Traveling Education

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Andy Fuller | July 29, 2019

It’s early afternoon on a crisp fall day, and in the lower level of O’Connell House set along Dublin’s famed Merrion Square Kevin Whelan is pouring a cup of hot tea.

“Every day there’s a cup of tea,” he says.

The director of Notre Dame’s Dublin Global Gateway, home of the Keough-Naughton Notre Dame Centre is speaking literally and figuratively. Since its opening in 1998, the gateway has grown into a hub for more than 1,500 Notre Dame undergraduates who have come here to broaden their intellectual and cultural horizons in virtually every discipline. Or whatever is their cup of tea, one might say. On any given day, O’Connell House is a meeting spot, dining hall, concert hall, classroom or game-watch venue. It’s a central point from which Notre Dame students pursue various academic and social endeavors available through partnerships with Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD), the National College of Art and Design, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

The collaborations capitalize on Dublin’s rich history and culture, and its increasing economic stature (Ireland’s GDP is expected to grow 3.4 percent in 2017). Students learn in the Irish university setting – which, according to many Notre Dame students who have experienced it, can be quite different than what they are used to. And they learn hands-on in more than 50 internship opportunities in a variety of fields. “Whatever they’re interested in, we can get them an opportunity,” Whelan said.

Those enticing offerings are one reason the Dublin Global Gateway is among the most popular destinations for Notre Dame undergrads looking to spend a semester abroad. But the appeal of an experience in Ireland runs much deeper, according to Whelan.

Read more here. 

 by Daily Domer Staff

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