The National University of Ireland, Galway is located on the banks of the river Corrib in Western Ireland. Galway is a modern urban center of 80,000 people that is known to many as a cultural center of Ireland. A Willamette professor teaches one course to the program students and accompanies the excursions with a local guide. Excursions may include Dublin, Northern Ireland, and Cork. Minimum GPA required by host program: 3.0 GPA, or 2.8 GPA with letter from faculty advisor. 

The spring 2023 Program Faculty Leader will be Professor Rebecca Dobkins, Professor of Anthropology and American Ethnic Studies.

Kindred Spirits: Comparing Irish and Native American Experiences

The course will examine the parallels and differences between Irish and the Native American historical experiences and the resurgence of these respective peoples in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries within the wider context of a globalizing world.

Professor Dobkin’s goal in this course is to inspire the students’ historical and anthropological imaginations, so that they come to understand the parallels and very real differences in the experiences of the Irish and Native Americans, and that as a result, they return to the US transformed, never seeing North America in the same way as they did before.



While at NUIG, students take an Irish Studies course (4.0 WU credit) that provides an introduction to Irish culture through four lenses: Literature in Irish, Irish Literature in English, Irish History, and Irish Society. Students take a second course (4.0 WU credit) taught by a WU professor and two or three additional courses from NUIG (credit varies).



The university has approximately 17,000 students and offers a large variety of courses to choose from. This program offers the best fit for humanities and social science majors due to course scheduling of NUIG classes with the WU program classes and excursion schedules. All participants should have a good deal of flexibility about the local classes they can take from NUIG. Courses available to visiting students can be found in the Visiting Student Handbook Semester 2 (a large PDF).


Students live in nearby student housing, sharing a bedroom with American or Irish students. Bathrooms and kitchen facilities are shared with six or more students.


Available spring semester only. Early January start. Final exams conclude by mid-May. Students will have a specific arrival schedule to facilitate group pick up. 


Please see the Willamette Sponsored Programs Cost Matrix for detailed explanation of the cost of each program. Students should plan on paying their police registration fee upon arrival to Galway - the registration fee is 300 Euros (2017). A sample budget for meals, books and transportation can be found on the International Affairs Office website.

Pre-departure Resources


Past Faculty Leaders for this program include Robert Brewer-Wallin (2022, Theatre), Karen Arabas (2020, Environmental Science), Jonneke Koomen (2019, Sociology), Courtney Stevens (2018, Psychology), David Craig (2017, Biology), Scott Pike (2016, Environmental Science), Richard Ellis (2015, Politics), Ann Nicgorski (2014, Art History), David Gutterman (2013, Politics), Seth Cotlar (2012, History), Wendy Petersen Boring (2011, History), Todd Silverstein (Chemistry, 2010), Ortwin Knorr (Classical Studies, 2009), Mike Strelow (English, 2008), Mark Conliffe (Russian, 2007), Charlie Wallace (Religious Studies, 2006), Steve Hey (Sociology, 2005), Lane McGaughy (Religious Studies, 2004), Ken Nolley (English, 2003), Myles Jackson (Science Studies, 2002), James Thompson (Art, 2001), and Bill Braden (English, 2000).

Willamette University

Office of International Education

Global Learning Center
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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