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University of Galway

Why choose University of Galway?

Ask anyone who has studied at University of Galway – it really is a place apart.

Our riverside campus, Ireland's most biodiverse campus, is warm and welcoming, and at the same time filled with ambition. It is home to a diverse and vibrant community of staff and students who are dynamic, creative and highly driven.

The campus is home to world-leading teaching and research facilities across the sciences, social sciences and humanities, delivered through four Colleges, 19 Schools, and five Research Institutes.

Our spectacular location, on the west coast of Ireland, is renowned for its unique culture, creative industries, marine ecology, medical technologies and innovation. Our global network connects us to partners around the world, engaging in research collaborations with over 4,000 institutions in 136 countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does NUI Galway stand for?

    "NUI Galway" stands for the National University of Ireland, Galway. You may sometimes see this shortened version across the internet.

  • What is NUI Galway known for?

    NUI Galway is world-renowned as an expert research-led university. Programs in a variety of academic fields emphasize inter-disciplinary research and collaborations with industry partners.

  • How many students attend NUI Galway?

    Over 18,000 students -- including 4,000 international students -- attend the National University of Ireland in Galway each year.

  • How does NUI Galway rank?

    The National University of Ireland Galway is ranked #238 in QS Global World Rankings 2021.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Human Rights at NUIG

Hiii my name is Orla and I currently am an international student from Minneapolis, MN, USA studying Human Rights at NUIG!!!
Nuig is such a special place to study. You are free to choose an education path that suits your personal learning processes while following your passions. I have always wanted to learn about the world and how to tangibly enact change in both my community, and on a larger international scale, the BA with Human Rights Course has given me the opportunity to study international law through the lense of current/historical events from professors within the field. Next year I will begin my placement where, for a semester, I will be able to work in the field and get real world experience for University credit. Nuig has a huge focus on collaboration, so within each of my classes I get to work on assignments with my peers as well as reflecting on my personal learning with individual assessments. It really is the perfect mix!! There is something for everyone.
You truly cannot move to galway without mentioning/ taking pics of/ accidentally/ on purpose making all your friends jealous of the WILD scenery of the west coast of Ireland. It truly is beautiful. Living by the sea for the first time in my life has forced me to celebrate the glorious outdoors and take up sea swimming. I may have had been extra prepared for the cold atlantic coming from snowy Minnesota, but the culture of sea swimming at the community of people in galway who are passionate about their environment, both for enjoyment and protecting their climate is truly so unique and my favorite part of going to school at NUIG. I cannot recommend NUIG enough, there are so many academic programs to choose from and societies ranging from yoga, to taylor swift, to baking, and more there is really something for everyone all wrapped up in the most charming city in Ireland.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Living in Galway you are fairly central to go on weekend trips around Ireland to see the sites which is very cool and there are endless things to do locally. But if you are ready for something a little more adventurous the Dublin Airport is also very easy to get to(by bus) and the rest of Europe is fairly accessible to go on quick trips on a budget!! This year I got really into a band from my hometown and I was so excited to see they were going on a European tour this fall. Some friends and I decided on Monday that we would go to Amsterdam and left on saturday morning with tickets for under $30!! We had a really great time on a student budget!! Truly one of the most surprising, spare of the moment, best things I have ever done!! Nuig student life is full of exciting opportunities!!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Medicine in Galway, Ireland

In August of 2020 I began the adventure of a lifetime when I moved from the United States to Ireland to pursue my dream of becoming a physician. Since living here the past year and a half, I have made unbelievable memories, created fantastic friendships, and started learning the fundamental building blocks towards earning a medical degree.
My time in Ireland has been nothing short of amazing. I have been able to cultivate a whole new living experience moving across the world. This experience has allowed me to grow and mature in ways that I never thought were possible. I remember being so scared to leave all of my friends and family behind when moving here, and even though I obviously still miss them, I could not imagine my life now without the new people I have in it, as well as the new memories I have made while living abroad.
My professors here at NUIG have helped create such an interesting learning environment that even though the material in medicine is challenging, it is very interesting to learn. I truly sometimes feel the need to pinch myself because I cannot believe how lucky I am to live here and to be studying what I am studying. I could not be more thankful, and I highly encourage anyone who is considering it to make the decision to move here. You will never know what you are capable of until you try, and you will be surprised at how much an experience like this can shape you into a more experienced, skilled, and confident adult.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My future advice to future travelers is to put yourself out there and do as much as possible. Your time here is limited to how long you are in school for (unless you end up loving it so much that you live here after school) so make the most of it. Say yes to activities, hanging out with friends, and traveling. Allow yourself to enjoy everything Ireland has to offer, while obviously prioritizing school. My point is, creating memories is a huge part of this experience and you want to leave knowing you made the most of it.
Yes, I recommend this program

