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Exciting New Fall Mobile Seminar Series

FIE Dublin students hit the ground running with their trip to the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) last month. This visit was part of the larger off-campus Mobile Seminar Programme students participate in throughout the semester. In a roundtable discussion, FIE students debated the cultural, historical and political significance of the GAA in Ireland as well as the role it has to play in a modern multi-cultural society. Afterwards, everyone was able to try their hand at two of the most iconic Gaelic games: hurling and Gaelic football, as Niall Cooper of the Dublin GAA guided the students through the rules and practice of both games on the same training grounds the official Dublin team use. Students were particularly excited to participate as Dublin were scheduled to meet Kerry in the National Gaelic Football championships the following week—making it the first time in sixteen years a Dublin team has made it to the National Championships in Croke Park. FIE students were able to watch, understand and fully enjoy Dublin’s victory over Kerry the following weekend utilizing their knowledge gained from the Mobile Seminar.

The overarching aim behind the Mobile Seminar Series is to allow students to discover how various organizations function within national and global contexts, to encourage them to engage in discussion with experts and, where possible, to take a hands on approach to learning. Students subsequently choose one seminar on which to reflect analytically. This written reflection contributes to their final grade for the Foundation Course in Irish Culture & Society. The series has been designed to give insight into a range of sectors from political institutions and charities to sporting associations, community regeneration projects and the national media. This semester, we are pleased to be able to offer students a seminar with the Irish Times, the most respected broadsheet newspaper in the country. The seminar will incorporate a meet and greet with the Foreign Policy Editor, attendance at the morning news conference and a question and answer session.

Amongst other advantages, the series has highlighted the accessibility of organizations in Ireland. FIE Dublin students are thus superbly placed to make the most of the Mobile Seminar initiative, and some have done just that. A recent example is Amanda Taylor, a Broadcasting major from Winthrop University, who as a result of a seminar with Brown Bag Films at the beginning of this month, is now conducting an internship with the animation studio, which she hopes will give her a head start in the employment stakes after graduation.

The programme of seminars, which can be viewed below, is intended to introduce students to the big issues facing Irish society: the structures and workings of the parliamentary system, our cultural heritage and the role it plays in a modern society, the treatment of minorities and the endeavours of new industries in recessionary times.