SMCCD IrelandThis September, community members of San Mateo County explored the Emerald Isle during the fifth San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Community Travel Program.

The SMCCCD Community Travel Program is a curated, small-group travel experience for adults. With the Community Travel Program, members of our community have the opportunity to travel around the world with an SMCCCD representative and local tour manager as they enjoy local food, special attractions, and guided sightseeing.

The 2019 Ireland tour started in Dublin, with visits to places such as the Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College. After Dublin, the group made its way to the quaint seaside villages of Kinsale and Cobh in the south—two winners of the national “Tiny Tidy Towns” contest. They then ventured up a portion of the “Wild Atlantic Way,” experiencing the innumerable shades of green, rugged cliffs, ancient stone walls and crashing Atlantic waves of the west coast. They stayed in the city of Galway, where in many places Irish Gaelic and ‘trad music’ (traditional Irish music) can be heard in pubs and on the lively pedestrian streets. Finally, the group ended in Belfast in Northern Ireland, visiting the Giant’s Causeway and various sites of historical importance.

The Community Travel Program was created as a way for the District to connect with the larger community of San Mateo County, as well as to help our students live and learn in other countries. For many college students, study abroad is a special goal of their undergraduate years; however, financially, the experience is often out of reach. With the Community Travel Program, $500 (tax-deductible) of each participant’s registration fee goes directly into the SMCCCD Foundation for Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, helping to make transformative global opportunities more accessible for our students.

Upcoming Community Travel Programs will include India (February 2020), France (June 2020), and Japan (October 2020).

The Community Travel Program is part of the SMCCCD Study Abroad Program—a district-wide study abroad program housed in the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College. For more information about SMCCCD Study Abroad and Community Travel Program opportunities, please visit the SMCCCD Study Abroad website or contact Zaid Ghori at or Stephanie Wells at

Article and Photo by Stephanie Wells

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