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

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

sociology italysociology italy
Location Dublin, Ireland
Academic Term Early Fall 2018
August 18 - September 8, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $4,350
Credits 5 UW credits
Prerequisites None
Program Directors Leta Beard 
Program Manager Ruby Machado|
Priority Application Deadline February 15th, 2018
Information Sessions Jan 30, 12:30-1:20pm, PACCAR Hall 456
Feb 8, 12:30-1:20pm, PACCAR Hall 456
General This program allows students to meet with business executives to learn about the similarities as well as differences of conducting business in a global environment. It also allows students the ability to learn about Irish history, culture and understand why so many multinationals have located their European headquarters in Ireland.
Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Please click here to learn more about important rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area.

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 thirty years later? Not at all. In the 80’s, Ireland’s average income level was 30 percent lower than the European Union (EU). Twelve 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 comeback is referred to as 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 their 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 and protestant neighborhoods. We 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. We will also discuss the impact that Brexit will have on either connecting or separating Northern Ireland from the Republic.

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.

Some student testimonials from last year:
"I cannot begin to express how much this experience helped me to grow as an individual. I learned a lot about myself by traveling around with this group and Leta especially, really changed this experience for me and made me feel like I was a part of a family. This was truly an essential part of the trip for me because having that comfort of a close group really helped me to step out of my comfort zone and shaped me as a leader. Also, it was so fascinating to visit these different companies and get the chance to ask corporate officials questions that really helped us grow as young business professionals. This trip was beautifully organized between company visits and sightseeing and something I will never forget." -Hannah

"Deciding to go to Ireland was the best decision I've made in college. Going to Ireland changed my entire perspective upon coming back to school, helped me step out of my comfort zone and discover things about myself I never knew, and allowed me to build relationships with people that I know will last because they were made under such unique circumstances. They are my family and that trip will always have a special place in my heart!" -Aneesha

“The Ireland Exploration Seminar was an incredible trip! Leta Beard’s personal business connections allowed me to learn about companies both large and small. The balance between company visits and free time was perfect, and I hope to visit Ireland again someday.” -Cray

“Ireland is a country that comes up often when discussing global business strategy at Foster. Serving as the European headquarters to many global corporate giants, being a student there is a lot of value to capture by visiting Ireland and the corresponding visits. Leta's connections and efforts to show you both large and small businesses provide marketable insight for students entering the workforce.” -Ikman

"This exploration seminar was my first time leaving North America and it was the perfect introduction to traveling abroad. The balance between informative company visits and fun group activities was ideal, allowing the group of students to become closer while immersing ourselves in Irish business and culture. Leta's connections and knowledge of Ireland made for memories that I never thought I'd have the opportunity to make." -Cody

“My study abroad trip to Ireland ended up being even better than I could have imagined. Studying abroad for a long period of time didn't really fit in my college plan, so the 3-week seminar was perfect! I made memories with friends that will last a lifetime, and having never traveled internationally it was the perfect spot and location to travel abroad!” -Alyssa

“The Ireland Exploration Seminar with Leta Beard and Brian Conley was the perfect end to a hectic summer. We packed SO MANY corporate visits and cultural activities into only three weeks, all while bonding with other students I am so excited I can now call good friends. We couldn't have had a better time!” -Macey

“The Ireland experience is much more than a chance to visit businesses. It is an opportunity to see the world from an entirely different perspective - separated from America’s overwhelming distractions, businesses in Ireland drive growth through fundamental persistence and hard work." -Chad

View Chad Klansnic's video from the 2017 Business Ireland program. 



Dublin, Ireland


Dublin, Cork, Dingle, Galway, Tullamore and Belfast


Hostels, B&Bs,  and small hotels



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

There is a fair amount of walking and hill climbing on this trip


5 UW Credits


IBUS 490 (joint listing with JSIS 394): International Business (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 then experience firsthand the impact it had on businesses and the country. Students will then learn about the Celtic Phoenix and how Ireland was able to pull itself out of the 2008 global crisis. We meet with executives from about 15 different multinationals and traditional Irish companies. We also visit Belfast and learn about the "Troubles".

Learning goals include:

  • 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.



Leta Beard, Marketing and International Business, Program Director

Leta Beard is an award winning Senior Lecturer in the Marketing and International Business department at the Michael G. Foster School of Business. A few of her teaching awards include: UW Distinguished Teaching Award (2015), Marketing and International Faculty of the Year (2006, 2010, 2013, and 2016), and the Ron Crockett Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2015). In addition to her 21 years teaching experience, she has 12 years of industry experience working for AT&T Network Systems (Lucent Technologies). Some of the courses she teaches are: Marketing Principles, Global Business Perspectives, Marketing Management, and Tribal Gaming.




Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $4,350

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • $300 Foster Study Abroad Fee 
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Most meals are covered
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,100)
  • Some meals 
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 12, 2018

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.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you 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.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

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


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. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements 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 $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. 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 business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. 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.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.