Creative and Cultural Expression in Ireland's Ancient East Spring Break 2020, March 14 through March 21

Over Spring Break 2020, students from Purdue University will travel to the historic center of Ireland’s eastern region for an exploration of the area’s unique artistic and cultural history. The city of Kilkenny, known as "The Heart of Ireland’s Ancient East", will be headquarters for the experience.

River Nore, looking towards Kilkenny Castle
Left: The Butter Slip. Above: Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny (population 26,500) is home to a Norman castle, a 13th century cathedral, and winding medieval streets full of quaint shops and inviting restaurants. The origins of Kilkenny date back to the 11th century.

St. Canice's Cathedral
Historic City Center of Kilkenny

Students will experience firsthand the pub and brewery culture of Ireland, and will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day alongside the citizens of Kilkenny at their city festival and parade.

St. Patrick's Day Parade, Kilkenny
Traditional Irish Food

Students will visit local artists and workshops to discover the traditional handicrafts of Ireland, sample traditional Irish food and music, and experience hurling, the Irish sport known as “the fastest game on grass.”

The colors of the Kilkenny hurling team are the same as Purdue: gold and black!
Day trip to DUBLIN
Above: Trinity College. Right: Shopping in Dublin

In addition to exploring Kilkenny and the surrounding countryside, one full day will be devoted to Dublin, the most friendly and walkable of Europe’s capital cities. Destinations include Trinity College, the Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin castle, and more! The group will travel by train roundtrip to Dublin. Lunch is included.

St. Patrick's Cathedral
Kilkenny Castle


At the conclusion of the study abroad experience, students should be able to demonstrate understanding of another culture in relation to history, politics, economy, beliefs and practices, by using Kilkenny, Ireland as their learning laboratory. Students will develop a personal definition for culture and creative expression, and compare and contrast that idea with the culture/creativity they experience while in Ireland. Coursework includes both standard lecture and active learning, recording and sharing observations through journal entries and cell-phone photography assignments, group discussion and investigation, and a final reflective essay.

Course Credit: SCLA 49100: Special Topics: Creative and Cultural Expression in Ireland's Ancient East, 2 credits. Class meets weekly for 1 hour, January 20 through March 13 (time and location to be announced) and 4 class sessions in Kilkenny.

Program leader and instructor: Joel Ebarb, Professor, Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance

This study abroad program is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts. Students from all colleges at Purdue are welcome to apply to participate, regardless of their major or area of study.

Double and Triple Occupancy Rooms Available

Program fee of $2,350 includes round-trip international airfare, all ground transportation in both USA and Ireland, double-occupancy hotel accommodations at the Kilford Arms (including breakfast), a welcome and farewell dinner, lunch in Dublin, all entrance and guide fees, and insurance. Not included are passport fees, most meals, and money for individual purchases such as souvenirs, etc.

Complimentary breakfast buffet
Kilkenny city view


March 14: Depart Purdue for Chicago via private coach, fly to Dublin

Sunday March 15: Arrive Dublin, travel by private coach to Kilkenny, check-in to hotel, Welcome Dinner at local restaurant

Monday, March 16: Class Session #1 and Kilkenny City Tour

Tuesday, March 17: Class Session #2 and St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Wednesday, March 18: Day Trip to Dublin (roundtrip transportation via train, lunch provided)

Thursday, March 19: Class Session #3 and Creative Expression Field Trip into the Irish countryside (transportation by private coach)

Friday, March 20: Class Session #4 and National Craft Gallery and Medieval Mile Museum; Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant

Saturday, March 21: Return to Purdue via Dublin/Chicago

For more information, contact program leader Joel Ebarb, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts jebarb@purdue.edu
Kilkenny, Ireland

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