Project Galway 2022 wraps up

By Julianne Kucera

GALWAY, Ireland – Student participants of Project Galway 2022 study abroad program have submitted their final multimedia journalism course projects regarding life and culture in Ireland. The group has worked on the ground in Galway over the past 27 days to produce quality storytelling that portrays defining characteristics of Galway and what makes its people who they are.

These multimedia stories will be posted to Viking Fusion in the coming weeks. Watch for notifications about the debut of project content as that date approaches.

Caroline Cleland, Jazzy Innis and Abby Grace Shrader eat breakfast together in Friars Café before hitting their last day of work on their journalism projects. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

This trip abroad has pushed many students out of their comfort zones and allowed them to expand their horizons. The students reflected on their time spent in Galway to share what they have taken away from such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Not only have the students learned about international journalism and multimedia production, but they have also learned much about themselves and their own capabilities.

“This trip has really taught me the extent of my own abilities,” sophomore Abby Grace Shrader said. “I feel like I have a new sense of independence and I know that I can make it in a new place on my own.”

Galway, and Ireland in general, won over the hearts of the Berry College study abroad group. Some students even expressed how Galway is a city that they could see themselves living and thriving in.

“This experience has taught me that the world is so much more open than I had assumed it would be,” junior Caroline Cleland said. “I had a very narrow vision of what my life could be like, but the people here have showed me what kind of life you can have and it’s something that I now want to strive for. It has just given me more perspective on life, I think.”

Traveling and living internationally for a month was an unfamiliar experience for the group. Some students said that they began to feel somewhat like locals and even some found themselves annoyed with the tour groups flooding the streets and restaurants.

“I have seen the excitement of international travel and the opportunities to learn about cultures other than your own,” senior Mike Myers said. “I was really surprised at how fast Galway began to feel like a second home and I’d say this trip has opened up my desire to travel to more places internationally to have more great experiences like this one.”

Beyond the sense of home that some students felt in Galway, one student found herself feeling like her interactional characteristics had been impacted by the experience.

“The trip has definitely made me more confident in approaching strangers and talking to them to try and get information,” junior Katelynn Singleton said. “There have been a ton of really interesting people that I have met while here that I don’t think I would have met if I wasn’t as confident.”

Studying abroad has given students an opportunity to explore not only a new and unfamiliar place, but also the opportunity to explore themselves and grow from such an experience.

Students Abby Grace Shrader, Laura Barabas and Caroline Cleland discuss their final days of work and what still needs to be done after the last budget meeting. Photo by Hisayo Carroll.

“I have learned that I am able to survive outside of my comfort zone and figure things out on my own in an unfamiliar place,” junior Jazzy Innis said.

The notion of “fake it till you make it” has certainly been present in the minds of some of the students when working during the start of the study abroad. Students jumped head-first into international journalism, and many needed to gain confidence in their own skills in order to succeed.

“Throughout this trip, I have been pushed to expand out of my comfort zone. Being a student journalist, even though you are learning, you have to act confident and assured of yourself,” junior Laura Barabas said. “The act of being confident allowed me to gain actual confidence in my reporting skills.”

A common theme for students and faculty during this trip has been to expect surprises.

“Let the unexpected come your way,” senior Parker Luellen said. “Sometimes you might have an idea about a place or a person, but there are always new surprises.”

Parker Luellen consults with Dr. Curt Hersey about final editing considerations for a video package that she and Laura Barabas are completing. Photo by Kevin Kleine.

Many students tried not to have expectations during this trip to allow them to stay open-minded and able to roll with the punches.

“I would say the trip has taught me how to be flexible,” junior Phillip Walker said. “With journalism, I had to change the direction of my story pretty drastically, so that took a lot of adjustment. When it comes to traveling abroad, it seems like anything can happen.”

Project Galway participants and faculty had to learn how to be flexible and adapt to sudden changes, whether that be regarding the journalism project, COVID-19, or traveling in general.

“I definitely did not expect a lot of things to happen, like a few people getting COVID-19, having to figure out the bus system and stuff like that,” Walker said. “You just have to be ready for anything.”

Students shared just how different their previous journalism experience in school has differed from what now feels like real-world journalism in Ireland. This experience exposed students to journalism outside of a college campus, altering their views on the career field and its process.

Kevin Kleine works with Laura Barabas on her project and finals edits before submitting her final draft. Photo by Hisayo Carroll.

“I feel like I now understand the idea of sharing real people’s experiences,” Kitty Nichols said. “Getting to hear personal experiences, how people have been supported by their community and sharing that through a story feels much more meaningful now.”

The group travels to Dublin on Monday for two final days of sightseeing before departing to return home on Wednesday. Though students and faculty alike will be happy to get home after a month abroad, valuable lessons were learned.

Students prepare for the Monday morning bus for the ride to Dublin and the final two days seeing the sites there before returning to Georgia.

Project Galway students said they will be leaving Ireland with fond memories and valuable experience.

The Department of Communication typically offers a month-long immersive multimedia journalism program abroad through International Programs at Berry every other summer.

