Guest Blog | My Spalding Study Abroad Experience

Allison Campbell

The Emerald Isle Experience

Studying abroad in Ireland last year is one of the highlights of my college experience at Spalding. The trip, led by religious studies professor Dr. Dori Parmenter, took place June 3-17 during the last two weeks of session six, and was embedded in my Irish Religion and Culture class. Because class sessions are six weeks long at Spalding, we had our regular class for the four weeks leading up to the trip.

Spalding student Allison Campbell in Ireland on study abroad experience
Student Allison Campbell

More affordable than you’d think

At first, I was afraid the cost of tuition for the class in addition to the travel fee would be too much. Although intimidating, scholarships were available, and we did a lot of fundraising. With the financial assistance, my study abroad experience became possible!

An educational experience beyond the classroom

As my first trip out of the country, I was nervous, but mostly excited. In my class, I had learned about the religious tension between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland and how Celtic ancestry still influences Irish culture. It was a great learning experience to see evidence of Ireland’s rich history in person.

We traveled across the country to many beautiful places, including Galway, Dublin, Killarney, the island of Inis Mór, and Belfast in Northern Island. We also witnessed stunning landmarks, including the Cliffs of Moher, Newgrange, the Dingle Peninsula, King John’s Castle, Skellig Michael, Dύn Aonghasa, Grianan of Aileach, Giant’s Causeway, and Trinity College.

Spalding students on boat tour of Ireland with cliffs in background
Students on a boat tour of Ireland

An experience every student should have

Studying abroad is a great way to experience a country for the first time. I will forever be grateful to Dr. Parmenter and to Spalding for this incredible opportunity. I learned so much by stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I strongly recommend the Study Abroad in Ireland program at Spalding University.

The trip takes place every other year, is open to any Spalding student and is embedded into a variety of courses. The next trip is at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. You can find out more information by emailing Dr. Dori Parmenter, checking out Spalding’s Study Abroad page or following along with our Ireland Abroad Facebook page.

Allison Campbell is a senior in Spalding’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.