University College Cork

University College Cork


University College Cork is an institution that combines all the best aspects of research, academic excellence, Irish history and culture, student safety and welfare, and a vibrant campus life to create an exceptional study abroad experience. From our castle-like campus quad, to our dedication to green studies and sustainability, from our active student clubs and societies, to our commitment to student distinction, UCC provides students with a safe, exciting, beautiful, intellectually stimulating environment in which to learn, grow, and make memories. Students who choose UCC as their abroad destination leave campus with more than just pictures and souvenirs; UCC alumni leave with countless memories, friends from all over the world, a wealth of knowledge, and a newly found sense of independence and self-awareness.

We look forward to welcoming students to our campus and watching them develop as scholars, travelers, researchers, and individuals. Ádh mór agus gach dea-ghuí.


University College Cork
College Road
Co. Cork T12 YN60


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Yes, I recommend this program

Landing in a new country and completely alone was quite daunting, to say the least, but wow, it was Ireland! A beautiful and highly reputable country that carries a terrific presence in the world. I was ready to begin my journey. I will say, it was tough at first, adjusting to the culture, norms, and the overall isolation away from home. Though, as time crept by the city grew on me and the University was astounding. I decided to take a step away from my undergrad studies of accounting and English literature and take a step towards the realm of politics and international relations. I was in an unfamiliar world of political and theoretical debate, learning the ideologies and opinions of citizens from across the globe, including Iran, Latvia, the UK, and (obviously) Ireland. It was insanely stimulating, and I dove into the material hard, absorbing all that I could. It's truly fascinating stuff. I absolutely standby my decision to get an MA in International Relations and the choice to study abroad. I have made incredible friends from France, Malta, and Ireland, and I have traveled across Europe, both solo and with friends, going to Spain, Romania, and Portugal. I have had a truly brilliant experience and opportunity to grow abroad because of the decision to get an MA at the University College Cork (UCC) and I'll always take that with me wherever I go.

What was the most nerve-racking moment?
Driving on the opposite side of the road and standing along the Cliffs of Moher.
Response from University College Cork

SJ ~
Thank you so very much for submitting a review and testimonial about your experience at University College Cork. It is heartening to read about your transition from isolation to cultural immersion, and I am so happy to learn that you will leave the experience not only with scholastic take-aways, but also with an incredible group of friends. I will be sure to pass along your comments, concerns, and lessons with my colleagues.

Again, thank you so much for sharing your graduate student journey. It is so appreciated!

-Caela Provost, US Representative, University College Cork

Cork City, Ireland
Yes, I recommend this program

I was humbled by the beauty I saw in Ireland. I believe if you decide to study abroad at the University of College Cork you would find the same happiness here. My roommates and I decided to go to an International party that was hosted by the University my first night here. Those parties are such good craic and they are just one of the things that made my year the most incredible one yet! That night we all decided to walk home instead of taking the bus (FYI I highly recommend walking everywhere!!) There was this group of Irish students walking in front of us singing "I love you Baby" "And if it's quite all right" and in that moment I knew I chose the right place. The challenging coursework, building international friendships, and endless adventure was soo much more than I anticipated. I cannot thank the University of College Cork and the people I met here enough for my amazing experience.

Get out there and Study Abroad, Cheers!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
YES, pictures are a must when going abroad! However, I would have been more in the moment rather than looking through the lens of my camera.
Response from University College Cork


Thank you so very much for sharing some of your favorite UCC memories in your review. I am thrilled to hear (or rather, read) that you felt at home in Cork and that you enjoyed your studies and adventures. I hope you get to come back to visit soon!

-Caela Provost, US Representative, University College Cork

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Yes, I recommend this program

Ireland was beautiful and UCC was terrific. If there is something that piques your interest, odds are you'll be able to find it at UCC. It doesn't feel like the massive school it is, though. The professors are enthusiastic and happy to help, especially for foreign students, which is helpful considering how different the Irish universities are from American ones. Communication to students is great, and support is readily available and easy to find, if needed. All of the UCC staff are extremely welcoming, and make students feel like they belong. They are always ready for tea and a chat, and seem to genuinely care about the students' well-being, all 20,000 of them. I only did this program because of a very last minute decision, but I'm extremely grateful that I did because it was absolutely incredible.

Response from University College Cork

Hi Kathleen,

Thank you so much for your wonderful words about your UCC experience! I am so, so very glad that you had such a welcoming, positive time in Cork; it seems sometimes last minute decisions can be the best decisions! Please know that you'll always have a home away from home in Ireland's Rebel County!

-Caela Provost, US Representative- UCC

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying abroad in Cork was the best decision I've made. I instantly fell in love with UCC and Cork. The campus is stunning and the classes are challenging but manageable. Cork City is filled with mostly Irish people who are so kind and welcoming. The city is very safe and very active. I love Cork so much that I've already been back once since my fall semester abroad! I highly recommend this city and university to anyone who is looking to get the real Irish experience. I am so thankful for the people from Cork who I met abroad and the opportunity to learn all about their culture. Study at UCC!!

Response from University College Cork

Nicole ~

Thank you so much for sharing your Cork/UCC experiences! It's so wonderful to hear that you've already made your way back to Cork since your time abroad. We hope you find your way back to the Rebel County again soon for yet another visit!