Galway focuses on arts in July, Festivals provide lens to view arts communities globally

July 15, 2022

GALWAY, Ireland – For three weeks each July, Galway becomes a magnet for arts afficionados by hosting two arts related festivals. Many types of art are exhibited and performed during this time. Galway was also voted the European Capital of Culture in 2020, getting European and government funding for hosting events. 

The 34th Galway Film Fleadh began on July 5 and concluded July 10. The festival celebrates Irish films and filmmakers by bringing together audiences and creators to experience the art form together. More than 80 screenings took place at the Pálás Cinema and Town Hall Theatre. 

The Galway Film Fleadh also hosted many other events. These included a pitching competition where 10 finalists, vying for a €3,000 prize, pitched their film project to a panel of industry experts. As an event where film industry professionals gather, others attended the Marketplace at Galway Film Fair which was a two-day event that facilitated meetings between filmmakers, producers, financiers, distributors and others who help get a film project into development or distribution. 

The list of activities continued with specialty masterclasses conducted by industry types, film award presentations, panel discussions and roundtables. The film festival was an opportunity for those in the Irish film industry to network and promote their projects. 

The Galway International Arts Festival [GIAF] opened on Monday and will take place every day for two weeks until July 24. Both the arts festival and the film fleadh attract people from all over the world, as well as those who live in the city.

The blue roof of the Heineken Big Top at the Galway International Arts Festival rises along the river’s edge on the campus of the National University of Ireland Galway.  This is where many musical headliners, including the Pixies and Flaming Lips, perform during the two-week festival. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

This festival has allowed Galway to become a cultural hotspot for the arts that draws in hundreds of thousands of people to the city. In 2019, the last year the festival was fully in-person, GIAF reported that a record number of 263,832 attended over 200 events across the 14 days of the festival. The festival is back to full capacity and in-person following two years of the pandemic that forced the festival to operate on a much smaller scale, with some events only offered virtually.  

Festival organizers expect thousands of visitors to festival events each day. The main Festival Garden entrance leads to snacks and crafts for those browsing inside. Photo by Julianne Kucera.
Six food vendors set up shop every day in the festival garden and serve cuisine all day. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

Flower walls lined the walkway where restaurants showcased their cuisine while people sat together on floor cushions and around picnic tables drinking draft beer in the garden tent.   

After getting some food, visitors enjoy the beer garden which includes cozy cushioned seating near ground level or traditional table seating. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

Natalie Heuvel, a creative writing major at National University of Ireland Galway, is an intern with the visual arts program for the GIAF. This was her first year working at the festival as well as her first year living in Galway. Because she is pursuing her B.A. in creative writing and deeply values the arts in her life, she jumped at the opportunity to volunteer for the arts festival.  

“Art is a very big part of my life and very close to my heart,” Heuvel said. 

Heuvel worked inside a festival art exhibit. She was there to provide information to visitors about the 79-year-old Brazilian-born artist, Ana Maria Pacheco’s, Remember exhibit. 

The Remember exhibition is one of many exhibitions that are to be displayed throughout the city as part of the festival. This exhibition and others were specially created for the arts festival this year.  

Remember includes six separate installation pieces that Pacheco created ranging from the 1980s to this year. Photo by Julianne Kucera.
Ana Maria Pacheco uses real human teeth in her sculptures and consistently includes an open mouth in each piece. Pacheco leaves her pieces open to interpretation. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

“[Remember shows that if you love what you do, something amazing can come out of the work,” Heuvel said.  

Unlike some other major Irish cities, such as Dublin, Cork and Limerick, Galway does not have a dedicated permanent public art gallery or museum even though it is known for being a hub for the arts.  

“Even without a dedicated gallery, the community finds a way to bring it to life,” Heuvel said. “There is such a sense of community within the arts here. It is a community effort to bring it to life.”   

In 2018, GIAF reported that 260,000 visitors flocked to the city to attend the art festival. However, the festival does not only attract tourists. Art is deeply rooted in the lives of the Irish and communities feel represented through creativity and art. Juley-Ann Collins said locals look forward to the festival every year and generally are not put off by the masses of visitors that come to Galway for the two-week period.   

Collins began volunteering for shows put on by the festival 10 years ago when she attended the university in Galway. Today, she has worked with the festivals merchandising team now for seven years and volunteered for three years prior.  

“[GIAF] is the cultural highlight for the county,” Collins said. “There is magic here. Everyone just supports it and wants it to happen, so it just takes over the city for two weeks.”  

Collins explained how art plays a role as a collective representation of Irish identity. After Ireland won its independence from the United Kingdom just over a century ago in 1922, Collins said that the Irish have used the arts as a way of establishing themselves once again.   

“We have always just really connected with music and the arts,” Collins said. “It has helped to just shape identity. It’s just really good escapism.”  

Nancy O’Reilly, founder and owner of Herbal Earth Skincare, had her shop set up at the art festival showcasing her handmade products. This was her first time attending and working at the festival as she is based in County Mayo, Ireland and has avoided the heavy traffic and large crowds that the festival has brought in the recent years. However, she now had the opportunity to attend the event along with other small businesses. Tiny Traders Village is a local community marketplace that brought various small Galway business owners, as well as artists from surrounding counties, together and organized the market at GIAF this year.  

