If you’re thinking about studying abroad, you’re probably wondering what kind of classes you can take while here at UL. There are a wide range of classes to choose from including Irish cultural classes! If you have room in your schedule I would suggest taking some Irish cultural classes, as you get to learn more about the country that you are spending the semester in! There are lots of Irish cultural classes that you can take, such as: Introduction to Irish Traditional Music and Dance, Irish Folklore, Irish Language, Celtic Civilisation, Gaelic Games, multiple Irish history courses, Irish Literature, and practicums that take you outside of the classroom and into the city to learn from Irish people within the community.
I personally am taking Introduction to Irish Traditional Music and Dance, Celtic Civilisation, and one of the practicums called ‘Limerick Inside Out.’ These classes are super cool and you learn a lot about the culture here in Ireland for credit! Irish Traditional Music and Dance is probably one of my favorite classes that I am taking here, in which we learn about both the vocal and instrumental musical history here in Ireland. We also learn about the dance tradition here which includes: the costumes that the dancers wear, the dancing organizations, and Riverdance. My favorite part of the class is the tutorial in which I get to learn some traditional Irish social dances! For the tutorials for this class you can choose from a variety of things such as the tin whistle, Bahrain (a type of drum), dance, and traditional Irish singing. This class is super cool as you learn about the history of Irish traditional music and dance in the lectures, and in the tutorials you actually get to participate in some of their traditions.
Celtic Civilisation and Limerick Inside Out are also very interesting classes. In Celtic Civilisation, we read medieval celtic literature and Irish folklore and then learn about how it relates to the history of Ireland. In Limerick Inside Out, we get to go into the city once a week where we partner with different community groups to learn more about Limerick! This class is cool as we get to learn about the city that we are spending the semester in. At the end of the semester, we pick a community group to partner with and then we complete a community project with them.
I am personally not enrolled in Gaelic Games, but my roommate is and I have heard a lot of good things about it. In the class they have lectures in which they learn about the popular sports of Ireland and their history, such as hurling, gaelic football, camogie (girl version of hurling), and handball. Then in the tutorial they get to actually learn how to play the sports that they are learning about in the lecture. They also get to take a trip up to Dublin during the semester to visit the GAA Sports Arena.
Overall, I highly recommend taking some Irish cultural classes if you have the chance while you are studying abroad! The classes immerse you in different aspects of Irish culture and you really gain a better understanding of the Ireland by taking them!