Study Away Program to England and Ireland – Summer 2025

The University of Illinois at Springfield will be offering a summer course (June/July) that will include a two-week program in England and Ireland in late July and early August.  We will be using Maynooth University and the University of Hull, both partners of UIS, as our bases, spending about one week in each location.

In Hull we will study the history of slavery in the British Empire and its eventual abolition by Hull’s native son, William Wilberforce. At the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) we will be exploring contemporary issues related to human trafficking and slavery around the world.   We will also investigate the port of Hull’s history in the immigration of Europeans to the USA.

While at Hull, we will also travel down to Lincoln to explore Lincoln Cathedral and view a copy of the Magna Carta.  We’ll head up to Whitby where the first work in the English language was written along with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  The Hogwarts Express train also runs from Whitby to Pickering, a nearby town.  We will visit sites south of Hull from where the Pilgrims began their efforts to pursue religious freedom.

In Ireland, we will study the immigration patterns that led people from Ireland to travel to the USA and Illinois.  In 1847, 1,490 people walked 165 kilometers to Dublin (passing by Maynooth University) in order to escape the great famine.  We will be studying this walk and the impact of the famine on Ireland.  We will travel to Strokestown to the National Famine Museum and to Dublin to The Irish Emigration Museum.  At Maynooth, we will have several lectures on Irish history and culture, including the impact of the large country estates and plantations on migration.

For both the Irish and English portions of the program we will tie into the Sangamon Experience research project at UIS, a portion of which will be developing the stories of immigrants to Springfield and Sangamon County.  As it turns out, one of Lincoln’s neighbors in Springfield immigrated to the USA and eventually Springfield from a small farming community about 30 miles north of the city of Hull.  We will explore that area when we visit Hull.  We will also trace some of Lincoln’s Irish neighbors and the Irish coalminers who settled in central Illinois.  Students will be asked to select a historical individual from the 1800s and trace his/her family history.

Tentative Itinerary – July/August travel portion of the course

This summer course and two-week program in England and Ireland is now postponed until Summer 2025. Dates below are subject to change.

  • July 22nd – Depart for England
  • July 23rd – Arrive Hull
  • July 24th – Program at WISE/U. of Hull
  • July 25th – Program at WISE/U. of Hull
  • July 26th – Excursion to Pilgrim Country and Lincoln
  • July 27th – Excursion to Peter Berriman sites and Whitby
  • July 28th – Student presentations
  • July 29th – Free Day
  • July 30th – Depart for Ireland
  • July 30th – Arrive Dublin, settle in on the Maynooth campus
  • July 31st – Program on the Maynooth campus
  • Aug. 1st – Program on the Maynooth campus and surrounding area (great house or houses)
  • Aug. 2nd – Excursion to the Famine Museum in western Ireland
  • Aug. 3rd – Day trip to Dublin
  • Aug. 4th – Student presentations
  • Aug. 5th – Free day
  • Aug. 6th – Return to the USA

We are estimating that the out-of-pocket expense of the program will be $3,900.  That will include international airfare, all travel in England and Ireland, entrance fees, lodging, and many but not all meals.  This fee will need to be paid prior to the program’s departure.

The program fee does not include the cost of tuition for the 3-credit course associated with the travel.

Contact Study Away Program if you have questions or need more information.