To re-imagine Ireland for all students, and to make study abroad to Ireland accessible for all students.
study abroad changes lives!
The opportunity to study abroad for any length of time has proven over many years to be extremely beneficial in broadening the horizons and raising the ambitions of those lucky to have this chance.
Study Abroad Programs have been long established in many of the universities across the USA, and participants regularly travel to all corners of the globe for semester and year-long programs.
Exposure to different communities and cultures result in a more enlightened global perspective of society, events, politics, economics and culture.
To date, the opportunities to have these life-changing experiences have not been widely available to all. Historically this has often been because the practicalities of participating in a year or semester long program have been limiting for financial, family or work reasons.
New formats of studying abroad are now increasing in popularity, offering shorter, more accessible and more affordable opportunities.
Approximately 60% of all US students participating in study abroad in 2015 & 2016 chose short-term courses, and this is reflected in the rapid increase in short-term faculty led programming.
The uptake of study-abroad trips among some student groups remains low, in particular, non-traditional students, low-income students, and members of ethnic minorities.
The Open Doors research states that ‘It is still the case that only about 10 percent of all U.S. undergraduate students (including community college students) will study abroad by the time they graduate. The fact that 90 percent of all American undergraduate students enrolled in U.S. higher education are graduating without an international experience means that there is still a long way to go.”
Of most concern is the very low uptake of study abroad programs by students who belong to minority groups. There are a myriad of reasons for this, including affordability and accessibility, but inclusivity, and a sense of connection and affinity with the destination play an important role in both the attractiveness and the effectiveness of the study abroad experience.
The Wishing Chair Foundation contends that Ireland’s history and culture, its narratives of colonialism, social justice, emigration, conflict and resolution, and its strong connections with the U.S., can provide a unique location and opportunity to foster very positive experiences for all students, but in particular, those that are least likely to travel, because of the many reasons listed above. We also believe that re-imagining Ireland as a progressive and hospitable destination for U.S. students enriches our own communities. Therefore, we seek to find funding for disadvantaged and minority students to attend structured, inclusive and engaging educational programs in Ireland.