About the Dublin Program

The Experience


Students in the Dublin Program:


  • Live three months in beautiful Dublin, the capital of Ireland
  • Experience the riches of Ireland’s Catholicism, warm pubs, delicious food, and welcoming people
  • Come to better understand other cultures and their own
  • Form meaningful relationships with students from around the globe and Irishmen alike
  • Visit historic sites in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Take advantage of low-cost transportation within Ireland and Continental Europe


The goal of Benedictine College is for all students to experience:


  • Beauty in literature, nature, history, and relationships
  • Personal growth and fellowship in living among each other and the Irish
  • Discovery while living in an English-speaking European nation


Ireland is one of the grandparents of the contemporary American Midwest. It is also one of the original contributors to Catholicism in the USA by way of its emigrants, whose faith has been shared and perpetuated through generations.


Dublin has been the metropolitan center of learning and faith in Ireland for decades, even in the day of Cardinal J.H. Newman, leading him to found The Catholic University of Ireland, today known as University College, in Dublin. Founding University College was highly influential on Cardinal Newman’s later work, Idea of a University, from which the modern concept of university Newman Centers was born. Benedictine College seeks to journey in the tradition of the Catholic university following this guide.


The Academic program is designed to enable students to:


  • Examine and explore Ireland’s Christian heritage and culture
  • Reflect on contemporary debates in light of the Irish experience
  • Consider the themes of identity and difference, traditional values and secularization, conflict resolution that follows unrest, and the effects of consumerism on culture and society




The Dublin Program finds its home in Milltown, Dublin on the Emerald Cultural Institute Campus. The campus boasts spacious grounds and gardens only minutes from Dublin city center. Students have access to the dining hall, WiFi, study spaces, and the library the duration of their stay. The campus is well connected by bus and tram to the city center as well as student accommodation.




Directly experience contemporary Irish life and culture through classes and coursework, but especially through living daily life in an Irish host family. Students will live in Irish homes and come to know through experience what modern life in Dublin is like. Students will experience what it is like to live in an Irish household, sample true Irish cuisine, and have the opportunity to form lasting friendships with their host family.




Courses offered during the semester will deliver students an overview of Irish history and allow them to encounter great Irish literature from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.


Students will learn about the coming of Christianity to Ireland with the mission of Patrick, the growth of monasticism, and the contribution of early Irish Christianity to Western culture.


The effects of the rapid economic development of recent decades will be explored in relation to the challenges that modern Irish consumer culture poses to personal and social identity and behaviors.


In studying photography students will seek to develop an awareness of photography as a way of exploring concepts in art, culture, and society.


Students will also be facilitated and encouraged through guest lectures, cultural visits, and other activities so they may reflect in a broad manner on contemporary cultural challenges and debates in Ireland and to link them to parallel debates in the USA and globally.


Courses offered for Fall 2018 (subject to change) fulfill general education requirement and include:


  • Irish History (Gen Ed: Historical, Western Perspective)
  • Anglo-Irish Literature (Gen Ed: Aesthetic)
  • Irish Monasticism (Gen Ed: Faith)
  • Consumer Culture in Ireland (Gen Ed: Person & Community, Global Perspective)
  • Photography (Gen Ed: Aesthetic & Visual)


Course Schedule


The majority of the semester’s classes are held Monday-Thursday with the exception of the occasional Monday-Friday week. The program is designed in this way so as to allow students enough time on most weekends to travel and explore Ireland, learning outside of the classroom as well as in it. There is a 5-day break around Halloween that allows for extended travel, making a visit to continental Europe easily accessible.




Among a number of outings students will take within Dublin, the program includes guided excursions to Glendalough, Ireland’s most important ancient monastic site, and Giant’s Causeway, a natural display of Ireland’s ancient volcanic landscape which has made it the beautiful stony and green island it is today.