Study Abroad in Ireland: Programs & Reviews

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English as the medium of instruction and for a great deal cheaper than its neighbors? No wonder students are flocking to Ireland for study abroad - and that's before we've even mentioned the beautiful natural landscapes (Ireland didn't earn the nickname 'Emerald Isle' by accident!), Riverdance, and countless pubs, castles, and potatoes to match. Home to Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and U2, among countless others, this small island nation packs a punch.

While Ireland can be touted as a nation of rainfall, Celtic influences, and the occasional leprechaun - it really is much more than that. Ireland is the leading exporter of IT software in the entire world with tech-giants including IBM, Dell, and Google headquartered there. Ireland is a modern nation with the second largest GDP in the EU - providing a wealth of opportunities for international students seeking experiences in its diverse lands!


Don't sweat the foreign language learning curve (though the accents may be a bit thick!) If you wish to experience a culture who utilizes your language but still retains traditional customs and celebrates their long history, Ireland is the country for you. Let the landscapes inspire you as it did many other great thinkers throughout history (W.B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw and a host of other nobel prize winning authors, saints, and scholars just to name a few!)

Green valleys in Ireland
Green valleys in Ireland

Making the plans to get to Ireland is the EASY part... but what will you do once you arrive? Be sure to plan your housing in advance - most study abroad companies will actually organize this component of your study abroad experience for an added cost.

What's more, most of said study abroad companies will give you a bunch of different options for your accommodation. For instance, API's study abroad program in Galway offers participants many different living environments with other students. Conversely, CEA's program in Dublin organizes only apartments for their students.

It is hard to say which living situation is better - be sure to find a program whose housing arrangements make you feel the most comfortable. Besides, no one wants to spend their amazing semester abroad feeling out of place in their new home!

Immersion and cultural activities:

Many independent program providers will include small group trips in their program fees to complement students' learning experiences. These trips can range from a daily trip to a nearby sight or a longer venture out in the neck of the woods. Regardless of the excursion, most students find these activities to be a highlight of their study abroad experience (besides, there's really only so much you can learn in a classroom!)

CIS Abroad takes it a bit further with their semester program in Dublin by allowing students to choose two excursions out of many that they would like to participate in - thus giving students not only the option to have organized fun, but also to do the planning themselves for most of their free time!

Don't let Ireland's relatively small size get you down - there are cities and sights-a plenty to explore during your stay (especially on your journey to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!) Ireland is chockfull of remarkable ancient and medieval archaeological sites, making just about any study abroad destination a worthwhile and exciting decision.

DUBLIN: Ireland's capital city is a study abroader's dream. The city's museums, zoos, art galleries, and botanical gardens challenge the vibrant and edgy night life. The local Guinness store house helps ease the transition from daytime to nighttime fun!

If you are interested in exploring the rest of your Europe during your stay in Ireland, Dublin would be an obvious choice given its proximity to Ireland's international airport.

GALWAY: Located on the west coast of Ireland, Galway is the third largest city in Ireland. Though a busy city center, it does retain its medieval charm - it is even surrounded by four city walls dating back to the 14th century! Galway is pedestrian friendly with its city center blocked off to vehicle traffic, and hosts many cultural events for entertainment, including many festivals. Dubbed the "festival capital of Ireland," this city celebrates just about everything - even oysters!

With waterways running amid the busy historic streets and shopping malls, this city offers something new and interesting around just about every corner.

CORK: Cork ranks in as the second largest city in Ireland, and can be found tucked away in the island's south coast. A busy seaport, this city has no shortage of international arts, cafes, restaurants, markets, and boutiques. The city is nestled in beautiful natural landscapes in just about every direction - from seaside views, to mountains, hills, river valleys, and the infamous Lakes of Killarney. Eye candy? I think so!

Cork is also the birthplace of tripe, a traditional dish made from animal stomachs (but we like that study abroaders will fall in love with this city with or without sampling this local food!)