Tiny Traders Village works with small businesses to display their crafts and art to sell in the festival garden. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

For O’Reilly, creativity is at the center of her life and drives her passion for her eco-positive skincare line.   

“I think that {the arts} are good for the psyche of humanity far more than I think people realize until it’s gone,” O’Reilly said.  

Though preliminary attendance numbers are not available, the eye test when walking the streets of Galway says GIFA started off the two-week period strong and has filled the city with tourists and locals eager to attend its arts events. The city should continue to buzz with visitors and locals, alike, exploring the art exhibitions, social spaces and food stalls with the arts festival in full swing.

Food Diversity thrives in Irish city, Galway’s multicultural cuisine experience

July 10, 2022

GALWAY, Ireland — For Galway locals, food symbolizes much more than just a meal. For some, it is their livelihood and passion, while for others, it is what continuously brings families together. Over the past 10 years, Galway’s food scene has evolved and expanded, and with that, it has also diversified. Galway has become known as a top foodie destination that offers a vast selection of ethnic and authentic cuisine throughout the city.

Avenue Café and Neo-To-Go Asian Street Food

Lucy Fahy is a server at Avenue Café and Neo-To-Go Asian Street Food restaurant located at the intersection of High Street and Cross Street in downtown Galway. Avenue offers updated traditional Irish dishes and the Neo-To-Go menu of Asian street food. The street food items were added after the successful opening of Neo-To-Go’s primary restaurant on Dock Road in 2020.

Updated traditional Irish food and Asian street food is available at Avenue Café and Neo-To-Go Asian Street Food restaurant at the intersection of High Street and Cross Street in downtown Galway. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

Fahy said life in Galway often revolves around food. However, she noted that this has not always been the case. Food culture in Galway has been reborn within the last decade and it is no longer what it used to be. Galway has increasingly become more diverse, and this diversity is displayed through the cuisine.

“[Food culture] is very, very diverse here,” Fahy said. “A lot of people look down on Irish food as being stodgy and overcooked, but that was how it was years ago. Now, we are huge foodies, and we have some of the best chefs and some of the best restaurants around.”

Fahy credits the wet weather of Ireland with the high quality and great-tasting produce that the country is known for. She said many people living in Galway veer away from traditional Irish food and turn to more Asian, Italian and Indian foods apart from Sunday’s roasts.

Lucy Fahy, a server at Avenue Café and Neo-To-Go Asian Street Food restaurant, claims the wet weather in Ireland creates an environment for superior quality produce here. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

“Most people have [a roast] every Sunday,” Fahy said. “Most people go home on the weekends from college or are off work, so they go home and spend it with their families. It brings people together.”

Locals have mastered the art of a Sunday roast that is a traditional Irish meal. Fahy said that a typical roast serves meat, potatoes and a variety of veggies. This weekly Sunday tradition is integrated into local culture where people gather around food and are brought together by a meal. Fahy describes food as being an integral part of social events and gatherings of every size and formality.

Yummy Crepe

Daithí Silke, whose parents own the Yummy Crepe food truck, believes that his family were most likely the first people to sell crepes in Galway. When they began their business, many customers were unaware of what a crepe was. Now, Yummy Crepe is a highly successful food vendor in the Galway markets and crepes can be found all over the city.

Daithí Silke works in his family-owned creperie, Yummy Crepe food truck, that opened in 1994. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

“[Food] keeps my life going currently,” Silke said. “It pays the bills.”

Silke’s family started their food truck in Galway in 1994 when most of the community had never encountered this foreign cuisine within their city. He mentioned that younger generations are much more likely to branch out and try new foods as opposed to the older generation from the potato age.

Masterful in his technique, Daithí Silke cooks authentic French crepes in Galway’s street markets every week. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

“Galway is quite diverse when it comes to food,” Silke said. “If you looked at Ireland 30 years ago, the primary diet would have been potatoes. Now, Galway has had a lot of international influence.”

Silke said he believes home cooking has also grown much more diverse. Locals and natives have expanded their palates inside and outside of the home. He said that it has become much more common for locals to not only eat diversified meals out at restaurants, but to also cook meals, other than traditional Irish cuisine, at home.

Yummy Crepe food truck offers a wide variety of sweet and savory crepes. Customers are often seen standing in line waiting to place an order. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

Pure Authentic Indian Vegetarian Food

E’Esm Wadmwa and his family brought vegetarian and vegan Indian cuisine to Galway 12 years ago with their Pure Authentic Indian Vegetarian Food stall. For Wadmwa, food has had a major impact on his life.

E’Esm Wadmwa cooks for his family-owned and operated vegetarian Indian cuisine stall, Pure Authentic Indian Vegetarian Food. Wadmwa says he has passion for food and loves cooking. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

“Food is something that gives me hope,” Wadmwa said. “I love cooking and I love cooking at the stall here.”

Wadmwa’s passion of cooking has allowed him to provide Galway with authentically prepared Indian cuisine.

“It’s hard to find authentic food,” he said. “But if you come here, you will find it.”

Galway has continued to evolve into an Irish hub of international and diverse cuisines. Some of the most authentic international foods can be found in the food trucks at Galway’s markets and along Market Street. Wadmwa said that there is heavy diversity represented especially throughout the street markets between the various food trucks.

