Semester overseas in Ireland

Tralee, Ireland, may not be a city that sounds familiar to many, but those who have seen the movies “Ryan’s Daughter,” “The Matchmaker” or “The Field,” may recognize this area of southern Ireland. Located two hours from the city of Cork, Tralee will be the home of 20 to 25 Quinnipiac students during the Spring 2003 semester.
“The whole idea of a semester overseas gets a whole lot easier for our students,” said Professor Robert Smart, director of Ireland studies. “You can, with a little bit of planning, go abroad for a semester and not affect your course work at all.”
In previous years, students could visit Ireland during the summer and winter breaks, where Quinnipiac faculty would fly over and teach classes. Now, Quinnipiac has bought Kilteely House in Ballyard, just ten minutes from Tralee, and there is a Quinnipiac campus in Ireland. Irish faculty will also teach classes.
“The idea really grew out of interest from students,” said Smart. “We figured that we had enough students on campus to do this.”
All classes and meals take place in the same house that the students live, Smart said. The rooms available are singles, doubles, triples and quads.
‘It’s a very comfortable setup,” he said. “It has everything in the same house.”
Classes usually run Monday through Thursday, while Friday is ‘Trip Day.’
“At 9 a.m. the bus is in the driveway and off you go,” said Smart.
Weekends are always free, and many students have taken weekend trips in the past to Galway, Cork or Dublin.
“The ferry that goes to England is not far from where we are,” said Smart, and added that among other things, there are also biking and hiking trails in the area.
Smart said any sophomore, junior or senior in good academic standing is welcome to sign up for the program, and that the first step is to come see him to make him aware of the interest in the program. The second step is to meet with an adviser to figure out if the courses offered will fit into the schedule.
“I know it’s hard for seniors,” he said. “We are working on something that would give seniors extra leeway to do just one course.”
Smart hopes to be able to bring a group of about 20 students to Tralee this spring.
“It’s not so big, it’s a small enough group that it’s beneficial for our students,” he said. “We have control over all variables and factors.”
He said parents are usually relieved to know that there is good safety. A special insurance policy is also signed before students take off for Ireland.
Classes start a week later than in Hamden.
“It wouldn’t be fair to send off advisers when students need them,” said Smart.
He explained that students can make their own arrangements as to what day to arrive, but that there are only two dates when a bus will be waiting at the airport.
Smart has been teaching in Ireland since 1995 and started the Study in Ireland program when he came to Quinnipiac in 2000.
“[Ireland] is an absolutely gorgeous place,” he said. “We’re really hopeful that we can turn it into an every semester program.”

For more information, contact Robert Smart at x3325 or by email at Robert.Smart