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ILR In Ireland

Semester in Dublin provides academic, cultural opportunities

IrelandAs classmates kick off a four-day break from classes today, 17 ILR undergraduates are enjoying a very different semester at University College Dublin.

Students in ILR's Semester in Dublin Program study at the university's Quinn School of Business, the largest business school in Ireland.

The ILR program began in 2007 and is designed to give students greater understanding of international aspects of labor relations.

They are required to take an introductory Irish history and culture course, as well as international business courses. Electives include Cross Cultural Management, Globalisation and International Trade Economics.

"Unlike traditional study abroad, the structured curriculum of this program offers ILR students the unique opportunity to get a comparative perspective on our field." said Brigid Beachler, managing director of the ILR Credit Internship Program.

"The 'world of work' is very different in a European context than in the U.S. and it's important for our students to understand those differences as they begin to think about their own careers."

After experiencing a period of high growth and financial deregulation in the 1990s, Ireland entered a deep recession in 2008 that continues today.

Ireland's economic crisis provides an interesting backdrop for ILR students, said Aram Shrestinian '15, who is in Ireland now.

"Ireland's recent history as the 'Celtic Tiger' and the subsequent economic collapse make for an interesting labor relations environment," he said.

In addition to their academic work, students participate in field trips to historical sites, such as the medieval city of Kilkenny and the Newgrange Neolithic Tomb.

Day-to-day experiences in a new environment also appeal to students.

Natalie McGarry '15 said, "I wanted to study abroad so I could completely immerse myself in a different culture."

Brennan Cumming '15 said, "I'm most excited to meet and befriend Irish students."

This month, students will attend meetings in Brussels with the European Parliament, Business Europe and the European Trade Union Commission through a program designed specifically for ILR/UCD Semester in Dublin students.