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CAS students travel to Ireland to study media

TAMPA, Fla. -- After months of preparation, 14 students from USF left for Ireland this week. With the knowledge they have gleamed from assigned films and readings and their passports in hand, they will embark on a journey that former students have called “life-changing.”

The 20-day Ireland travel/study tour program combines a three-day stay in London, with a one-week residency at the University of Limerick in Ireland and a series of daytrips through west Ireland. USF journalism student Daylina Miller will be blogging about the group’s adventures to historical and scenic sites in both England and Ireland. She hopes to highlight key features of the trip.

After a train ride across Ireland to Limerick, the students begin their week in residency at the University of Limerick, where they workshop with a number of Irish writers and musicians. During and after the residency the students travel to a number of destinations including the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, Killarney National Park and more.

Rick Wilber, head of the magazine option in the School of Mass Communications, has been leading student travel-study tours to Ireland, England or Scotland since 1982.

“I love Ireland and the Irish people and I really enjoy seeing students get so much from the annual study tour,” Wilber said. “For the students, my relationship with Ireland and the Irish means they get both an outsiders look at Ireland and also an insider's look, in the sense that we see the main sites, certainly, but we also get to meet writers, musicians, poets, educators, journalists and others that most people on most trips don't necessarily get a chance to meet.”

The travel portion of the tour includes two days of sightseeing in London and a daytrip to Stonehenge, Bath and Salisbury Cathedral before the group travels by train and ferry to Dublin, where students will begin their studies.

Students will study Irish literature and visual media while they write travel stories, short fiction and poetry in the professional writing course. A course in Irish and European media systems is also offered, along with a course in Directed readings which also incorporates Irish film. The participants will earn six hours of academic credit from USF’s School of Mass Communications.

“The benefit to students is that they get to learn about Irish writers, Irish culture, Irish mass media, and Ireland and the Irish not by studying about these things in a book, but by immersing themselves in the culture for a few weeks,” Wilber said. “They also get academic credit for writing about, taking photographs of, reading about, watching and discussing and growing and learning about the Irish culture in that very immersive experience.”


Filed under:School of Social Sciences Mass Communications Student Success Arts and Sciences  
Author: Daylina Miller