A staff delegation from LYIT has returned from a visit to Lasell College in Newton MA, on the outskirts of Boston, where the details for a student exchange programme were agreed between the two colleges.
While many Irish Universities and Institutes are engaging in an internationalisation strategy by recruiting foreign students to study in Ireland, LYIT management and staff consider it equally important that Irish education offer opportunities to Irish students to broaden their perspectives by engaging with a study abroad programme.
The LYIT’s visit to Lasell was to take this concept a step further on the establishment of a collaborative semester study abroad programme for both Irish and American students.
The main beneficiaries of the establishment of this exchange programme will be the students from a wide variety of programmes of study.
Dr Sylvie Walsh, LYIT International Coordinator, explained that, “LYIT already collaborates extensively with institutions throughout Europe and we now look forward to sending LYIT students to Lasell College, and receiving their students, in the near future.”
Ciarán Ó hAnnracháin, Head of Department of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts and member of the visiting delegation, commented that he was particularly keen to see this programme come to fruition.
“Tourism, hospitality and culinary arts are truly global industries and the US offers a unique experience in terms of the range of products and service in hotels, restaurants and resorts.
“Many of our students travel to the US during their studies on work placements, but this exchange programme offers additional opportunities to include study as part of a career-enhancing experience.
“As part of the visit we had the opportunity to visit some establishments where students would be able to find work for internships, placements and employment. As part of my own career progression I worked in Boston, and it is wonderful to return here and reconnect with many of my old colleagues.”
Suzanne Kennedy, Lecturer in Sports Development and Coaching, James Kearns, Lecturer in Marketing, and Majella McBride, Lecturer in Early Childhood Education, travelled as part of the group.
They were particularly impressed with the range of programmes and facilities in Lasell College and were confident that the students from LYIT would all benefit from a semester of study in the wonderful surroundings of Newton
The Donegal Connection
Michael Margey, Head of Department of Business Studies and a Donegal native, was delighted to have an opportunity to connect with members of the Donegal Diaspora and to forge links for commercial and social enterprise projects for Donegal.
Another highlight of the visit was a meeting between members of the Irish delegation and Tom O’Neill of O’Neill and Associates, Boston’s premier political lobbying group. Tom O’Neill is not only the son of Tip O’Neill, a member of congress and speaker of the house until his retirement in 1987, but also a founding member and trustee of the American Ireland Fund, an owner of a farm of land on the Inishowen peninsula and a member of a family that originally emigrated from Donegal.
The group discussed the exchange programme, the development of economic and social links with the Donegal diaspora and The Gathering 2013 (www.thegatheringireland.com)
Back in Ireland the delegation and LYIT senior management are ready to launch the project, and the first student exchange will take place in February 2013. For information on all LYIT programmes including study and work abroad opportunities, please visit www.lyit.ie.