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Bundoran to host US New York students in August

Niamh Hamill WEB Dr Niamh Hamill, Director of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland  American Flag


A group of students from New York City have chosen Bundoran as their base for a study-abroad trip to Ireland this August.


‘Say Yes to Education’, a U.S. non-profit educational organisation, chose Donegal’s famous seaside resort following a Europe-wide sweep of educational programmes in a bid to widen the participants’ horizons. The unique mixture of history, culture and adventure activities plus the chance to enjoy some hands on experience by visiting living history projects, enticed them to visit here.


Director of the Institute, Dr. Niamh Hamill is pleased their latest visitors chose Ireland as their study abroad destination. “The leaders wanted to take their students somewhere that offered a challenge in terms of experiencing something new. They researched many venues throughout Europe but ultimately they discovered what they wanted in Donegal. The 32 students arrived last Sunday, August 2 and are staying for nine days in total,” she said.


Niamh, who lectures regularly on Irish Studies in the U.S. and Ireland, explains that the Institute’s overall aim is to encourage overseas student groups to choose Ireland, and specifically Donegal, for their study abroad travel.


“Donegal has everything that study abroad organizers from the U.S.A require. They are looking for places of cultural and historical significance, that are accessible, welcoming, safe and friendly. Our New York group are one of many student groups that will be visiting us over the next year. 


The students will be learning about Irish history and culture and will be spending some of their time in the classroom, some of it on field trips to various locations of historic or cultural interest all over the north-west. The places they visit will relate to specific events, and historical and cultural sites such as Donegal Castle, Ballyshannon Workhouse and Glencolmcille Folk Village will be on the itinerary. They will also be involved in a wide range out outdoor activities including surfing, kayaking, hiking and climbing – Donegal is a perfect place for young tourists,” she said.



Niamh and fellow director John O’Connell will attend the Milwaukee Irish Festival later this month to promote the activities of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland, including the third annual Drew University Transatlantic Connections Conference, which takes place in Bundoran next January. This interdisciplinary conference of Irish studies will look at the relationships between Ireland and the Irish Diaspora, and all are welcome to participate. The conference website is


The Directors of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland expect that several hundred American students and scholars will use Donegal as their base over the next twelve months. “Perhaps as Irish people, we take Donegal’s amazing history, culture, scenery and friendliness for granted,” Niamh says, “but our visitors are always amazed and inspired by all we have on our doorstep. It’s a matter of reaching out and letting schools and colleges know we’re here.”


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