Northern Ireland: Sports, Culture and Recreation

Northern Ireland



SUMMER 2020 ONLINE - June 1 - July 2, 2020

Program Description 

Come experience all that the Emerald Isle has to offer through sports, games, and movement. Learn about the history of Gaelic sport and the influences of Irish culture. See how sport has been used as an agent of separation, sectarian hatred and violence and how it can be used as an effective tool for conflict resolution, reconciliation, and peace-building. The goal of this course is to critically examine “human expression through sport, games, and movement in cultures outside the US, and how those expressions have changed over time“. You will explore sporting traditions in Irish cultures and see how those sports have influenced US culture and society.

Immerse yourself in the Irish culture with this 3 week program in June -

  • Understand the history of the conflict known as the “troubles” and visit the peace walls and many other historical sites
  • Engage in hands on experiences working with youth from Belfast via peace-building through sports and games
  • Play traditional Gaelic sports such as Hurling and Gaelic Football, go to sporting events and local pubs for live music
  • Experience the rugged beauty of Ireland including Antrim Coast, Giants Causeway, and Rathlin Island & Puffin Sanctuary
  • Tour ancient castles, towns, historic quarters, and museums

After this program you’ll have a better understanding of how sport influences our culture and how our culture influences sport.

This course is open to upper-division students of any major and satisfies the GE requirement for Area V, Global engagement.



KIN 111ITL Sport & Movement in a Global Context: International Experience (3 units) (Area V)

Human expression through sport, games, and movement in cultures outside the U.S. and how those expressions have changed over time. Exploration of how sporting traditions outside the U.S. have influenced US culture and society.


Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended.




Program Leader: Erin Ashleigh Siebert

With a name like Erin you’d think she’d be Irish, but she can only envy their accents and Gaelic language from afar. Erin Ashleigh Siebert has loved discovering the Irish culture through films, music, myths, and learning about its history. As an assistant professor of Adapted Physical Activity and Physical Education Teacher Education in the Department of Kinesiology, Erin works with students of all abilities to be and promote physical activity. She teaches adapted activity/sport and teacher preparation courses. As a relatively recent transplant to California she is working to develop her network of sport opportunities and adapted physical activity connections in the Bay area.

This will be her second class of study abroad students. She is confident this will be an amazing trip and is excited for the adventure to begin.





It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers. 

$750 SJSU Special Session Tuition ($250 per unit)
$200 Administrative Fee 
$4,015 Program fees, lodging, meals and class related tours approximately*
$4,965  Total Program Cost


This program covers the cost of everything but souvenirs & airfare!

* Airfare is not included.


Stephanie: “Anyone who’s thinking about joining this FLP should be ready for all sorts of crazy activities on the itinerary. Though you will be physically and mentally exhausted by the end of nearly each day, it’s absolutely guaranteed that there will be no shortage of fun packed into every hour of it.”

Joseph: “Going into this trip I had no idea what to expect. I did not know much about Ireland, and I was unsure of what was in Ireland to see and do while we were there… However, from experience, I can tell you that this will be the trip of a lifetime.  I found that on this trip I had made more friends and connections with others from both San Jose, and Ireland alike. By the end of the trip, coming home to the states was almost like leaving home in Ireland, if that makes any sense.“

Corey: “As someone who had never left the United States before I was glad to go exploring. Along this trip I got to see some amazing natural sites and hear people’s stories that you would not hear anywhere else.”

Jessica: “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this FLP because I enjoyed immersing myself into a culture that is very accepting, warm and hilarious. With not having much experience working with the youth under my belt, I felt this would be a great learning experience to interact with people that differ from myself. I was a bit nervous at first, but Dr. Siebert and the youth leaders were always there to guide me through the process which was very helpful! I learned about sporting history and the dedication participants have and how these sporting matches bring communities together.”

Natalie: “In all honesty, this was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life and during my undergraduate career. This experience is like no other; whether you are an experienced traveler or have never left the U.S before like I had, it’ll give you perspective on yourself and the world outside your own community. To be truthful, this class is a great fit for you if you’re looking to experience another culture, customs and history.”

“Overall, I am beyond happy I went on this trip. This trip gave me so much: perspective on not just my own life but in my community around me. It will give you experiences and knowledge that you never thought you needed. You will hear some amazing, heartbreaking, out of this world stories and meet some of the most kind-hearted people. Last but not least: prepare to laugh, like you’ve never laughed before.”

Kyle: “This study abroad trip was probably the most memorable trip I have ever been on and highly recommend going on because you will get to experience many things that you do not get here in the United States. You get to go on tours of museums, hear different perspectives of Republicans and Protestants, work at youth centers, and best of all get to see some beautiful sites and views.”


Check out these additional resources for your program.