Learning Abroad Center
Cliffs of Moher with mist

Tradition & Innovation in Ireland

LAC Program

Consider how creativity and innovation can solve world problems in Ireland and the US.

Program Details

Belfast & Dublin, Ireland
Spring Break
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

No Requirement
Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite


Understanding historical innovation is an important lens through which to examine current innovation and society’s changes over time. Learn about innovation in a broad context and connect and apply these concepts to the rich Irish history of innovation across disciplines, including art, science, and technology. 

An important part of this course is examining why and how the shift from an agricultural-based economy has occurred, as well as immersing within Irish culture to better understand its role facilitating this environment in a small island country. We will explore Irish innovation and culture across disciplines and through readings, lectures, and experiences in country to various sites, including the Science Gallery and the National Museum. You will emerge with an understanding of how business and government practices foster creativity in a country beyond the US.

Course Description

We will examine ancient innovations such as Newgrange, and the Book of Kells, as well as start-ups and multinational companies like Google, Facebook, and AirBnB that make Dublin the “heart of technology in Europe.” We will also look at current and historical practices in the Irish economy, cultivated through public policy, government agencies such as the Industrial Development Authority, foreign direct investment, and multinational companies.

Housing & Meals

You will live in shared rooms with fellow program participants. Welcome and farewell meals, and some additional meals are included in the program fee. We will take additional meals in the housing or at local restaurants and eateries.


  • Take an “Ingenious Dublin” walking tour focusing on inventions and innovations
  • See the neolithic chambers of Newgrange and Trim Castle
  • Attend an evening performance at the Gaiety Theatre
  • Meet with Launchbox, a start-up initiative at Trinity College
  • Travel to Belfast in Northern Ireland to examine Brexit


All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

Learning Outcomes

  • Socialize as global professionals who understand that human interaction and culture are relevant to achieving professional goals
  • Discover and connect with the University of Minnesota campus and community
  • Think critically, analyze topics, and appreciate diverse perspectives through pre-departure coursework, studying abroad, and guided reflection
  • Function as an effective team member by utilizing personal strengths in a group setting
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of future international and intercultural learning
  • Understand the role of creativity, innovation, discovery, and expression across disciplines
  • Acquire skills for effective citizenship and lifelong learning

Faculty & Staff

This seminar is taught by John Ward, a professor within the College of Biological Sciences, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. He taught this course previously in 2017 and 2018, and Freshman Seminars Abroad in Iceland in 2019 and 2020.

Program Structure

Program Level
1900-level course

One 3-credit course

Course Schedule

This is an on-campus class during the spring semester. On-campus Spring Semester 2022 course meets: Wednesdays from 2:30–4:10 p.m. on East Bank. Abroad term: Spring Break 2022


Student assessment includes an online discussion, one short and two 3- to 4-page essays, one group presentation, an experiential journal while in Ireland, and preparing a video shortly after returning from Ireland.

Receive Credit for: BIOL 1904

Liberal Education Fulfillments: Global Perspectives

Dates Details

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Term Program Dates Application Deadline
Spring Break 2022 March 4 - March 13, 2022 December 1, 2021

Important Note: This program departs for Ireland on Friday, March 4. If you have any classes on that date, you may need to miss them in order to travel.

Program dates are subject to change.

If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 20 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

On Campus Dates

Wednesdays, 2:30–4:10 p.m., on East Bank- Minneapolis Campus

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

Term Abroad Date/Time Location
Spring Break 2022 TBD TBD


Spring Break 2022 Cost of Participation forthcoming

The program fee includes airfare, housing, program administration, welcome and farewell meals, some additional meals, international health insurance, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, airport transfers, and in-country transportation for all course related activities. Typically, program fees for this program range between $4,000–$4,700. Students must also budget for passport and passport photos, a few meals, spending money, and miscellaneous living expenses.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

If you are registered for less than 13-credits, or if you are a non-UofM student, you will be charged tuition for this course in addition to the program fee.  Notify the Learning Abroad Center if this applies to you.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Bridging Loan

Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.


Be aware: Learning Abroad Center programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.


You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now


After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

  • Application Essay

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

Next Steps

After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.

Register for On-Campus Course

Your participation on this program is secured by applying and confirming through the Learning Abroad Center application process.

You will also need to register for the on-campus course BIOL 1904.

Note: Registering for the course, but not confirming through the Learning Abroad Center, will not hold your spot in the program.

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Amy Garwood-Diaz or call at 612.624.1537