MARCH 9-17, 2013

Explore the rich history and culture of Ireland. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will offer an Ireland travel course during the Spring Break of March 2013. The course will acquaint students with Ireland's history, culture, and society by visiting historical sites, museums, vibrant cities, and the beautiful Irish countryside.

1.  Students will be able to identify connections between Irish history and contemporary Ireland.
2.  Students will be able to compare and contrast the depictions of Irish society in fiction and non-fiction works with their experiences in Ireland.
3.  Students will be able to explain points of similarity and difference in their experiences in Northern Ireland (UK), the Republic of Ireland, and the United States.
4.  Students will be able to situate the value of their travel within their larger college experience. 

Prior to and after the trip, students will have weekly meetings with Professor Anthony Daly, the faculty leader of the trip, to discuss issues relating to Irish history, culture and society. Students will be required to finish assigned readings and submit assignments. During the trip, Professor Daly and other guides will give on-site talks and tours, and students will be required to keep a journal. After the trip, students will complete a project based on their knowledge of and experience in Ireland.

Students will be evaluated on the following: attendance at class meetings, participation in discussions, in-class presentations, written assignments on course readings, a final reflective project on the knowledge and experience gained in the course, and behavior on the travel portion of the course.

Belfast City HallBelfast
Belfast is a beautiful city with stunning buildings from the nineteenth century, and streets that date back to the 1600s. On our guided tours of the city, we will see reminders of the conflicts from past years, but also the transformation of a newly confident city and its friendly people. We will also have the opportunity to visit the spectacular Titanic museum which opens in 2012, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ship's launch from Belfast.

After a drive through the Irish countryside, we will arrive in Derry, one of the most well-preserved walled cities in Europe, and we will have a local guide to help us explore it, taking in city murals, cathedrals, and museums. Derry is also the United Kingdom City of Culture in 2013, with many special events to mark this status. We will take a trip from Derry to visit the Giant's Causeway, recognized by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site. This natural marvel of 55 million year-old hexagonal columns is situated on the rugged and scenic Irish coast, where green fields meet the sea.

On our way to Dublin, we will explore the Irish migration experience at the outdoor Ulster-American Folk Park and thenstop at the Hill of Tara, a site of immense importance in Irish history, as it was home to the druids and the high kings of ancient Ireland.


Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland and is drenched in history and culture. Wonderfully walkable, the city offers visitors famous sights such as Trinity College, Dublin Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and of course the Georgian architecture of the 18th century. Side by side with these landmarks are the green parks, bustling streets, and hip neighborhoods of modern Dublin, one of Europe's most vibrant capitals. This is a city made famous by writers and poets such as James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, and W.B. Yeats, but we will also experience the history of Dublin, with visits to Kilmainham Jail, which held so many Irish patriots in past centuries, and the National Museum.

Round Tower at Glendalough

One of the highlights of our time in Dublin will be a day trip through the green hills of Wicklow to experience Glendalough. The name means "Valley of the Two Lakes" in the Irish language, and it is one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland, with the remains of a monastery, founded in the sixth century, set in great natural beauty, a valley of lakes and forest.




Approximate cost: $2, 800 per person (Subject to change)

All inclusive features include:

•             Flights from Boston to Belfast and Dublin to Boston and ground transportation in Ireland

•             All hotels (triple or quadruple occupancy with private bathrooms)

•             Breakfast and dinner every day

•             Guided sightseeing tours of Belfast, Derry, and Dublin

•             Admission to these attractions: Tower Museum, Ulster-American Folk Park, Hill of Tara, Kilmainham Jail, National Museum

•             Three upper-level credits for students enrolled at MCLA


Saturday, March 9-Boston to Belfast
Sunday, March 10-Belfast
Monday, March 11-Belfast to Derry
Tuesday, March 12-Derry
Wednesday, March 13-Derry to Dublin
Thursday, March 14-Dublin
Friday, March 15-Dublin
Saturday, March 16-Dublin
Sunday, March 17-Dublin to Boston

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Anthony Daly
Department of History
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
375 Church Street
North Adams, MA 01247
Phone: 413-662-5478


Images courtesy of Tourism Ireland