Alyssa Santini, Kaari Scaglia, Kailey Blount, Jillian Reis, and fellow Irish Studies minors Conor Kilmartin and Luke Healy at SHU in Dingle.

What made you want to pursue a minor in Irish Studies?

I decided to pursue an Irish Studies minor because of the rich literary history Ireland has. I’m an English major, and I wanted to minor in something that would enhance my understanding of more than just American literature. Along with politically and socially important literary works, there’s also a lot of folklore and myth that holds a lot of importance in their culture. The combination of those things makes for an extremely interesting literary history. Aside from that, Ireland also has a tumultuous history where its people fought tirelessly to protect their country, going through a lot of ups and downs, making the historical side of the minor another really interesting topic to learn about. Having all of that in mind is why I decided to minor in Irish Studies because I knew there was a lot of interesting knowledge I could get out of it. 

Do you plan to use the minor in the future?

The Irish Studies minor would definitely be useful in the future, positively contributing to my career plan of becoming a literary agent and working within the publishing industry. By knowing about different kinds of literature, such as American or Irish, it’s easier to pick out the influences and styles an author is using in their work, and then use that knowledge to pitch their work in the way that would benefit it most. It’s important to know how and where something would be best marketed, and knowing everything from the classic to contemporary styles of a place’s literary history is really beneficial.

What was your favorite thing about studying abroad at SHU's Dingle campus?

My favorite part about studying abroad was being able to have the entirety of Dingle be our classroom. We visited castles, holy sites, and locations where different folklore stories and myths were believed to have taken place. Being able to learn about these things while physically there was not only a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it also helped in connecting to the material and being able to really learn and remember it. Taking classes there is unlike anything else since the town and its surrounding areas become your classroom, and you get to experience so many things you would never get the chance to if you didn’t go abroad. Being there also helps in building a better connection to Irish culture because the town and its people are extremely welcoming. You get to learn things from the locals and hear from them about life in Ireland. Irish music also has a huge presence in Dingle, and you can go to any of their numerous pubs and experience the live music scene, which is a big part of their culture. Studying abroad in Dingle is more than worth it, and I would tell anyone that’s thinking about it to go.

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