Expecting a sunny day at the beach, however, is less of a certainty. From the one-of-a-kind social life to picturesque coastlines to the rigorous academic experience available at top universities, Ireland is filled with opportunities to gain a more global perspective. So, if you want to find your pot of gold, be sure to follow the rainbow and make the choice to study abroad in Ireland. Remember to 'pay it forward' and review your experience studying abroad in Ireland when your program has finished. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Celebrate St. Patrick's day in Ireland to get a taste of the real Irish deal! Originally intended to honor its namesakes contributions to expanding Christianity, this public holiday is not just a day of wearing green, but instead a week-long festival!

Beyond its contributions to the literary world, Ireland also has an incredibly rich heritage in the music and arts scene, leading the Irish culture and history to travel far and wide. Take the Celtic tiger for a ride, and find out for yourself what else lies in the many green hills of Ireland!

If you prefer to study independently at a university or college, a small number of scholarships for international students are available from the higher education institutions in Ireland themselves; contact the institution of their choice directly to obtain further information.

Other scholarships are available to help offset your costs of study abroad. Apply early, and apply for many - you never know which will work out in your favor!

  • The US-Ireland Alliance offers up to 12 George J. Mitchell Scholarships each year in an effort to further connect more Americans to Ireland.
  • Each semester, AIFS Abroad offers 40 $1000 scholarships to students who demonstrate high academic achievement and write an essay addressing "How study abroad will impact my academic and personal growth.
  • API offers a variety of scholarships for those participating in their programs - including a few great options in Ireland!
  • More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships
So, What Are You Waiting For?

Start working on your jig, and head to Ireland next semester to study abroad.

Contributed by Megan Lee

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Programs & Reviews

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Earn up to 15 credits studying in Ireland, The Emerald Isle, at the University of Limerick. Take courses in Irish Studies or choose from hundreds of traditional courses. You...
14 Reviews
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You won't need the luck of the Irish to have an unforgettable study abroad experience in Dublin. By directly enrolling at Dublin City University (DCU), Trinity College Dublin...
12 Reviews
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ISA offers students an amazing opportunity to study abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI). Students can take courses alongside other international and...
3 Reviews
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Looking to spend your summer in an exciting, yet comfortable location? The USAC summer study abroad program at the National University of Ireland, Galway can provide just...
2 Reviews
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Come study in Ireland with Academic Programs International! Students take courses at the National University of Ireland, Galway, which is ideally located on the River Corrib...
9 Reviews
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Spend your next semester in Dublin, Ireland studying at Griffith University. Athena Study Abroad offers this program to spend time at the friendliest city in the world,...
2 Reviews
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The Blackfriary Community Archaeology Project is a unique, hands-on opportunity for students to excavate the buried remains of a 13th century Dominican friary in the town of...
2 Reviews
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FIE's Dublin summer program is an incredible way to spend 5.5 weeks studying, exploring, and travelling in Ireland. The program offers students the opportunity to gain an...
2 Reviews
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This is an awesome program for those who do not get seasick and have the travel bug! Explore multiple countries around the world while earning up to 15 credits. Each voyage...
127 Reviews
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Young. International. Vibrant. The capital city of Ireland has been a popular destination since the Vikings first built it on the banks of the River Liffey in the 9th Century...
1 Reviews
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This field school is part of a larger research project that examines the archaeology of the 19th century prison on Spike Island, Ireland's Alcatraz. The prison at Spike...
3 Reviews
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USAC invites students to attend University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland next fall/spring semester or academic year. A long list of subject areas are open to international...
1 Reviews
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API students in the Cork programs join more than 14,000 students from Ireland and 75 countries worldwide studying at the University College Cork. The university opened its...
3 Reviews
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An international internship at FIE in Dublin is a pre-professional, field-based experience coupled with academic analysis and reflection. It is an educational experience...
7 Reviews
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Maynooth University offers students the best of both worlds - a smalltown experience located within an easy commute of Dublin city. The school prides itself on being Ireland...
1 Reviews
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