BIST Ireland 2014

Gaelic games, Ireland 2014

Gaelic Games in History, Politics and Culture

Gaelic games are a deep cultural signifier for the Irish at home in Ireland, and abroad. Through this course students will travel to and study Ireland through the lens of its most important sporting tradition Gaelic Games.

The Gaelic Athletic Association was “founded in 1884 to revive and codify native Irish sports” (Maume). Although enthusiasts frequently link the games to ancient Celtic history, such connections are suspect and it may be more important to consider Gaelic games in a complex social, economic and political context. Although the GAA has clear and important links to political nationalism, the games were at least equally important as friendly societies functioning to spread risk across a vulnerable population.

This course will focus on the academic study of Gaelic games and the Irish culture providing an opportunity to learn about some fundamental social, economic, and political forces that drive the development of societies, communities and unique institutions. Further, students in this course will be exposed to, practice and play Gaelic games and engage in physical activity on a nearly daily basis. Student and instructor fitness will be evaluated before the course and at the end. A final exhibition Gaelic game match with students and in the class will take place on campus upon return.

Financial Support

Financial support from Berea College is available for any major to cover a portion of the cost of a summer abroad. The Department of Foreign Languages offers similar financial support for qualified majors and minors. Find out more information on how to obtain financial support.

Irish castle, 2014


For specific questions about this course, contact Scott Steele or Kelly Ambrose.

For general questions about the BIST application process or scholarships, contact the Education Abroad Team at or (859) 985-3453, or drop by 205 Woods-Penniman.