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MARCH 12-20, 2010

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 2010. The course will acquaint students with Ireland's history, culture, and society by visiting historical sites, museums, vibrant cities, and the beautiful Irish countryside.

To deepen the understanding of the diverse cultural traditions learned in Tier II Human Heritage courses; to examine the historical, social, economic, and political issues of Ireland critically and comparatively; to illustrate the interplay between tradition and history in the context of modern Irish society; to produce a report/project using texts and first-hand observations.  

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 present 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.

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. 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 stop 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, 600 per person (Subject to change)

All inclusive features include:

•             Flights from Albany to Belfast and Dublin to Albany 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

ITINERARY, MARCH 12-20, 2010

Friday, March 12--Albany to Belfast
Saturday, March 13-Belfast
Sunday, March 14-Belfast to Derry
Monday, March 15-Derry
Tuesday, March 16-Derry to Dublin
Wednesday, March 17-Dublin
Thursday, March 18-Dublin
Friday, March 19-Dublin
Saturday, March 20-Dublin to Albany

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