Review by Katherine (Kat) Davis

(IHS Alumni/San Diego University)


I spent my first field school in the American Southwest, and it served me well as I work in cultural resource management in Southern California. I finished my bachelor’s degree in Spring of 2018 and started into my master’s program. My school had never required study abroad for my degree, so I thought it was time to live my dream and go to a school in Ireland. I happened upon the IHS and the environmental program for Birr, Co. Offaly. I could not sign up fast enough. I was going to Ireland to study archaeology and environmental aspects of Ireland.

One of the amazing parts of this field school was the ability to homestay. Being an anthropologist and archaeologist, getting to stay with a local family was an amazing experience. I now have a connection in Birr and Ireland and cannot wait to get back and see the family I stayed with. I learned so much about geology, botany, invertebrates, and Irish culture(!) while there. I went more places in two weeks than I had ever been. It was just the tip of the iceberg! The teachers at the school are incredible and extremely knowledgeable. I have never had so much fun while learning. The whole time I felt like part of one big family.

My master’s degree thesis is not on anything in Ireland, but it has always been my desire to learn about the country of my ancestors. This field school was not enough and now I am signed up for an internship in Summer of 2021. This makes me want to finish my master’s and maybe move on to study in Ireland. Either way there is so much more to do. I am learning Irish and studying more and more on Irish culture. It is the start of a journey that I never want to finish.

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