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Mary Immaculate College


MIC is Ireland's leading college of Education and the Liberal Arts with a growing and diverse community of over 3,500 students enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate programs. MIC is renowned world-wide for its premium education provision, educating over 40% of Ireland's primary school teachers and supporting a highly research-active faculty, over 82% of whom have PhDs.

Undergraduate degree programs are available in Liberal Arts, Early Childhood Care & Education, Elementary Education, Theatre Studies and a host of postgraduate programs to doctoral level. MIC is famed for its friendly, supportive and inclusive learning environment, making it an ideal location for international study!

MIC campus, boasting superb, modern facilities, is conveniently located in a leafy suburb just ten minutes’ walk from Limerick city centre. Limerick, a historic riverside city, is Ireland’s third-largest city with a youthful and vibrant student population.



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Yes, I recommend this program

Mary I

Mary Immaculate College really instilled in me the desire to be more and to do more. The professors challenged me to think outside of my typical American-centered thinking and to start viewing issues and concepts within a global perspective. My favorite experience with a professor was with Michael Breen, my Sociology of the Media professor. He challenged me to see how stories in the media were ultimately connected with one another and how we always needed to view media content skeptically and with a holistic view. He really inspired me to continue on in my studies in Ireland and actually wrote my letter of reference for my Master's degree in Ireland. Professor Breen is just one example of how the faculty and staff help support students to achieve their dreams abroad. While being in a foreign country can be scary at times, you never feel alone while at Mary Immaculate College.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Abroad at Mary I

Studying abroad at Mary I last semester was, in a word, incredible. I went into this program thinking that I would spend every weekend jetting off to cities all across Europe. And though I did do some traveling while I was in Ireland, I came to love my host-city and host-university so much more than I'd expected. Limerick became as much of a home to me as my own hometown, and Mary I, as much of a second-home as my own college in the States.

The women in the International Programs Office are an incredible bunch, and they'll do anything and everything they can to make sure that you're well looked after, comfortable, and content. I didn't quite believe someone on Mary I's Student Union when they'd said these women would become my Irish mammies and aunties - but now I know they were completely right. Whenever there was an issue to be had or a problem to be solved, they'd drop everything to help me figure it out. More than that, they'd listen in when I wanted to chat or offer hugs and encouragement when I needed it most. They're the best women in Limerick as far as I'm concerned, and a big reason why I had the incredible semester I did.

The warm and welcoming nature of Mary I's staff is definitely mirrored in its students, too. I'd come to Ireland a little nervous about making friends - but before I knew it, I had friends from countries all across the globe. There was always an adventure to be had and experiences to be shared. By the end of November, the lot of us all got together to have our own Thanksgiving Day feast; I've never seen a room full of people so happy to just talk, laugh, and be together like that. I think the friends you make here are the friends you make for life.

Even school seemed like an adventure, made exciting and interesting again by the college's lecturers. As an education student, I found that getting an Irish perspective on teaching, learning and children was so enriching - and I think it really helped me grow as a future educator. Moreover, other classes like that of Tech Theatre and Celtic Mythology made my days at Mary I all the more enjoyable.

All in all, I can't say enough about my semester abroad in Ireland. I've had the experience of a lifetime and made memories that'll last just as long. Friends were in no short supply and there was always laughter, love, and adventure to be found. Thanks, Mary I, for this and for so much more. I'll be back someday soon for sure!

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Yes, I recommend this program

The Mary I Experience

Though my time at Mary Immaculate College was but a brief semester, the impression left will last me the rest of my life. I could not have asked for a friendlier or more welcoming environment for my study abroad program. Between scheduling classes, helping with travel arrangements, or simply having a sympathetic ear, the people who work at Mary I from the International Student Office to the professors were completely dedicated to the student's individual experience. Because of the support and enduring kindness I received from everyone, my time abroad was nothing but a positive experience. I am so grateful for the depth of service to the student at Mary I. My time in Ireland will always be treasured as some of the most amazing months of my life, and Mary I was at the heart of all my experiences abroad.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Living it Up in Ireland

Mary Immaculate College, located in Limerick, was an amazing experience for me that helped me grow immensely as a person. I went into this program thinking that I'd be having fun travelling every weekend and seeing all of Europe, and while I did see a huge portion of Europe; what I didn't expect was how much I enjoyed Limerick and my host university. Mary Immaculate has an amazing support staff: Ger, Holly, and Ruth were always there to help and would do everything in their power to make sure you were comfortable. They consistently contacted me to make sure everything was okay and were a useful resource in finding out services and locations to see in Ireland. Limerick was also a lot better place than I had thought.

My first thought upon finding out that I was studying in Limerick, Ireland was: isn't that a type of poem?. Needless to say, I wasn't quite sure what Limerick was like. After studying there, I can say that its a lovely city with plenty to do. Everything is within walking distance, although the cabs are cheap and not a bad option either; especially if you're travelling with a friend. There's plenty of sights nearby, and if you want to travel further than nearby train/bus station lets you go anywhere in Ireland.