-Caela Provost, US Representative - UCC

Yes, I recommend this program

The Fall semester at The University College Cork was a semester that I will never forget! From meeting life long friends to realizing how much I love to travel, Cork provided me with experiences like no other. If I could have stayed another semester, I would have in a heart beat. Within the last few weeks of the semester I didn't want to leave. I would catch myself calling Cork 'home', and it truly was. I never felt unwelcomed or unsafe, and I think that is why I gained such an attachment to Cork.

I was looking for a authentic Irish experience and Cork provided it. From listening to live Irish music in local pubs to interacting with the locals at the market, there was never a day in Cork where I wasn't smiling. I had the ability to dive right into the culture, and if that is what you are looking for then I highly suggest Cork, Ireland. It truly is an experience you will never forget!

Response from University College Cork

Hi Elise,

Thank you so much for your kind words about your time spent in Cork and at University College Cork. It makes me so happy to hear that you have found a "home away from home" in Ireland's Rebel County, and that you were able to truly experience Ireland's rich culture through your adventures and interactions with people in the community.

Again, thank you so very much for your review, and I hope you get to return to Cork very soon!

-Caela Provost, UCC US Representative


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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Kathleen Grebe

At 22, she returned to school to work on her undergrad. At 25, she decided to do a semester in Ireland.

Kathleen Grebe

Why did you choose this program?

This might not be the best reason, but I was having a terrible day at my home university. I haven't ever really felt comfortable there, and one day last January I felt particularly out of place. I didn't want to finish the semester, let alone return in the fall, but I knew I had to, unless I went abroad.

I immediately set up an appointment with my university's study abroad office. I needed a school where I could take courses on Ancient Greece and Rome in order to finish my major and graduate on time. That narrowed it down considerably (basically either Cork, Ireland or London, England). I had always wanted to go to Ireland, and didn't know if I'd ever get the chance again, so it was an easy choice.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My university was incredibly helpful in getting me to go abroad. They knew exactly what I needed to do, so I really didn't need to organize anything on my own. I had some paperwork that I had to take care of, obviously, but almost everything (including accommodation) was organized by my university.

The only thing I had to organize, which other students didn't, was booking my flights to and from Ireland. Being able to do that myself was nice, though, because I arrived a week before I needed to and toured around with my brother, which I wouldn't have been able to do had my university organized my flights.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Don't always rely on the bus for travel. A lot of places offer student discounts for the trains, and in some cases that makes it cheaper than the bus (and it's usually a lot more comfortable, too).

Also, be careful with what you buy during your travels outside of the country in which you are studying. It's tempting to buy a sweatshirt or a magnet, but these take up a lot more space (and weight) than do a t-shirt or sticker. Basically, don't forget that you do eventually have to come back to the States, and you'll want to bring back the things you buy, so be mindful of space and weight.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

It varies depending on what you choose to do once you're there. I joined the university choir, but didn't get involved in any sports, so I really just had my classes every day and choir rehearsal once a week. I had friends who joined sports, some involving travel, as well as friends who arranged their schedules so they only had class two or three days a week. It all depends on what you want to do to make the most of your time abroad.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I commute to my home university, so I had never lived with roommates. I was nervous about how that would go, both logistically (when people were coming and going, sharing responsibility for cleaning, cooking, etc.) and socially (being a little bit older than my academic peers has been problematic at my home university, and I was terrified that it would be abroad, too).

Fortunately, everyone was mindful of the fact that they lived with other people, so the logistics were a non-issue. The social aspects were a bit of an issue at first, largely because I'm a very quiet person, which my roommates understood as rudeness. It took until our last roommate arrived for this to change. He and I quickly became friends and eventually the others came around.

What did you do about your phone?

There were several different approaches to dealing with cell phones. Depending on what service provider you have hear in the States, you have different options. With Verizon and AT&T phones, you can simply get a SIM card from one of the providers abroad. I would recommend Vodafone, because that will work regardless of where in the EU you travel, without any concerns of roaming charges. One friend had T-Mobile and wasn't able to switch his SIM card, but they seem to have a plan which allows for maintaining service while being abroad.

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Staff Interviews

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

Pádraig Ó Macháin

Job Title
Professor of Modern Irish
cork city ireland

What is your favorite travel memory?

Seeing the municipal archives of Valencia.

How have you changed/grown since working/teaching at UCC?

Since coming here in 2012 I have had the opportunity to challenge myself every day in teaching and learning, and especially to establish and explore new frontier-areas of research, and do all of this with the enthusiastic support of a University that values innovation.

Why should a student choose to attend your program?

To gain or regain the energy that learning imparts. In the specific context of Gaelic Literature, to see how the history of a country and culture can be narrated through the story of its literary artifacts – texts and books – and to appreciate how energizing encounters with these artifacts, and with the ideas they inspire, can be.

Why would you apply if you were a student?

Because no-one else offers a course like this.

What makes UCC unique?

If you want to challenge yourself with new, open-minded, carte-blanche learning, this is the place to be.

When were you especially proud of your program?

When our first student graduated, and told me, on that day, that the course had been a life-changing experience.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in a successful program?

Personal communication between teachers and students in a spirit of courtesy, enquiry and mutual-learning.

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