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  • Locations: Cork, Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Galway, Ireland
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
  • Budget Sheets: Summer Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
 Location Several Cities in Ireland
Early Fall 2017
August 20 – September 10, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $3,795 (includes $300 Foster School Study Abroad Fee)
 Credits 5 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Leta Beard, Wil Tutol
 Program  Manager Carrie Moore |
 Application    Deadline March 1, 2017
 Information  Session(s) Info session found here.

Please email the Foster Global Business Center with questions or for an advising appointment about the program at
  General The primary focus of this program is to study and learn about doing business in a global environment. We will meet with executives from 15 different types of businesses in Ireland. We will also study Irish history and learn about the Celtic Tiger and Celtic Phoenix business models.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships


Program Description

Was it the luck of the Irish that transformed its economy from a third world nation in the 1980’s to a powerhouse first world nation twenty years later? Not at all. In the 80’s, Ireland’s average income level was 30 percent lower than the European Union (EU). Ten years ago it was 40 percent above the EU. Ireland’s past years of very high inflation, double-digit unemployment and huge government debt that reached 100% of GDP was dramatically changed by what is called “The Celtic Tiger.” To turn things around, the Irish government cut spending and reduced its tax rate to provide an excellent climate to attract new businesses from around the world. It was also successful in soliciting billions of Euros from the European Union to help build its infrastructure.

Because of this business model, the economy of Ireland boomed. High- tech, financial services, construction and pharmaceutical companies all jumped at this new opportunity and located their factories and European headquarters in Ireland. Until the 2008 global financial crisis, Ireland was at the top. Then everything changed. Banks crashed, unemployment rose to 15%, housing prices dropped by 50%, businesses and individuals declared bankruptcy.

Initially the outlook looked bleak for a speedy recovery. The Irish however have lived through worse conditions and were willing to work hard to implement fiscal programs to recover from the financial crisis. In fact, The Wall Street Journal described the “Irish Comeback” as an example of how other indebted countries should respond to their financial problems. This new model of recovery is called “The Celtic Phoenix.”

Students will focus on studying the “Celtic Tiger” model and analyze its somewhat short lived effectiveness. They will also learn about the steps that the Irish took to revitalize themselves and came back fiscally strong. We will meet with business executives from about fifteen different companies to hear firsthand about living and working in the Celtic Tiger era and learn what companies did to turn things around. We will also learn about the challenges and opportunities that US Multinationals face while operating in a global environment. By also visiting traditional Irish companies, we will be able to compare the business similarities and differences of local versus global companies.

Because of the importance of Ireland’s history on its people and culture, we also visit Northern Ireland. This part of the trip has a huge impact on the students. We learn about the troubles and visit the famous murals of Belfast. We write on the 30 foot “peace wall” that still separates the catholic neighborhood from the protestants and meet with the curators of the Irish Republic Museum as well as travel down the famous Shankill Road where it is said to be more British than in England.

By traveling the entire island, staying in a variety of hostels, bed and breakfasts and hotels, students will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the locals. Several “surprise” activities are planned to also enhance the learning experience. For example, we go on a traditional musical tour and experience traditional Irish dancing. We plan to work and play hard.

Student Testimonials

  • “This study abroad program would not have been possible with the guidance and instruction of Leta Beard. Leta filled three weeks with the most culturally enriching experience while seeing the interworkings of another country’s business environment.
  • "My study abroad adventure to Ireland was the perfect combination of business economics, cultural immersion, and fun surprises. These experiences have given me a better appreciation and understanding of Irish culture and its relationship within the International Business community." Liana S.
  • My study abroad trip to Ireland not only pushed me as a student but make me more conscious of my responsibilities as a global citizen, The knowledge I gained is invaluable and I am thankful for the opportunity I was given. Jeff L.
  • This trip was my first international experience, but I don't think any other trip abroad will ever be able to top it. In just three weeks, I felt like I had seen and immersed myself in the Irish culture and gained a much better understanding of how they do business. This program was the best experience of my college career to date! Clare B.
  • Why do you study abroad? So that you can return. Return to see your home with a global perspective and a new taste. So that the people there see you in a different light. Ireland provided this experience, from communicating with high up execs in a different economy, to feeling the history of the religious wars in Belfast, to climbing the steep mountain of Croagh Patrick to witness God’s beautiful creation. Study abroad. Kericho C.
  • "The Exploration Seminar in Ireland this past summer was incredible. I had so much fun visiting different cities and companies all around Ireland. I couldn't have asked for a better abroad experience!" Taylor K.
  • "If I could relive any trip of my life, I would want to do the Ireland Seminar all over again. It was three weeks of non-stop learning and fun with a great group of people. This is the perfect trip for anyone who wants to broaden their experience and become a more globally-minded person!" Hannah K
  • The Ireland Exploration Seminar was the one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. Not only were the sights absolutely stunning, and the company visits so eye-opening, all the people we met there were some of the nicest human beings. Although it was sad to leave such an amazing place, I know I've come back with the best memories with the best group of people I can call as my family. Jean S.
  • “I had never been abroad before and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience than the one Leta provided. Not only is she a great teacher but she has become a mentor and friend. Ireland will always have a special place in my heart”. Susie T.
  • “My study abroad trip in Ireland was like nothing I have ever done. Leta pushed us to go outside our comfort zone and experience new things. Things I thought I would never do. I gained valuable skills and knowledge that I will take with me for the rest of my life” Kyle S.
  • “My trip to Ireland was made perfect by the guidance of Leta Beard and her assistant Sam. They led our group across the country and showed our group unique cultural views. Leta planned the trip to not look past any detail and fit more than I could possible imagine into three weeks. This was the best study abroad trip”!
  • "The Exploration Seminar in Ireland this past summer was incredible. I had so much fun visiting different cities and companies all around Ireland, and couldn't have asked for a better abroad experience!"
  • This trip taught me a great deal about what it is like to experience truly being out of my element and putting myself in the presence of a whole new set of people and cultural norms. I gained a profound appreciation for the Irish culture and their passion towards their country.
  • This trip was my real first trip abroad and it has infected me with the travel bug. Touring so many US and Irish companies of different scales taught me a lot about how business is conducted on an international level The global market is so much larger than the PNW or the US that companies are severely handicapping themselves if they don’t tap into it.
  • This was the best trip of my life. Our trip was beyond unique because of our opportunities to visit some very amazing companies while also getting the rich history and beautiful sights that Ireland offers.
  • This trip has changed me as an individual to be more open minded and the ability to adapt with different people from different cultures.
  • I have never had a three weeks stretch of my life like I had in Ireland. Leta said before we left that we would learn more about business in this trip than we would in any trip and I couldn’t agree more. Being that close to some heads of major corporations puts you in a position where you can literally learn as much as you want to about international business.
  • Ireland will go down as one of the best trips of my life. It gave me a greater appreciation for the struggles that other people in the world face and it made even more grateful for my life back home in America.
  • Leta was the best possible professor to lead this program. She was knowledgeable about everything we could have possible needed to know about the entire trip. She motivated us to ask questions and be interactive in every company visit and was a great representative for the University.
  • Everything was perfect, from the amazing pub dinners with Gabriel, to fishing on a boat in the Atlantic and visiting one of the companies who I use multiple times a day. I learned so much about myself in the process-I know how to respect other cultures in a way that I never understood before going on this trip.