Living on your own in a foreign country is an experience that I recommend everyone partakes in. It seriously helps you to see things in a new way. Mary I is the place to do it, because the support staff is amazing and they will take awesome care of you.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Small School, Huge Opportunity

Mary Immaculate College, though small in comparison to other universities across Ireland, could not have had a larger impact on my life. In fact, I can't believe that I'm supposed to simply choose one story to tell in this review that would illustrate my experience in a way that will do it justice. From beginning to end, the staff in the college went above and beyond all expectations I had throughout my attendance. The students were so welcoming, and I had no issues making friends; before I knew it, I was attending soccer and rugby games, watching hurley in the local pubs while enjoying pints with the lads. I was going to the club with groups of people and above all, I was enjoying everything that Ireland has to offer. Apart from my Irish friends, I really bonded with people from all across the world, from Brazil to Germany, France to Tanzania, and beyond. There were smiles shared among us all throughout our adventures. At the Cliffs of Moher I dangled my feet off of the edges with my fellow international students, admiring the view with them who will now be lifelong friends. On the Aran Islands we dug "International 2015" in the sands on the beach while posing like fools all the while laughing just for the sake of laughing, before continuing on a self guided bike tour of the island. Walking around Dublin, or Galway, or staring at the ruins of a Blarney castle, were all shared with smiles, selfies, and times of solidarity. Aside from the fun I've had, the school never served to damper my sense of adventure. In fact, school was an adventure. I branched out from my typical courses in Communication and Sociology, and pursued classes in theatre, history, and geography. My time spent in the geography classroom was definitely challenging, as I had no idea what was going on for the better part of the semester, but the professor welcomed me into his office week after week to explain everything we covered in ways that I could understand. Iw would often joke with him that he should charge me admission, because by the time I left, he would be a very rich man. I definitely grew the most in that class, as I really gained an understanding for the Irish landscape, the geo-political systems, and more. Finally, whenever I felt I had an issue, I could always turn to the ladies in the International Office for help, or even when I simply wanted to chat with someone. These ladies would simply drop whatever it was they were doing to listen and talk, or even grant a hug when I needed it. Instead of being employees at the college they quickly became my Irish mum and my Irish auntie, and I can honestly say that the biggest impact came from them. In all, I will never forget my experience here in Ireland, and this is in large part to the connections I've made and the memories I've gained. Thanks Mary I, for everything I got the opportunity to do. You'd better believe I will be returning to visit.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly, there is probably something I could find that could use some improving. But as I sit to think about it, I can't pinpoint exactly what needs to be improved. I've just enjoyed my time so much here in Ireland, and if I had to say one thing, it would be to never let go of the support systems you construct for your students. Always make them feel as welcome and loved as you made me feel.


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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Holly Cowman

Job Title
Director of the International Office
Holly Cowman is a native of Limerick City and was a student at Mary Immaculate College herself, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She has a BA in Media & Communication Studies and Philosophy and an MA in Philosophy and Literature from MIC. She also has an MA in Film Studies and is a big fan of the movies. As well as being an eternal student, she loves to travel and so running the International Office at Mary Immaculate College is the perfect job for her.

What position do you hold at MIC? What has been your career path so far?

I’m the Director of the International Office at Mary Immaculate College. I’ve been in this role since 2013. I’ve had an interesting route to this position. When I graduated, I worked as a dispatcher for the Fire Service here in Limerick with around 70 fire brigades in the region.

I was doing my MA at MIC and started to dream about working there. One night I was looking on the website and spotted a vacancy in the President’s Office but the closing date was the next day. I worked hard on my application and luckily got it in on time because the job I got was fantastic and varied, drafting speeches and coordinating events. I then worked for about two years as the Acting Marketing Manager before moving to the newly-established International Office, which is my favourite role to date.

Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

I did indeed! I studied at Universitá degli Studi di Firenze, in Florence, Italy. It’s still my favourite place so far, outside of Limerick, of course! I was there for a year, studying History of Cinema, History of Philosophy and History of Art. I had such a great year that I can confidently encourage others to study abroad. It won’t always be easy but the challenges change you and make you more independent.

I chose Italy because I had always wanted to learn the language and was fascinated by Italian art, history and culture. Also the Italian students in my classes at MIC had encouraged me to go. I still often think about my time studying abroad and talk about it all the time, years later. I got to go back two years ago and meet up with many of the lovely friends I had made. It was comforting to see that very little had changed about that beautiful city. I hope to go back again soon for a visit.

What is your favorite study abroad memory?

While I studied abroad I did part-time marketing for language courses, I was an extra in the movie Hannibal and I worked in an Irish pub. That was where I really learned Italian as the owner was Italian and never spoke English to me. He had never been to Ireland but realised that by calling it ‘The Dublin Pub’ he would have lots of customers! He was a fantastic boss.

I also loved that, because I lived there and wasn’t just passing through, I was included in everything and got discounts in all the shops. One of my favourite memories is of the party that the locals threw for me when I was going home, which was bittersweet because I was so sad to leave.

I can really understand when our international students are so sad to leave MIC and the friends they have made. It’s even easier to keep in touch these days though and it’s so wonderful to have friends for life in another country and an excuse to return!

What does the future hold for MIC - any exciting new programs to share?

MIC has a bright future! The College recently expanded its footprint to Thurles, Co. Tipperary with the incorporation of St. Patrick’s College which is located in a vibrant and prosperous town nestled in the heart of the Suir Valley and surround by beautiful mountains and hills. This incorporation adds four new post-primary Education degrees to the undergraduate program offering and offers an alternative to studying in an urban environment. The MIC Research and Graduate School continues to expand with new graduate programmes expected to be offered for the 2016/2017 academic year, including additional structured PhD programmes.

What unique qualities does your university possess?

As Mary Immaculate College has a relatively small student body and is compact, with all buildings located on one campus, staff quickly get to know each student, allowing for excellent pastoral care and academic provision. The welfare and flourishing of students is a top priority for all staff and a professional, sincere and friendly atmosphere pervades the College campus.

International students take part in a tailored orientation programme, can join the International Student's Society which organises super trips and events, and have the support of the staff of the International Office for assistance with any matter.

Limerick city, where MIC is located, is also a small, compact city, with every necessity available within walking distance. The historic, riverside city is youthful, vibrant and rich in culture and in the final running for the award of European City of Culture for 2020!