Photo given with permission from The Center for Irish Research and Teaching

Georgia Southern announced the opening of a new learning center in Wexford, Ireland in a press release on March 18, 2019. 

University President Kyle Marrero will be participating in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Ireland Learning Center on Nov. 18 through Nov. 22.

While no official name for the learning center has been decided yet, there will be one in the coming weeks, said Director of the Center for Irish Research and Teaching Howard Keeley, Ph.D.

Keeley said that the big goal of the project is delivering internationalization of GS students. 

University System of Georgia (USG) has a set of Strategic Imperatives with which the project aligns. 

“The goal is to help us to realize that Imperative, as it is called, which is coming to us as an institution from the USG,” said Keeley. 

The international learning center will also make studying abroad easier for students because it could make it easier for professors from all disciplines to to teach abroad.

“The goal, to go back to that critical word, is to have as many professors from as many disciplines as possible take a second look at study abroad and maybe determine, well, this is 80% of the work is being facilitated through the university,” said Keeley. “That asset is being put in place, so I can be a better professor and offer this international opportunity to our students both now and into the future.”

Keeley said that the intention of the opening of the Ireland Learning Center is not to replace the study abroad programs already happening at GS.

“We have a lot of people who do a lot of study abroad, and we have lots of very talented, dedicated people, and we are not replacing any of that,” Keeley said. 

Keeley said that the new learning center would be serve as an addition to the study abroad work that students and faculty at Georgia Southern already participate in.

Keeley said that having an international learning center could also benefit other universities.

“We do want to be competitive, but we also want to be complementary,” Keeley said. “Ideally, this asset that we’re building could also be used by our sibling institutions. We would be very welcoming of institutions beyond GS participating in this asset.”

While no official opening date has been set yet, Keeley said the university should know more after the ribbon cutting.

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