Little Lane Coffee Company

Rhiannon O’Brien, a barista at Little Lane Coffee Company, said that she has experienced a shift in Galway food culture when the food scene became more expensive and high-end. She said that Galway locals have noticed that the food scene has shifted more towards foodie culture and people desire picturesque meals worthy of presence on social media.

“People want to go out and have fancy, ‘instagrammable’ food,” O’Brien said. “After COVID-19, businesses really had to adapt to what people wanted.”

Freshly made in house pasta is served at Trattoria Magnetti, an authentic Italian restaurant in downtown Galway. Ravioli de Carne is one of eight pasta dishes served at a moderate price point.
Trattoria Magnetti sits in the Latin Quarter, offering locals and tourists an aesthetically pleasing Italian cuisine experience. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

Cuisine in Galway is only one example of diversity on display in this Irish city. The city is continuing to diversify in its food scene as well. The Irish cherish food and rely on cuisine as an expression of themselves and others culture as well as a means of bringing people together. Food represents people in different ways but continues to be a common thread in the lives of those living in Galway.

Students visit prehistoric fort…Rough seas, long hikes await group

July 6, 2022

The Berry College Project Galway group took two days off from active field work on their projects and spent July 4-5 on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, off the West coast of Ireland. The group loaded the charter bus early on Monday morning and headed to the Doolin ferry in County Clare. The group made it just in time to board the boat. Since they were some of the last passengers to board, most in the group had to sit outside on the hour-long ferry ride to the island, left to endure the near freezing winds and occasional splashes of sea water to the face.

Berry students wait to board the ferry to Inishmore. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

A few students, including junior Caroline Cleland, chose to sit on the top level of the ferry to fight any possible sea sickness. While dealing with seas a bit rougher than expected these students were completely exposed to the weather and cold.  

“I felt like I was on a children’s roller coaster the whole time,” Cleland said. “The water seemed to be pretty rough.”

Project Galway students Katelynn Singleton, Philip Walker and Jazzy Innis sit outside on the ferry preparing to leave the port at Doolin, Ireland. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

Once the group arrived via ferry, everyone headed straight up through town to the Aran Islands Hotel where they stayed for the night. The group dropped off their belongings and luggage at the hotel to be held until all the rooms were ready later that afternoon. The group then left for the only grocery store on the island, Spar, to grab some lunch before they headed out on a seven-mile walk to Dun Aonghasa, a famous prehistoric fort that sits on the edge of a 300-foot cliff. The walk to the site took the group from one end of the island to the other, allowing the group to see and experience much of what the island has to offer. The group passed hundreds of cattle, incredible ocean views and even some seals.

Hisayo Carroll photographs a horse carriage on the walk to Dun Aonghasa. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

The group took a break from walking and found a spot for lunch off the trail and on a rocky beach during low tide. The group took in the views while eating their lunch and spotted a seal that was quite interested in them before continuing the walk towards Dun Aonghasa.

Parker Luellen and Katelynn Singleton walk up the rocky bank from the beach during their hike to Dun Aonghasa. Photo by Julianne Kucera.
The Berry group takes a lunch break on a beach off the trail. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

Once the group reached the bottom of the hill that Dun Aonghasa sits on, they were met by a white sand beach with crystal blue water. The beach was a surprise to many of the students who did not expect such a beach to appear in Ireland.

“It was so nice to see this kind of beach here because we don’t get to experience something like this in the states really,” junior Jazzy Innis said. “It reminds me of the Caribbean.”

Students explore a white sand beach while on their hike. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

After the beach, the group stopped at a few shops and a restaurant that sits at the entrance of Dun Aonghasa to have one more snack and some coffee before beginning the hike up the steep hill to the prehistoric site.

Caroline Cleland and Jazzy Innis sip on coffee before they finish their hike to Dun Aonghasa. Senior Lecturer of Communication Kevin Kleine photographs them for later posting on a group Facebook page. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

After a 30-minute, uphill hike, the group finally made it to the top and entered the stone walls of the Dun Aonghasa fort. The students immediately made their way to the cliffs’ edge to peer over into the sea. With safety in mind, of course, a few of the students crawled on their stomachs to the edge and hung their heads over.

Students hang their heads off the edge of the cliff to look down 300 feet to the sea. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

“I definitely complained about the hike the whole way up there, but it was very much worth it,” sophomore Abby Grace Shrader said. “The views were unbelievable.”

The group spent a while taking in the history and views of the site. They sat for a while and discussed possible reasons that the fort exists, considering that historians do not know why, exactly, the fort existed. Theories ranging from Irish fairies to religious rituals and possible sacrifices were discussed.

Students relax by the cliff’s edge before beginning their descent. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

Once the group was ready to head back to the hotel for dinner, they made their slow and careful decent down the rocky path on the hill. The students, who dreaded the seven-mile hike back, left Professor of Communication Brian Carroll and Hisayo Carroll to enjoy the walk back by themselves and flagged down a taxi bus and were driven back to the hotel.  The students were able to check into their rooms and relax for a bit before meeting back up for dinner together at the hotel restaurant and then calling it a night.

