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ND offers Ireland opportunities

Grace McCormack | Monday, December 9, 2013

In 2014, more Notre Dame students than ever will travel across the ocean to spend the summer in Ireland through programs offered by Notre Dame International Studies, according to the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Career Center.

Peggy Weber, assistant director of off-campus programs, said the strong connection between the University and Ireland offers students the chance to experience the country through its summer study abroad program, sponsored internships or an eight-day guided trip.

Weber said the various programs are particularly valuable to students who are not able to study abroad during the normal school year.

“We’re just trying to think of more opportunities and different opportunities for people,” she said.In addition to the six-week academic study abroad program that will host up to 25 students, Weber said the eight-day trip to Ireland could accommodate 100 students.

“[It is a] compact trip, going places you couldn’t go yourself, or meeting people you couldn’t normally, especially packed into that period of time,” Weber said.

The trip itinerary includes visits to Irish landmark and a personal visit with President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, an experience in which Notre Dame study abroad students and interns can also participate.

“There is a lot of Notre Dame support, and for the short time that you’re there, whether for the internship or the eight-day trip, the days are packed with experiences so you can come back with a good idea about Ireland,” Weber said.

Students who cannot fit studying abroad into their college plans can still experience Irish culture through internships sponsored by Notre Dame’s Career Center and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, which Weber said are open to juniors from almost all academic disciplines.

“Because we had the [Navy football] game there last fall, more and more companies are interested in having Notre Dame students come and intern,” Weber said. “There are also a lot of Arts and Letters internships.”

Currently, only six internships sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute are available on the Career Center’s GoIrish website, but Weber said more will be posted in the future.

“An [Irish] internship is different than the type you would have in the U.S. because there you’re working with mentors at Notre Dame and Ireland to really integrate the experience,” she said.

Notre Dame’s presence in Ireland enhances the internship opportunity and makes students more comfortable living abroad, according to Weber.

“The first week you’re going to be there is a welcome week when you tour around. Then, every Tuesday there’s a dinner, so there is no isolation … [and] besides the Tuesday night dinners, every weekend there are different trips,” she said. “There would be an internship coordinator who was available 24/7 to help and coordinate.  

“Sometimes, [doing] an internship in a city where you didn’t know anyone could be very isolating, no social life in the evening, and this way you can avoid that.”

Contact Grace McCormack at gmccorm@nd.edu