International Learning Center Officially Opens in Ireland

Opening of Georgia Southern's Irish learning center

This summer, Georgia Southern University is hosting the first scholars to study at its new Irish learning center. Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero led a delegation of higher education and business officials to Wexford County, Ireland, last fall for the ceremonial opening of the international facility. Ireland’s deputy prime minister attended the event, which also led to a meeting between Marrero and Ireland’s president, Michael Higgins. It was the first official meeting between a Georgia Southern president and a foreign head of state.

The facility is housed in a historic 1812 building located in County Wexford, which has historical and current ties with Savannah. In the mid-1800s, shipping companies provided direct services to Georgia’s port city, bringing thousands of Irish emigrants to Savannah. In recent years, Wexford and Savannah have formed a partnership centered around trade, education and exchange.

“Our ambition is to develop this center in Wexford Town as Georgia Southern University’s primary educational venue for Europe,” said Howard Keeley, director of Georgia Southern’s Center for Irish Research and Teaching. “While the principal user will be Georgia Southern’s 26,000 students, we anticipate and welcome use by our sibling institutions in the University System of Georgia, which serves some 330,000 students.”

During this summer’s initial phase of Georgia Southern University- Wexford, offerings include honors humanities and international-studies courses focused on the connection between Wexford and Savannah.