NKU to Offer Summer Study Abroad Trip to Ireland


Fabio Souza

Jessica Hindman, a creative writing professor, provided information about a trip to Ireland at the study abroad fair. The program is newly formed and will take place in May 2017

Fairy trees, sacred springs and famine walls are just a small portion of what NKU creative writing students will have the opportunity to take in on a newly formed study abroad program to Ireland, which will take place in May 2017. 

The two week trip will take students to various locations on the island, and will be guided primarily by natives of the area.

Jessica Hindman, professor of creative nonfiction, said the trip’s purpose is to help students find new subjects to write about.

“One problem that creative writers often find is that we need inspiration,” Hindman said. “But we actually spend all day in windowless classrooms. One of the main goals is to find inspiration from the newness of a new place.”

Beyond providing inspiration for writers, the trip will also provide credit for the class English 358-Writing in Creative Genres. While English 231 is normally a prerequisite for this course, Hindman said they were willing to work with students who didn’t meet the prerequisite.

The trip had a booth at the Study Abroad Fair on Sept. 14th, and according to Hindman, it garnered a large amount of attention.

“We had way more signups than we could take with us,” Hindman said.

Kelly Moffett, professor of poetry, has been to Ireland on several occasions, and has worked there as a writer-in-residence for Irish publishing company Salmon Poetry.

“I was able to stay for a month, living in a bookshop on the top floor, actually staying in Ireland, and going hiking, and learning to love the landscape”, Moffett said.

She too hopes that students will find inspiration in the nation’s rich heritage, and be able to enjoy those same landscapes.

“You can’t forget the pain of their history while you’re looking at their gorgeous beauty”, Moffett said.

Moffett looks forward to the trip, and says from experience that early summer is “the nicest time to go to Ireland”.

Both professors, Hindman and Moffett, will be travelling with students for the duration of the trip.

Creative writing student Cheyenne Cooley is one of many students who hopes to join them.

“I just want to go, and see places,” Cooley said.

Cooley said  while she is not necessarily searching for inspiration, she  hopes that the trip can improve her skills as a writer.

“Situations and experiences can shape your tone as a writer,” Cooley said. “And I like to develop things like that”.

A native of Danville, Kentucky, Cooley says that her community has been very supportive of her interest in traveling, and she hopes to bring back stories from her journey for friends and family at home. She started a “GoFundMe” campaign in order to raise money for the trip.

While the trip will take place from May 9th to May 22nd, Jan. 17th is the deadline for student applications. Scholarships for the trip are available for some students, and scholarship applications will be accepted from Nov. 14th until Mar. 17th.