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Summer in Ireland Program

Representing the Irish Landscape:
Literature and Visual Arts

June 5–July 28, 2016

Faculty-led, world-focused

Penn State faculty-led programs offer students the guidance of trusted faculty, with the freedom to explore the world. Our faculty will create the ideal itinerary for you.

Representing the Irish Landscape is a program for students interested in the culture of contemporary Ireland and how its artists depict the Irish experience through visual arts and literature. Open to students at all levels of experience, the program includes courses in visual arts and Irish literature, and an independent studies course that allows students to engage facets of the Irish landscape and culture in depth. The Penn State faculty teaching the program will be joined by visiting artists and writers for special presentations.

Over the course of five weeks, the group will stay in four different sites across Ireland, and will visit several more. The first week will be spent in the city of Dublin, where housing will be provided by Trinity College, in the heart of the city. We will see plays, visit museums, attend poetry readings and participate in the city's vibrant art scene. Next, the program moves to picturesque Achill Island, where students will stay in holiday homes, work in a spacious art studio, and meet local renowned poets such as Paul Durcan and Vona Groake.Following the island, the program settles in Galway, a medieval port town known for its cobbled narrow streets, vibrant music scene and college town vibe.  There, students will stay in university housing and area visits will include Yeat's tower and a bicycling trip in the Aran Islands.  Next is the tiny village of Allihies, on the southern coast's Beara Peninsula, where students will stay in villagers' homes (meals will be provided) and scheduled workshops will be led by well-known visiting Irish writers and artists.  Finally, students will travel together, back to Dublin for two nights before departure from the program.

Courses Offered -- 9 credits

Students are required to enroll in three courses appropriate to their academic level and area of concentration. All participants must register for both English and Art and a final project, either in literature or visual arts, must be submitted by the end of the summer session. Most Art students will enroll in 6 credits of Art and 3 credits of English. Most English students will enroll in 6 credits of English and 3 credits of Art. If you are not either an English or Art major, please select appropriate courses based on interests or to satisfy academic requirements.


The literature course in Ireland:

ENGL 145 (3 credits) (GH;IL) Modern Irish Literature or ENGL 199 (3 credits) Foreign Study -- English (prerequisite: ENGL 015 or 030)

Or, if you want to take the course at the 400-level, choose:

ENGL 404 (3 credits) Mapping Identity, Difference, and Place (prerequisite: ENGL 015 or 030)

The Final Project:

If you elect to do your final 3-credit project in English, enroll for:

ENGL 499 (3 credits) Foreign Study -- English: Final Project

Our literature course will start with readings from the Celtic Revival that figure the West of Ireland and Irish mythology prominently within the project of cultural nationalism. We will study writers who pay special attention to place, ranging from J.M. Synge's Aran islands, to James Joyce's Dublin, to more contemporary representations of Ireland as a multicultural, modern space. The course will feature some outings to dramatic performances.

Mark Morrisson will teach the English courses.


The art class in Ireland:

ART 199 Beginning Art (3 credits) Foreign Study or ART 299 Intermediate Art (3 credits) Foreign Study

The Final Project:

If you elect to do your final 3-credit project in Art, enroll for:

ART 499 Advanced Art (3 credits) Foreign Study -- Art: Final Project

These courses explore the creation of visual and verbal responses to the context of place. We will investigate the idea of site, place, and time as they apply to historical perspectives and contemporary art-making practices. Students will be encouraged to experiment with a wide variety of traditional materials and methods to develop their own personal vocabulary of practice techniques, promoting and developing self-expression and discovery. I am interested in the construction of a completed visual travel log, a journal specific to the context of being in Ireland at this time in history.

Helen O' Leary will teach the Art courses.


The program is open to all Penn State students and students from other institutions with a minimum 2.5 grade-point average. Applicants are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are encouraged to apply early, as enrollment is limited.


Mark S. Morrisson is Professor and Head of the English Department at Penn State.  He teaches courses on modern Irish, British, and American literature and on literature and science, and he is a recipient of one of Penn State’s top teaching honors, the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching. This will be Professor Morrisson’s 5th time leading the Ireland program since 2002, and he looks forward to showing you why you will fall in love with Galway, Allihies, and Dublin.


The estimated total includes two components: tuition (9 credits) and a program fee (based on activities and location). All the students will pay the in-state tuition rate for 2016 Summer Abroad programs.

Expenses NOT covered are:

  • passport
  • personal expenses
  • optional excursions
  • round-trip airfare
  • meals in Galway and Dublin
  • EA Administrative Fee ($220)
  • For passport information, visit

Estimated Tuition (9 credits)

Out-of-state students will be charged the out-of-state tuition rate until the first day of the program. At that time the students' bursar account will be adjusted to reflect the in-state tuition rate of $747 per credit.

In-state students will pay tuition according to their standing and the Penn State tuition schedule.

Estimated $6,723 in-state/out-of-state

The University reserves the right to revise the schedule of tuition and charges without further notice. For more information on tuition, visit Published rates are effective for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016.

Program Fee

The program fee of $2,495 covers insurance, housing, some meals, art supplies, admission to museums, excursions, and transportation in Ireland.

Estimated Total (Program Fee & Tuition)

Estimated Tuition: $6,723

Program Fee: $2,495

Information Technology Fee: $189

Estimated total cost: $9,407

Financial Aid

For alternative grant, loan, and minority scholarship information, visit the Education Abroad Financial Aid and Scholarships web page.


All cancellations must be received by the program manager, in writing, by mail or fax. Do not use eLion; it does not remove you from the course, and you will be held responsible for all fees. Partial refunds  will be made for cancellations received at least thirty days prior to the first day of the program. Refund requests made after that time will not be honored, and the participant or sponsoring organization will be responsible for the fees.  See notes on the budget sheet.

How to Apply

To apply, click the "Apply Now" button on this page:

Students are limited to one application in the Summer Education Abroad registration database; however, if dates allow, applicants may participate in more than one program.

If you are interested in having your application "copied" to additional programs, please email  You may also use the summer-abroad email if you have any questions.



The University may cancel or postpone any course or activity because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any related costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies.


Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the planner at 800-252-3592.

Space may be available after the application deadline. Please contact the planner to determine availability and/or to be added to the waiting list.

Contact Us

Regarding program content:

Mark Morrisson
The Pennsylvania State University
English Department
139 Burrowes Building

Simone Osthoff
The Pennsylvania State University
School of Visual Arts
210 Patterson Building
University Park PA 16802

Regarding application process:

Judy Meder, Program Manager
The Pennsylvania State University
410 Boucke Building
University Park PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-4473
Fax: 814-863-7178

Regarding financial aid:

Office of Student Aid
The Pennsylvania State University
314 Shields Building
University Park PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-6301

For alternative grant, loan, and minority and Whole World scholarship information, visit the Education Abroad Financial Aid and Scholarships Web page.