Several Cities in Ireland


Dublin, Cork, Dingle, and Galway Ireland


Hostels, Bed and Breakfasts and Commercial Hotels


Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

Undergraduate students from any discipline are encouraged to participate in the tour because differences in approaches, backgrounds, interests and knowledge will enhance the learning process. The tour does not require a background in business strategy or knowledge of a specific business discipline. However, students from the following areas of study might find this tour rewarding: Business, Economics, International Studies, History, Information Technologies, Psychology, Sociology, Construction Management, Health Care, and Communication.

There are no prerequisites.


5 Credits


IBUS 490 or JSIS 394 (5 credits)

The course will first meet for two weeks on campus so students can learn about the history, economics, social and cultural norms as well how business is conducted in Ireland. The purpose is to study the success and failure of the Celtic Tiger model and experience firsthand the impact it had on businesses and the country.

This Exploration Seminar will also provide students with an opportunity to:

  • Meet with business leaders in global multi-national and local Irish companies.
  • Acquire an understanding of the similarities and differences of conducting business in Ireland.
  • Compare and contrast how Irish companies market their products/services.
  • Learn about and discuss the effectiveness, failure and resurgence of the Irish “Celtic Tiger” and “Celtic Phoenix” business models.
  • Appreciate the current economic recovery program.
  • Understand historical, government and economic issues.
  • Learn and appreciate the behavioral norms, social and cultural values of Ireland.
  • Experience Ireland through staying with locals, and touring historical and cultural sites.
  • Develop and deepen their intellectual curiosity.
  • Become better global citizens
  • Represent the University of Washington in a professional manner to potential business partners.

Learning Goals: 

See above for the learning goals and objectives. Prior to the trip, students write a briefing document on an assigned company. They also are responsible to analyze and discuss the cases on Irish FDI and the Celtic Tiger. They will take notes on each company that we visit and write a 20 page paper when they return.

Program Directors & Staff

Leta Beard, Foster School of Business, Program Director

Leta Beard is an award winning Senior Lecturer in the Marketing and International Business department of the University Of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business. In addition to her 20 years of teaching experience, she has 12 years of industry experience working for AT&T Network Systems (Lucent Technologies). A few of the teaching awards she has won are: Marketing and International Business Faculty of the Year- 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2006 and the 2015 UW Distinguished Teaching Award.

Some of the courses she teaches are: Marketing Principles, Strategic Marketing Management, Retailing, Global Business Perspectives, and Tribal Gaming, In addition to teaching undergraduates, she teaches in the Professional and Continuing Education, Executive MBA, and Business Consulting and Development programs.

From an international perspective Leta has lived and studied in Mexico, taught in Vietnam, Italy and China. She has led MBA study tours to Argentina, and Puerto Rico, coached International Case Competitions (Montreal, Singapore, Auckland (2) Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Vancouver (2), Portugal and Spain. For the past nine years, Leta has also led this study abroad program to Ireland.

Wil Tutol, Department of Business, Staff

Program Expenses

Cost: $3,795

Estimated Program Fee of $3,795, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $25/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,100 - $1,400* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Foster School Study Abroad Fee Fee $300 October 13, 2017
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 October 13, 2017
Program Fee Balance $3,495 October 13, 2017


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, two recommendations from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.

Please see the Foster School website for information on the Foster School Study Abroad Fee withdrawal policy: