SCC Completes Successful Trip to Ireland

A group of travelers from Stanly Community College (SCC) has just returned from a trip to Ireland hosted by The Institute of Study Abroad Ireland. The Institute’s director, Dr. Niamh Hamill, is an expert on the history and changing culture of her beautiful country. Each day she shared a lecture with the travelers on the intricate background of the region, and the group then went to a location that illustrated the lessons she shared. As one community traveler in the group, Christine Loflin, put it, the lectures “kept me interested and piqued my curiosity. I fell in love with Ireland and its rich history.”

The travelers experienced a ten-day sojourn into a land both ancient and modern. In the time abroad, the group visited structures older than the pyramids, crumbling medieval castles, religiously significant artifacts like abbeys and Celtic crosses, monuments to famous writers like W.B. Yeats and Oscar Wilde, solemn ancient forests, and politically important sites, like the locations associated with Ireland’s struggle for independence. These locations spoke to the need to understand our shared history with this foreign land since many immigrants came from Ireland to the North Carolina mountains. In addition, Ireland’s struggle against the British has been heavily influenced by America’s own background; it was interesting to see Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. painted in a mural alongside Irish leaders.

Though the group was composed of both students and community travelers, everyone learned something. This was not simply a vacation to a foreign country—it was an experience. The travelers unanimously agreed the journey changed how they understand the world. For instance, the travelers witnessed firsthand the recent debate on Brexit by seeing how it influences people in the region. Seeing this debate in action is not something that can be duplicated via the television or by simply reading; the travelers now have a clearer knowledge of the stakes of the worldwide shift after having seen it personally.

Another trip is already in the works. Next summer SCC intends to travel with students and community travelers to Spain so they may better understand the influences Spanish culture has played upon the New World. If you are interested in traveling with the group, please contact Patricia Horner, Global Education Coordinator for SCC at 704-991-0395 or at phorner7499@stanly.edu.

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