Since its inception in 1998, the undergraduate study abroad programme at the Keough Naughton Centre has seen 1,500 students pass through its doors. One of Notre Dame’s most competitive programmes, the Dublin Centre welcomes students from all undergraduate disciplines. While in Dublin, students, depending on their major, study at the top two Ireland’s universities, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Dublin (UCD), while there are also specialist options in the National College of Art and Design and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. A unique hybrid, the Dublin programme replicates elements of an immersed programme, allowing students to plunge independently into Irish life in Irish universities and culture, while still retaining the support typical of Notre Dame. Dublin’s Global Gateway is one of the most competitive programmes among ND’s myriad international offerings. As international students, ND undergrads integrate themselves into their new universities, living and studying with their Irish classmates. Students remain connected with their ND classmates through courses at O’Connell House, where they learn about Ireland’s historical, cultural, and literary heritage. As part of their coursework they learn ‘through the soles of their feet’ on programme trips to Giants Causeway, the Burren, the Aran Islands, Belfast, and other destinations throughout the country.
At ND’s partner institutions, TCD and UCD, students can study at highly ranked and well-known institutions, in subjects that they might not be able to explore at home. The Quinn School of Business at UCD allows undergrads to study the international economy in one of the most globalised countries in the world. The Schools of History, English, and Archaeology at TCD and UCD allow students to learn about major events in Irish and world history, mere miles from the Hill of Tara, Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Gaol. Students are on the doorstep of Europe as well, allowing them to learn about a topic in class, and then see it in reality. Archaeology students go on digs, a practical element that is key to their education.
Beyond academics, the students are encouraged to immerse themselves in various clubs and societies at Trinity and UCD, playing on sports teams and joining debate societies. From the moment that the students get off the plane from America, they are encouraged to become actively involved in a host of events throughout the city and country. Dublin also offers Community-Based Learning, attached to the ‘Introduction to Ireland’ course. This allows students to incorporate their service work into their research on modern day Ireland. The Dublin programme fosters an atmosphere in which Notre Dame students in any course of study can flourish and reach their fullest intellectual potential.
By working with their advisers at Notre Dame and in Dublin, students are able to create an Irish timetable which best complements their ND curriculum. Building upon their coursework, undergraduates collaborate with their academic advisors and locate faculty in their host institutions with whom they can conduct research.