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Study Abroad Blog

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Field Trips in Ireland: Learning Outside The Classroom

Classes at CEA Dublin’s Study Abroad Center combine the traditional lecture format with field trips around the city, which adds an interactive and entertaining element to the education. Besides helping to make the information learned in the classroom easier to remember, the field trips allow my classmates and I to grow closer with one another and with our professors. 

One of my favorite parts about the Dublin program is how willing the professors are to switch up their teaching styles and their determination to personally know each student. Their enthusiasm for teaching and for the Irish culture makes the classes enjoyable to attend and I always leave having learned something new. So far this semester, the professors have taken us to the Guinness Storehouse, Glendalough, and on several walking tours of Dublin’s neighborhoods. 

Instead of attending classes one Thursday in early February, my International Marketing and International Business classes met at the historic Guinness Storehouse. During our visit to the brewery, we heard a presentation from one of Guinness’ brand managers. The presentation on Guinness as a global brand and business was not only extremely interesting, but also helped me to better understand the course concepts I previously learned in the classroom. After the presentation, we took a tour of the storehouse and became familiar with the brewing process and history of the famous beverage. 

In my Irish History course, we have visited museum exhibits during class and recently took a day trip to the old monastic site of Glendalough. Our class ventured to the site, which sits about an hour outside of Dublin, with students from CEA Dublin’s close partner, International School of Business. It was refreshing to be outside the busy city and surrounded by nature. As we walked on trails throughout the tranquil wooded areas, we learned about the history of the area and Ireland’s religious past. The highlights of the visit were the remnants of the monastic churches, an ancient graveyard, and the picturesque Upper Lake. On the way back to Dublin, we stopped at the seaside town of Bray to grab dinner and explore the area by ourselves. Exploring smaller towns and neighborhoods around Dublin has been a theme of the trip, especially in my Popular Culture class. 

 Upper Lake at Glendalough
 CEA and International School of Business students in Glendalough

The course Popular Culture in Ireland consists of numerous walking tours throughout some of Dublin’s many neighborhoods. The walking tours are a great opportunity to discover the less touristy parts of the city and get a feel for the “real” Dublin. Our professor always shares great tips on where to eat and shop along the way so the tours provide useful everyday information along with historical and cultural facts. 

My classes in Dublin allow me to learn valuable knowledge about the subjects while also forcing me to get out and experience the city. Unfortunately, I find my classes so enjoyable that the weeks pass quickly and it is hard to believe I am halfway finished with the program. However, I could not be more grateful for the education I am receiving while in Ireland and excited to see what lies ahead for the second half of the semester.  
Abigail Marchione is the Spring 2014 MOJO for Dublin, Ireland. She is currently a junior at DePaul University.

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