Canceled study abroad programs keep students connected

Dublin Gateway

Katherine Corcoran, University Communications | June 15, 2020

An Irish scone bake-off went viral. A TikTok challenge inspired kicking toilet paper like a soccer ball. An assignment to develop a literary walking tour of London became a walking tour for people in quarantine. Eleanor the Chihuahua became an Instagram celebrity.

Of Notre Dame students who had to transition to distance learning, the most dramatic change came for those who left their study abroad programs to go home halfway through the semester. Though it sounds difficult, students, faculty and staff found creative ways to maintain their immersion experiences abroad from their living rooms in Illinois, California or Michigan.

The Dublin and London global gateways, for example, both reached out to keep their groups together and maintain a sense of community, despite students scattering across time zones.

“Our decision — when the decision came to say this was over for our students — was to rebel internally,” said Eimear Clowry Delaney, assistant director of the Dublin Global Gateway. “It’s not over. It’s just going to be different. So the mantra we decided to roll with was, ‘You’re still part of our community. You’re still part of our program. It hasn’t ended just because you’re not physically with us anymore.’”

Or, as they say in the Irish language, “Is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine” — “we live in community.”

Read more here.

 by Daily Domer Staff

Posted In: Features