The Berry group was up and ready to go early the next morning. The group met for an authentic Irish breakfast buffet at the hotel before leaving for one last hike before they left the island to return to the mainland. The hike to Dun Duchathair, or simply Black Fort, was much shorter and less difficult than the hike to Dun Aonghasa, which the students were thankful for so early in the morning. However, the views at Black Fort were just as breathtaking as the hike the day before.

Black Fort is a lesser-known area to visit on the island, so when the group arrived, they were there alone to explore the wonderous coastline which made the experience even more special for the group. Students sat scattered around the coastline edge where they took in the view and sounds of waves crashing into the cliff. Then, the students realized there was much more to see. So, they continued walking down the coast by scaling stone fences and navigating over loose and shifting rocks. Students have quickly realized that every turn you take in Ireland, you are bound to find breathtaking views no matter where you are.

“I was so surprised to see the Black Fort area,” Cleland said. “It’s surreal to see the strength and violence of the water and how heavily it has affected the landscape of Inishmore.”

Abby Grace Shrader and Parker Luellen explore the area around the Black Fort. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

The group decided to head back down and into town to have a couple hours to explore the shops before they were to leave the island. The students made their first stop at a pub to get some lunch to recharge after the hike. After lunch, the students shopped around for locally produced and handmade wool knit sweaters, souvenirs and, of course, coffee.

Jazzy Innis and Abby Grace Shrader take a coffee break to refuel after their hike. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

The group reconvened at the hotel where they waited for a taxi bus to drive them down to the port where the ferry was docked. This time on the ferry, most of the group was lucky enough to grab seats inside to keep warm. After stops at the other two Aran Islands, the group arrived again on the mainland where the charter bus was waiting to take them back to Corrib Village at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). The bus ride was a noticeably quiet one with almost every student asleep during the entire drive. The group returned to NUIG’s campus at around 7:30 p.m. that night and headed back to their flats.

It was an enjoyable trip to the Aran Islands that allowed for personal relationships and group dynamics to develop more fully. The group returned refreshed and ready to continue multimedia journalism project work once again.

Students immerse themselves in the culture for stories

July 1, 2022

The Berry College study abroad group is in the midst of their second week in Galway, Ireland exploring international multimedia journalism and producing stories focused on the city and its people. Students have made significant progress on their stories over the past week and a half and are continuing to do more. Their stories are beginning to take form with several interviews already complete. The students reflected on their time spent in Galway thus far, their work and experiences while studying abroad.

For many students, talking and working so closely with the locals of Galway has made a significant impact on their journalistic knowledge and skills. Journalism in an international environment has proved to be an obstacle, but also a major learning experience. For Philip Walker, this is his first international experience and he has enjoyed learning about the Irish culture and the people in Galway.

“Learning how to immerse myself in another country is something that I have never done before,” Walker said.

He said that he looks forward to further exposure to new cultures and places and that he hopes to continue traveling in the future. Junior Laura Barabas has already interviewed many locals for her project and has taken away valuable lessons that have helped her to be successful while working on her project.

Laura Barabas films interviews for her Galway Project video story.
Photograph by Caroline Cleland.

“You cannot be timid,” Barabas said. “Going up to locals teaches you to not be afraid and it pulls you out of your shell. You have a purpose and they are usually very welcoming to conversation.”

Junior Caroline Cleland has also completed interviews with Galway locals working in restaurants and shops frequented often by tourists. She found that Galwegians are very generous and helpful when she has needed them to be. Her experience with locals has allowed her to grow more confident in interviewing and pursuing sources.

“Most people are willing to help you if you just ask them,” Cleland said. “You just have to be willing to approach someone and ask.”

Cleland also noticed how journalism on an international level, such as the Galway Project, differs from typical journalism that the students are used to working on back on campus.

“In international journalism, you are essentially given an idea, and then you have to build the story from the ground up, you start at ground zero,” Cleland said. “At Berry, you are basically given a story to write and you can just go ask other students or administration. It is very different.”

Abby Grace Shrader conducts an interview on camera on the streets of downtown Galway.
Photograph by Caroline Cleland.

Students expressed that this study abroad project has forced them out of their comfort zones. Staying and working in a new country is intimidating enough for the students, but the journalism they have studied during their time at Berry has taken an entire new form, as well. However, each student has adapted well to their new surroundings and journalistic responsibilities and have been very successful so far.

Abby Grace Shrader sets up her camera before filming some b-roll in a pub with Laura Barabas in support.

Aside from work, the students are enjoying their time exploring the wonderful city of Galway and Ireland itself. Most students have deemed the Cliffs of Moher to be their favorite experience of the trip thus far. Not only was the group excited to experience more of Ireland outside of Galway, but many students, faculty and spouses were eager to get outside and experience the Irish countryside and coastline. The Cliffs of Moher left many in the group speechless and, still, in awe of the sheer beauty this country has to offer.

“When you think of Ireland you think of the cliffs,” junior Philip Walker said. “I could have spent an entire day there; I have to go back there.”

