Ireland: Social Work (Session I)

*Please note:  The program is closed for  Spring/Summer 2023.

Limerick & the West of Ireland - Our adventure to Ireland begins in Limerick! During the first week we will interact and learn with the faculty and students from the University of Limerick. Through a combination of meetings with Irish professors, historians, artists, non-governmental (NGO’s), social welfare organizations, neighborhood groups, and service-learning opportunities, we will learn about the social, economic, and political welfare in this region of Western Ireland. 

During the first week of University of Limerick classwork, we will visit the old city of Limerick and visit community sites including the Milk Market, King John’s Castle and St. Mary’s. We will hear a lecture from a native of Limerick who lived in the city 75 years ago, when the English were in power in Ireland. We will take day trips after university learning, with hopes to visit Dingle!  

For the 2nd week of class, we will to Clare County to see the Cliffs of Moher, St. Bridgette’s Well, and Lahinch beach. In Lahinch, we will listen to an Irishman who is studying “Sea Trash” and its relationship with the Irish Fishing industry. He will take us for a walk down the beach to help pick up some of this material. We will also meet a local artist, visit her studio and be able to ask her questions about her life and career. 

The next stop is in Doolin, home to Irish pipe music. It is also an Irish Coast Guard Station (very important in Ireland) and also a port to visiting the Aran Islands. We will plan a visit via ferry to Inishmore (Big Island) and see a 2000 BC Viking Fort! History is alive in Ireland. 

We will also visit Galway as a final stop. It is a touristy city on the sea, with a long promenade. It is an old city, colorful, busy and fun. We will take a day trip while there and get ready for our return to the Shannon Airport. 

This social work class welcomes students from all majors. Be sure to check that the 3 credits work with your major. 


Program Highlights: 

  • Participate in a service learning placement through University of Limerick 'Community Wellness, Empowerment, Leadership and Life' skills program
  • Explore the culture and history of Ireland with excursions to the Cliffs of Moher, Inishmore/Aran island, Bunratty Folkpark, Doolin, Galway and more!
  • Visit Ennistymon, an historic market town with very few non-locals

Ireland Social Work Flickr

Cultural Information

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Image 1 of 3 Ireland: Social Work
GPA Requirement
2.0 Undergraduate
3.0 Graduate
English Language Requirement
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Program Dates and Application Deadline

Spring/Summer 2023

Program Dates: April 30, 2023 - May 13, 2023
Application Deadline: January 18, 2023 (Closed)

(Program Duration: 2 weeks)



Students will register for a total of 3 credits: 


SW 354: International Service (3 credits)

Fulfills General Education Global Perspectives requirement.

Fulfills (1) General Education Issues course requirement. Reflection required


SW 630: Social Work Global Service Learning (3 credits)

Language of Instruction: English


Program participants will be housed in hostels and hotels.

Cost and Scholarships



Program Fee: $2,950


  • Round-trip transportation from Grand Rapids
  • Accommodation
  • Most meals (all breakfasts and a few evening meals)
  • Field trips
  • Local transportation

Other Expenses

  • GVSU Tuition (3 undergraduate credits: $1,845 OR 3 graduate credits: $2,184)
  • Additional meals ($350)
  • Passport fees ($200)

TOTAL PROJECTED COST (Program Fee + Other Expenses):

Undergraduate = $5,345 OR Graduate = $5,684



Students may fund study abroad by using financial aid, scholarships, grants and personal funds. A study abroad adviser can help you create a funding plan.

FACULTY-LED PROGRAM GRANT (Up to $1,500): All degree-seeking students who apply to their faculty-led program by the priority deadline are automatically considered for a grant of up to $1,500 from the Padnos International Center. Students must have a current FAFSA on file to be eligible. No application required.

Global Programs Scholarship (Varies): The purpose of this scholarship is to reduce the financial pressure on students and their families and make a Grand Valley education accessible to students from all backgrounds. This need-based scholarship will ensure that financial need does not become a barrier to intellectual and personal growth for students planning to study abroad or complete an internship abroad.

James F. and Virginia L. Goode Global Programs Scholarship: The purpose of the scholarship is to reduce the financial pressure on students and their families and make a Grand Valley education accessible to students from all backgrounds. This need-based scholarship will ensure that financial need does not become a barrier to intellectual and personal growth for students planning to study abroad.

To apply for scholarships, visit the Study Abroad Scholarshipspage or  GVSU MyScholarships.


To contact the Financial Aid office, email [email protected] with “Study Abroad” in the Subject line. Include your G Number and Total Projected Cost of the program in the e-mail. 

Non-GVSU Students: Non-GVSU students admitted for study abroad are not eligible for Financial Aid from GVSU. Check with your home school’s study abroad and financial aid offices for details on applying for financial aid from your home school toward study abroad program costs. 

Financial Aid FA


This program is open to BSW or MSW majors or any major with permission from the director. 

Open to graduate students.

GPA required: 2.0 GPA (Undergraduate) or 3.0 GPA (Graduate)

GVSU is happy to extend this opportunity to Non-GVSU Students.

Already Applied

CDC Report

CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

Checkout CDC Report For Ireland

US State Department Information

The first step to an international trip is to read our Traveler’s Checklist to find out things to consider before you go. Pay special attention to our safety and security information and assess for yourself the risk of traveling to a particular country or region.  Some U.S. citizens with special considerations – such as students, women, and LGBTI travelers – may face additional challenges when abroad.  If you do decide to travel, make a plan for what to do if something goes wrong overseas. 

Checkout US State Department Information For Ireland

Contact Information

Spring/Summer 2023
Joan Borst
Program Director

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