Here’s what some of our former students have to say about their experience at Caherconnell Archaeological Field School… 

“I signed up for the excavation at Caherconnell on a whim; I had to complete a Field School as a requirement for my Master’s Degree, and I had always wanted to see Ireland.  I selected it out of a total of 4 Irish Archaeological Field Schools, because I thought that, from the description on the website, I would be getting the best experience there.  I was not at all wrong, and the moment I stepped into the Hostel in Kilfenora, one of the best summers of my entire life began.  The friendships that I made in Ireland with the other field school students, both archaeological and geological, have weathered the trip back to the States, and continue despite us being spread across the entirety of the country.  The staff at Caherconnell felt like family at the end of the 6 weeks, and the only reason I could force myself to leave them was because my funds had, unfortunately, run dry.  The Hostel and the Pub felt like home by the second week, and it didn’t honestly feel like I was staying in a hostel at all; it was more like Mark and Orla Vaughan had welcomed us to stay in their home, which happened to have enough rooms for everyone.  My time at Caherconnell shaped my outlook on archaeology, solidified my choice to focus on the archaeology of Ireland, shaped my upcoming Master’s Thesis, and most definitely changed my life.  The excavation was some of the most fun I’ve had in archaeology, and Noel, Michelle, Claire, Pat, and Deanna have set the bar very high for the future dig teams I will be on, because they are Phenomenal.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Caherconnell and Kilfenora, and I cannot wait to return.”

Ben Rideout –  Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut


“I had been very curious if I wanted to do archaeological excavations as a part of my career path as an anthropologist. I had never travelled outside the United States by myself either. Once I arrived in Ireland, I had made some of the most treasured memories and friendships during my stay there.

The instructors of the archaeological field school provided excellent education and were very approachable for any questions over the field school course itself. All of the staff at Caherconnell treated all of my friends and I like family, and took very good care of us.

After having this experience for the summer of 2016, I want to come back to learn more and excavate here again! I do recommend this field school to everyone. The friendships and experience made here will last a lifetime, as well as the opportunity to experience Irish history and culture with the weekend trips.”

Andrew Leung – University of Colorado, Denver

“While I had always found archaeology fascinating, somehow I had never dreamed of going on a dig myself. Then I learned about Caherconnell and knew I had to go. 
As I had never done archaeology before I wasn’t sure what to expect and was a little bit nervous: ‘Would I be under qualified? Would I mess up? Would I be accepted?’
Not once at Caherconnell did I feel that I was out of place or that I wasn’t exactly where I was supposed to be. The instructors and staff were helpful, patient, and above all excited to be sharing their vast knowledge and experience.
On top of receiving an incredible education in one of the most beautiful places on earth, I also made life-long friends. This is an experience I would not trade for the world and can only hope that one day I will be lucky enough to return to what became my Irish home.”
Indrani Schelling – University of Utah, Salt Lake City


“The archaeological field school at Caherconnell quiet possibly encompassed the best 6 weeks of my life.

I have always looked forward to my first archaeological excavation, and I cannot imagine a better place to experience that than at Caherconnell. Not only is the site and surrounding countryside absolutely breathtaking, but the instructors and site staff are brilliant, helpful, and kind.

The friendships made at Caherconnell are lasting and stretch across the globe. The skills taught through the field school can be carried on to wherever your path in archaeology may take you. Caherconnell, in its own special way, truly becomes like a second home.”

Autumn Melby – Appalachian State University, Boone, NC



“I had waited a life-time to go on an archaeological dig. The archaeological field school at Caherconnell more than fulfilled my dreams.

 I could not have had a better experience. The combination of class work and field work was perfect. 

The field work covered a wide array of disciplines from learning how to map and grid the sections, to site sheets, to measurements and cleaning artifacts.

The journal that we kept reinforced the information that we learned in the field.

The excitement that you feel when you uncover an artifact or feature is beyond belief! “Is this something?” became a familiar phrase at the site. Everyone had their glory moments when they discovered something that had not seen the light of day for centuries.    

The instructors were very knowledgeable and helpful. The facilities were extraordinary.  The Caherconnell staff became a second family.

They even included some weekend day trips to other areas in the Burren region for students! 

I would highly recommend this archaeological field school to anyone.  

Now I have a new dream…I hope to return to Caherconnell again some day soon.”  

Cheryll McCormick, University of Wisconsin, Madison


“I had a wonderful experience at Caherconnell Field School.

The staff provided excellent mentoring to new archaeologists, and even provided 1:1 teaching.

The site’s location is absolutely beautiful and rich with history.

You truly do make lasting friendships at this field school, even in the local community.

My experience at Caherconnell prompted the beginning of my pursuit to have a career as an archaeologist.

I am forever grateful for the wonderful experiences I have had.”  

Deanna Bailey, Humboldt State University.




“My trip to Ireland was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

This excavation opened my eyes to what archaeology consists of, and it really made me realize that this is what I want to do for a career.

There weren’t too many students, which left more one on one time with professors for the students which was beneficial.

Being able to do a professional excavation in Ireland is an opportunity I will take advantage of again next summer.

Along with great people, the food and scenery are a huge plus. The local people are friendly and fun.

This course is very organized and well planned. There’s a tour also provided so show you other ruins around Ireland.

I recommend this excavation to anyone who wants to obtain a career in archaeology.

I can’t wait to return to Caherconnell for another fun summer.”  

Michael Tapia, California


Caherconnell Fort- Rated 10 out of 10 based on 3 Client reviews.