New Irish Study Abroad Program for U.S. Teens

Institute of Study Abroad Ireland director Niamh Hamill. (Photo: Courtesy ISAI)

By Adam Farley, Deputy Editor
April / May 2018

A new three-week pre-college program for U.S. high schoolers is set to begin this summer as part of a collaboration between Drew University in New Jersey and the Donegal-based Institute of Study Abroad Ireland. The program, for which students will receive three college credits, is the first high school program in Ireland that is accredited by an American university.

The Institute of Study Abroad Ireland was launched in 1996 by then U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy-Smith and has since partnered with hundreds of U.S. colleges, providing study abroad opportunities for thousands of American college students.

“A big emphasis of our trip is not just the history and culture of Ireland, but looking at global themes of civil rights, social justice, peace and conflict resolution, poverty, and emigration through the lens of Irish and Irish American experience,” says ISAI founder and director Dr. Niamh Hamill (below), a Donegal native who was inspired to begin the program after her own experience visiting Boston while in college herself. Today, the ISAI runs comparative civil rights programs between Alabama and Derry, sustainability programs with Hawaii and Michigan, business programs with Wisconsin and North Carolina, among others, she says.

“Our proximity to the border of Northern Ireland allows us to discuss the many issues concerning the border counties with authenticity, and it is also of great value to our community to have the sons and daughters of our diaspora return to rural Ireland.” For more information, visit ♦

2 Responses to “New Irish Study Abroad Program for U.S. Teens”

  1. John Tighe says:

    I live in Northern Nevada and would be interested in more information regarding this program.

    Thank You,

  2. Sean Curtain says:

    The last paragraph of the above article mentions the border counties – which are on both sides of the partition that the British government established in 1920. This artificial boundary no only splits the Irish nation in two, it also leaves 4 R,C. dioceses with parishes on BOTH sides of this unnatural creation, and the same is true of the same number of Church of Ireland (Anglican) dioceses.

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