Short-term program in Ireland explores mercy critical concerns

Salve Regina’s annual short-term study abroad program in Ireland, open to students from all academic disciplines, will focus a sociological lens on the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy.

Offered by Dr. Laura O’Toole, SOA399: Mercy, Justice and the Sociological Imagination will explore the critical concerns of nonviolence, women, racism, immigration and the earth/environment in the context of contemporary Ireland. Students will learn about the troubled history of conflict in the region and while also taking up current social issues related to gender, the migration crisis and Brexit.

“We got the chance to look at how the five critical concerns of mercy are approached abroad, which highlighted ways we can improve in these areas as a community and nation,” said Kate Vitagliano ’19. “You could not be taking this class at a better time in history. With Brexit on the immediate horizon and our own dramatically changing political landscape in America, taking the time to understand conflict in this way has proven to be quite insightful.”

The short-term program will run from May 26 to June 10, 2019. The deadline to apply is Saturday, Dec. 15. SOA399 satisfies a core social science requirement or a free elective for students who are not sociology and anthropology majors, and may count for a Pell Honors special topics class.

Participants will travel with nursing students and faculty studying public and community health in Ireland. While both programs are built around shared overseas academic experiences and visits to museums and landmarks such as the Titanic Museum and the Giant’s Causeway, SOA399 students follow a separate syllabus with focused readings and assignments.

For more information, see the program brochure, visit the short-term study abroad webpage or email O’Toole at

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