While the Cliffs of Moher was a Berry group favorite, others also described the pub life and city life to be what they love so much about Galway city. Students could not help themselves for falling in love with Galway’s vibrant and lively environment. The group has learned that the city is a very warm and welcoming place to tourists, so the experiences have been, and continue to be, very positive for the group.

For some students, memorable experiences in Galway took place down by the waterfront where the group was able to walk along the ocean. Students found a residential walkway down to the ocean where a small boat port was located. The students were able to walk out onto a peninsula that jutted out into the Atlantic Ocean.

“You don’t really feel like you are still in the city when you get down to the water,” junior Jazzy Innis said. “It gets really quiet and all you can hear is the water and birds. You don’t hear the city very much.”

Students explore Galway’s waterfront and walk along vibrant, bright homes.
The Berry group stumbled across picture perfect scenes of Galway’s bay.

There is still much that the Berry students in Galway wish to learn during their time studying abroad. Cleland said that while she has made significant progress in her knowledge of the culture and Galway’s people, she still wants to learn more.

“I just hope to get a broader understanding of the local culture,” Cleland said.

Abby Grace Shrader photographs a rowing team speeding down the river during a practice.

The students are continuing to work every day and are making great headway. The Galway group will head out to the Aran Islands on Monday morning by ferry. They will stay for one night and explore Inishmore Island. Seeing Dún Aengus is a highlight of the trip. It is a prehistoric fort on the island that dates from before 1,000 B.C. The group will have the option of going on a hike or two around the island, shopping and checking out the beach. The group will return to Galway on Tuesday afternoon by ferry once again. This will be the group’s second organized excursion together. Students will get back to working on their multimedia journalism projects once the group returns. All plan to meet their first deadlines of July 11.

More updates and photos to come. Slainte!

Majestic Cliffs of Moher visit highlights, Work continues on project 

June 29, 2022

This past weekend was a busy one for the Project Galway students and faculty. Work has really begun for Berry’s students who have hit the ground running to pursue their multimedia stories about the people and culture of Galway, Ireland. Students have conducted interviews with locals, captured video, taken still photos and researched deeper into their stories each day.

The students are settling in and becoming more comfortable in the welcoming city of Galway. They are enjoying some of their time exploring the city. On Monday, the group took a charter bus out to the Cliffs of Moher for their first excursion of the trip.

Next week, students will continue work on their multimedia stories. The group departs on Monday to take an overnight trip to Inishmore on the Aran Islands to celebrate the Fourth of July. The group will return to Galway on Tuesday.

June 25, 2022: Every Saturday and Sunday in Galway there is a street market that consists of fresh produce, food vendors, artists, jewelers and much more. Many students visited the market to experience authentic Irish crafts and gourmet food. The students purchased a variety of foods, art and even gifts for their families. They met a variety of Galway locals who sell goods in the street market every weekend. The locals offered their recommendations of where to find great food in Galway and things for tourists to see. After the street market, students visited several stores around the city where they were able to see more authentic Irish produced art and meet more locals. Sophomore Abby Grace Shrader said, “I love the produce I bought from the street market … and learn about it from the vendors.” Sophomore Abby Grace Shrader said.

Sophomore Abby Grace Shrader admires handmade artwork created by Galway artists in a local art shop. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

Most students have already captured footage, taken photographs, researched their topics and connected with potential sources for their stories. Many took the weekend as an opportunity to gather even more information for their projects. They have taken the first few steps towards the completion of their work but have much left to do and to look forward to.

Senior Parker Luellen captures video for her story assignment in the city center.Photo by Julianne Kucera.

June 26, 2022: Two Berry College faculty and a spouse spent their Sunday morning attending a service at the Saint Nicholas’ Collegiate Church where Christopher Columbus had visited.

“The hospitality of the parish, its congregants, and of the rector was so nice,” Kevin Kleine said. “As a 700-year-old church, history just comes alive in that space and receiving communion in there was just really special.”

Many students took this day as an opportunity to rest and catch up on sleep to get recharged for the next week and the day trip the following day.

June 27, 2022: The Berry group headed toward County Clare on Monday morning at 10 a.m. to take a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher. This was the group’s first excursion outside of Galway. The group loaded a charter bus first thing in the morning. Much of the group stared out of the bus windows at the vast Irish countryside that they drove through during the two-and-a-half-hour bus ride. During the drive, the bus entered the vast, moon-like Burren in County Clare. This is a mostly limestone landscape in substantial portions of the land and hillsides. It is one of Ireland’s most compelling landscapes. It is a rocky landscape dotted with rock formations and many species of flowers and plants. Upon their arrival at the Cliffs of Moher, the group received their tickets and then went their separate ways to explore the cliffs and its visitor center with an interactive exhibition.

The Berry group spent two and a half hours exploring the Cliffs of Moher and hiking around the grounds.
L to R: Philip Walker, Katelynn Singleton, Mike Myers.
Photo by Julianne Kucera.

The weather was typical for Ireland that day with spitting rain and a chilling wind. However, the weather did not stand in the way of the many photo opportunities and breathtaking views. At one end of the cliffs, students found the O’Briens Tower that was built by Minister of Parliament Cornelius O’Brien in 1835. It was built as a viewing tower for the tourists who came at this time.