Payton Hiday's Review- Galway Undergrad

I actually left a note for the new American students that were going to be living in my room, I just gave them a few tips, places to see and eat, and what I loved about Galway. Thankfully, someone from Butler had previously gone to Galway and I was able to connect with her and she gave me some tips and advice, but I know that wasn't the case for everyone. This impacted my life post-program greatly. After I graduate I would love nothing more than to move abroad to work and Ireland has truly captured my heart. This program also allowed me to meet amazing people from across the US who will be lifetime friends and we are already all meeting up this summer. This program also reinforced my International Business major, I was able to see how Irish businesses operated and the behaviors of Irish consumers. I also was one of the few that didn't take like an Irish history or appreciation course, so I would recommend that incoming students try to take one of those types of classes because I feel like I really missed out. My favorite memory is all of is the pub scene, because we don't have that in America. The music, the friendly environment, and the people were just amazing and I felt like that's when I learned most about the Irish culture and it's something I miss about Ireland every day. Do you ever feel like you weren't meant to live in the place your in, then travel somewhere and find a new home? Well, that's exactly how I feel about Ireland and I have no doubt I will be back soon.

What would you improve about this program?
The main staffer is split between numerous schools all across Ireland and she does a fantastic job meeting will all groups, but I feel like ours was left out a little being so far away so maybe hiring someone else to split up the schools and give the kids more attention, activities, help would be nice. I would also suggest some sort of prior roommate pairing process besides just being random. Even just a simple few questions as part of the application could be useful, I saw a lot of poorly paired roommates which I think hurt some people's experiences. I also think adding a few more cultural activities would be nice. As a group, we tried to immerse ourselves but going to different events, but felt like we still missed out, I would have loved to get a crash course in Irish dancing or something like that. Overall all though the program was amazing and I recommend it to everyone.
Yes, I recommend this program

The NUIG Experience

My experience at NUIG was excellent from day one. I was able to take classes that I enjoyed, but more than that, I was encouraged and given the opportunity to experience Irish life and culture. While at NUIG, I was able to immerse myself in Irish day to day life through living with Irish roommates, attending NUIG events, and exploring all the favorite local get-together and activity spots of native students. Outside of Galway, I was grateful for the opportunity to explore the beautiful country that became like my home away from home. 

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Yes, I recommend this program

Alison Jette - Galway

When I went to NUIG I decided that I was going to take my business classes so that I could still graduate on time. I signed up for Human Resource Management, Marketing Principles, Media & Marketing Communications, Advanced Application Development, and Corporate Finance. I chose these courses because they transferred over to my home university for the classes that I needed to graduate. I had a great first day at NUIG, everyone was nice and helpful, and the professors were very welcoming of study abroad students. My favorite part about being at NUIG was seeing how another University taught and did things differently than mine. The professors were genuinely interested in your education and how they can help you. It was great to meet people from all across the world in my classes. I found Galway at my home university; I had known for years that I wanted to study abroad in Ireland and once I started doing my research I learned that NUIG had a business school and it would allow me to still graduate on time.


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Alumni Interviews

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

Melanie Margaret Spillane

Why did you choose this program?

Ever since I was a little girl I have always wanted to visit Ireland. The culture seemed so cheery and bright compared to my fast-paced New England life.

On my Father's side of the family, (the Spillanes), we have heritage directly from Galway. The feeling of walking the streets of Galway City on the first day I arrived was surreal to me. Just to think that four generations back my ancestors may have walked the same streets, even drank coffee in the same shops maybe.

Another reason I chose this program was because of its location. I was able to travel to other European countries and it was much more affordable to do so from Ireland compared to flying from Boston.

I chose NUI Galway because after some research I discovered that although Dublin is an incredible city, Galway was said to have an authentic Irish charm to it, and that it certainly did.

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

Moving to Ireland was a very smooth process due to the supportive and helpful individuals who organize the study abroad program. It allowed me to enjoy the whole experience a lot more and to adjust much more easily since I didn't have to worry about anything major and most things were in place before arrival.

When I got off the plane we all were told to meet at a specific place where our group would take a bus from Shannon to Galway. Once we arrived, Ann Monahan helped us move into our apartments and gave us all sorts of helpful advice. We had a few days to settle in, adjust to the time difference, explore and simply figure things out before academics began.

