agus ceol. Cork is Ireland’s most welcoming city and every October, the city plays host to over 50,000 visitors who come for a weekend packed full of fun, frolics and fantastic events. Continue reading October 2009 Newsletter