The O’Briens Tower sits at the northern end of the Cliffs of Moher. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

A spiral staircase led the students up to the roof of the tower where they could view the cliffs and see 360-degree views of Ireland and its coast. On the other end of the cliffs, some students were met on the trail by a herd of cows while on their way to an overlook. Once they reached the overlook, they took some photos and soaked in the views before heading back down to the visitor center. Some of the group ate a meal at the restaurant on site while others enjoyed the food trucks parked along the trail on one end of the cliffs.

“That was some of the best food I have had in Ireland,” junior Jazzy Innis said. “Who knew I would have found the best food of the trip on the side of a trail.”

The group reconvened in the giftshop where some students purchased various gifts and souvenirs. After more than two hours exploring the Cliffs of Moher, the Berry group began the ride back to Galway.

“{The Cliffs of Moher} were where I really felt like I was actually in Ireland,” Junior Phillip Walker said. “It’s where I felt the most sense of place.”

Before they left County Clare, the group stopped at the Dunguaire Castle that sat on the side of the road and overlooked the bay. The group explored the outside grounds of the castle and its gift shop. After a short visit, the group loaded the bus once again and headed back to Corrib Village on the National University of Ireland Galway campus.

The Berry College group spent the morning in County Clare at the Cliffs of Moher for their first excursion of their study abroad trip. Photo by Julianne Kucera.
Hisayo Carroll and Jazzy Innis take photos at the Cliffs of Moher overlook. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

June 28, 2022: Students met with faculty at 10 a.m. and had a busy workday ahead of them. Every student took advantage of the beautiful and warm weather to get outside and get work done around the city. Multiple interviews were conducted, and many students were feeling good about their progress thus far.

Junior Jazzy Innis speaks with Father Tony Finn of the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Galway. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

“I feel like I accomplished so much today,” junior Caroline Cleland said. “I am feeling really confident in my story now.”

Sophomore Abby Grace Shrader and junior Laura Barabas headed out to an evening track and field practice held on NUIG’s campus to speak to the players and coaches about sport culture in Galway. They met with the coach of the intramural team from Galway City Athletic Club.

“This is such a different side of life in Galway that you do not see as a tourist,” Barabas said. “Being able to have an opportunity like this really allows us to see a whole different perspective of life and people here.”

 Shrader interviewed members of the team and collected ample video shots, otherwise known as b-roll.

Sophomore Abby Grace Shrader films and interviews Galway City Athletic Club members during their practice. Photo by Julianne Kucera.

“This experience has taught me to make an effort when listening,” Shrader said. “The accents are trickier than you would expect, and it’s hard to understand locals sometimes.”

Other students are anticipating various events that will take place around Galway, such as an arts festival and film festival, that they will be covering as part of their projects. Until then, students will be working hard searching for prospective sources and researching ahead of the events.

More updates to come. Until then, slainte!

Berry students arrive in the Emerald Isle, Navigating new city

June 24, 2022

GALWAY, Ireland – After 28 brutal hours of traveling, Berry College communication students finally arrived in Galway on Monday to begin their work as international correspondents. They will be exploring various aspects of the Irish experience and culture through their multimedia storytelling.  

From June 19 to July 20, students will be learning about and practicing international multimedia journalism. Department of communication majors and minors are producing stories focusing on this place as part of the Project Galway study abroad program. Students hope to reveal what it means to be Irish and to learn about Galway, its people and their place in Ireland. 

Three faculty are accompanying the group and will supervise the program. The 10 participating students will be creating multimedia reporting in an international context that will be packaged together as a group project.  

Project Galway 2022 begins as the group arrives at the Atlanta airport.
L to R back: Senior Lecturer Kevin Kleine, Mike Myers, Associate Professor Curt Hersey, Parker Luellen, Phillip Walker, Katelynn Singleton, Kitty Nichols, Professor Brian Carroll.
Front: Abby Grace Shrader, Caroline Cleland, Julianne Kucera, Jazzy Innis, Laura Barabas, Hisayo Carroll.

After the lengthy trip consisting of a missed flight, long layover, meeting celebrities and long bus ride, the group finally arrived at Corrib Village on the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) campus where they will stay for the next month completing the multimedia storytelling project. Student work from Project Galway will be published here at Viking Fusion after the program concludes. 

June 19, 2022 – 7:00 p.m.  Students, family members and faculty all arrived at the Atlanta airport ahead of the flight at 10:20 p.m. Families hugged their children, saying goodbye and sending them on their way. Many students shared that they were feeling anxious about beginning this long-awaited experience. 

“The trip we had been waiting so long for was here, and there was a lot of anticipation,” sophomore Abby Grace Shrader, said. “I was very anxious.”   

The group departed Atlanta for London Heathrow at 11 p.m., roughly 40 minutes late. This is where the group would catch their final flight to Dublin, Ireland. 

Mike Myers prepares to say goodbye to his family in the Atlanta airport before leaving for Ireland. 
L to R: Ron Myers, Sue Myers, Mike Myers

June 20, 2022 – 12:15 p.m.  After arriving at London Heathrow Airport about 40 minutes late, the group had a long, six-hour layover. Some took the opportunity to catch some sleep where they could in the airport terminal.

