Exploring Ireland: Community & Culture

Dub Scene1
Almost a decade ago, author David Mitchell wrote in his Booker Prize shortlisted novel Cloud Atlas that ‘…true knowledge without (e)xperience is food without sustenance.’ At IFSA-Butler Ireland we have worked to design a programme that will take the student’s study abroad experience to another level while they are studying here in Ireland and long after they return home.  The programme blends intercultural learning, exploration of their local community and groups complimented by onsite group discussions, field-trips and supported self-reflection.  Exploring Ireland: Community & Culture (C&C) encourages, supports and challenges students to engage with the communities in which they live and take into consideration their own perspective while learning to appreciate the similarities and celebrate the differences they find between communities and cultures.  C&C is a complimentary addition to the academic modules that the students are taking and through selected activities will help them make the most out of their time abroad.

Learning Goals:

  • Sustained and enlightened Engagement with the local Community.
  • A basic understanding of contemporary political, economic and social issues within the unique historical context that only Ireland can provide.
  • A basic understanding of the Principles of Intercultural Learning.

The students undertake reflective journaling and membership of a local organisation (a club, society or volunteer group on campus), in conjunction with the commitment to attend the seminar sessions in order to receive a Certificate.  Through C&C, the students will access the conceptual frameworks that will allow them to analyse, evaluate and act on their understanding and experiences of community and culture.    C&C encourages students to create meaning out of their daily experiences and to take every opportunity for personal learning and development, thus benefiting the larger community from the student’s learning in the long run.

The theme for the sessions ahead will be Explore!  As students move through the Group Discussions, reading lists and assignments they will be supported and encouraged to explore some of the attitudes that Irish people have displayed towards contemporary issues, to explore the city and their campus communities and to explore their own communities, presumptions, reactions to their experiences and future actions.

For further information contact Suzi Breslin (Student Advisor and Exploring Ireland: Community & Culture Co-Ordinator) sbreslin@ifsa-butler.org or 003531 639 4608
Group 1