“It flew by,” said junior Jazzy Innis. “Some of us played cards to pass the time.”

June 20, 2022 – 1:45 p.m.  Caroline Cleland and Julianne Kucera, who had booked separate flights from the larger group, had a scare when they missed their connecting flight to Dublin. Because the flight from Atlanta to London departed late, the students missed their connecting flight by 11 minutes. After many unhelpful conversations with flight agents, the students boarded a crowded plane to Dublin shortly thereafter. After arrival they waited three hours for the rest of the group to get to Dublin on a different flight. Because these students were placed on an alternate later flight, about 10 minutes before its departure from Heathrow to Dublin, their baggage did not travel to Dublin until the next flight. This meant they had to stay in the Dublin baggage area for more than two hours waiting for their baggage to arrive and then another hour for the rest of the Berry group to arrive. 

“It was the most stressful 12 hours I have experienced,” Cleland said. “I was not sure we were going to make it to Ireland at all.”

June 20, 2022 – 9:00 p.m.  Once everyone had arrived at the Dublin airport, students ran into celebrity musical group Greta Van Fleet.

“It was so exciting,” Innis said. “I was so tired and caught off guard I did not know what to do.” But students found time to pose for a photo with the group.

The Berry group retrieved their baggage, cleared customs and then boarded a bus to make the final leg of travel to Galway. The two-hour bus ride was a silent one with nearly every student asleep as soon as the bus departed the airport. One thing some students noticed while on the bus is that the sun does not set in Ireland until after 10:30 p.m., and it rises at 5 a.m.

Project Galway students pose with Greta Van Fleet, an American rock band, in the Dublin airport. 

June 20, 2022 – 11:55 p.m.  The group finally arrived at Corrib Village on the NUIG campus at roughly midnight. They were then directed to their flats throughout the village to settle in for the night. Late night unpacking began once students and faculty got into their rooms.

June 21, 2022 – 10:00 a.m.  The group met in a NUIG classroom for the first meeting to discuss plans for the first few days, expectations, citizenship and how the project would proceed. The group took the first day to fight the jet lag by taking a walking tour of the campus which led them straight to the campus pub, Sulk. They shared the first of many meals that the group will have in Ireland. After the pub, they walked together into town, stopped at the Galway Cathedral, and then reached the bustling Eyre Square in the city center where students spent some time picking up some needed items from local shops. Before the end of the day, the group walked to the main campus at NUIG and explored its layout. Many students ended their first full day in Galway by celebrating in an Irish pub and enjoying live music. 

Berry students and faculty visited the National University of Ireland Galway main campus. 
L to R: Mike Myers, Kitty Nichols, Professor Brian Carroll, Katelynn Singleton, Phillip Walker, Abby Grace Shrader, Laura Barabas, Parker Luellen, Julianne Kucera, Senior Lecturer Kevin Kleine, Caroline Cleland, Jazzy Innis, Associate Professor Curt Hersey.

June 22, 2022 – 10:00 a.m.  This marked the first official day of work as journalists in Galway. The group started off the morning with a project team meeting before they hit the ground running. Students began discussing story assignments and sources they might seek to interview. Afterwards there was another visit to the campus pub for some lunch. Most students purchased city bus passes after lunch. Immediately after that, Professor Brian Carroll, the director of the study abroad project, led the students on a tour through Eyre Square and down to the brackish waterfront which was filled with locals and tourists enjoying the warm weather by the bay.  

Students will start to dive into their stories to get to the true core of Galway and find out what makes this city and its residents so unique.  

“The history in Galway is so fascinating, especially since it’s something that Americans aren’t used to seeing.” Mike Myers, a rising senior, said.

Some students described starting their work as an exciting, yet anxiety-inducing, experience. Cleland said that the structure of the course is beneficial and creates an environment that fosters growth. 

Parker Luellen, a rising senior, said, “Personally, I love the aspect of balance between teaching and independence.”

Students meet as a team in the morning with the faculty. In the afternoon multimedia reporting and other fieldwork is completed.

June 23, 2022 – 10:00 a.m. The project team met and discussed interviewing extensively. Equipment was divided into video and still camera bags for use by separate groups of students as needed. Digital audio recorders were distributed as well. The next meeting will be held on Monday, June 27, when the group will leave for a day trip to Cliffs of Moher.  

Watch for continuing updates on the work, experiences and travel of Project Galway students. 

Related Stories:

Irish Short Film Animators Emerge into a Growing Industry

How one local merchant survived pandemic’s forced solitude

Galway’s commercial sector rebounding after worst of pandemic

Skateboarders seek modern, safe facilities

Galway artists say Celtic tattoos not cultural appropriation

Galway Arts Scene

What is Gaelic football?

Sports and Pubs Unite Fans in Galway, Ireland

Galway’s touristic trade roars back from pandemic

Irish film industry in the midst of a boom

Natural, Cultural and Structural: How Galway negotiates its past

Church attendance in Galway altered by Covid

Galway’s houses of worship adapt as church’s influence wanes

Berry students learn multimedia reporting in Ireland

11 thoughts on “Project Galway 2022 wraps up

  1. Pingback: Galway Arts Scene

Leave a Reply