Ann was extremely kind and approachable. She was almost a mother figure for all of us students. She organized many field trips for us including the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Guinness Factory, Connemara, and many others. We also had organized dinners and this helped me get to know everyone a bit better and was a remedy for any home sickness I had experienced.

As for the University, all of my professors were very personable and approachable. They want their students to succeed and that is evident. My Microbiology Professor specifically exhibited a notable deep passion for teaching and was kind enough to give me a book of his.

The teaching style was much different from what I was used to however the kindness and understanding professors of mine helped me to succeed and become more resilient to change, even to embrace it.

The courses were chosen when we arrived however we were given the resources ahead of time to figure out which ones we may be interested in taking and which ones were mandatory by our home University.

The apartment was arranged before we arrived as well as health insurance and other critical things. Food however was on our own but the study abroad program really helped us effectively create a budget for that ahead of time.

It took a lot of responsibility to budget efficiently while there, but I know that I was in good hands and that I had enough to sustain myself if I had the self discipline to stay on track with budgeting. This alone was one of the most valuable lessons and skills I developed while living abroad.

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

Ask Questions!

Don't be shy or afraid. As soon as I began the application process to study abroad in Ireland I reached out to another student at my home University who previously studied there.

She was incredible. She basically wrote me an entire book on all that she learned: where to eat, drink coffee, shop, do laundry, navigation tips, where the post office was located, best places in town to study besides the library, how to budget efficiently, travel tips, and so much more.

She was coincidentally visiting Ireland again when I was there and we met up over there for lunch. I was so thankful for all her help, and the sharing of her experiences and adventures. I can only hope that I could do the same for a student aspiring to travel.

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

My biggest fears initially were change, running out of funds, and feeling homesickness. These changed however because I learned so much, became resilient to change by adapting quickly and remaining open minded and hearted to new experiences.

The fear about funds was resolved by being conscientious about spending and budgeting frugally. I was homesick sometimes but only at night when I laid down to sleep. By the morning I was so happy to wake up in another country and so incredibly thankful that the experience was truly real. It took a while for that to really sink in.

By the end of the semester my new fear was returning home. Firstly because I loved Ireland so much and secondly, I was afraid at what change and challenges would be awaiting me there.

Once I returned home however I looked at everything so differently. I was more positive. I was more appreciative of New Hampshire. I was more appreciative of the people in my life who loved and had missed me when I was gone. I felt more confident and more free.

I felt like the experience was an accomplishment as well as a blessing.

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

The day in the life of a Biology major is very similar no matter where you are... I spent a lot of time in the library! However, when I wasn't studying I would take a lot of walks/ jogs along Salthill beach as well as hanging out in coffee shops in town.

Since it rains a lot in Ireland coffee shops were my favorite place to escape the rain. At home I have a car to get me from home to work and school, the gym, grocery store etc., but in Ireland I walked everywhere. That was one major difference for me that I had to adjust to.

In addition to going to school I also had time during weekends and breaks to explore other cities in Ireland and other countries in Europe. This was so exciting and the amount I learned in one semester was exponentially greater than any other year of college. The world is your classroom when you study abroad.

How did you document your experiences while abroad?

I took a lot of photographs and regularly blogged about my adventures and experiences. It was helpful for me to process all the change and to make meaningful reflections on my experiences. It was also a way for my family and friends to keep up with me and what I was doing abroad.

Although I am not a writer I really do think it was worth it to write a travel blog and I would definitely advise others to give it a try.

Staff Interviews

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

Katie Flannery

Job Title
International Marketing and Recruitment Executive
Katie F.

How many students attend your university?


What are the qualifications to get accepted to your university (minimum SAT scores, GPA, age, transcripts, language etc.)?

We have a test-flexible policy with regard to ACT/SAT, students require a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 Unweighted, IELTS 6.5 if English is not the native language.

What is the international student experience like at your university?

About Us: NUI Galway is an award-winning university in the heart of Galway city. Ranked among the top 2% of universities in the world, our courses include business, law, medicine, arts, science, engineering, and more, all built on a thriving campus centred around a strong community.

NUI Galway has a long history of welcoming international students to our campus. In fact, each year we welcome over 4000 international students, making this university the most international in Ireland! The International Office team are committed to helping you through your journey. From wondering what course to study, through to the application and visa process, to welcoming you on campus and helping you find your home away from home.

Your University City: Imagine a city where learning, creativity and life come together as one. Galway city nestles on the doorstep of the NUI Galway campus. The city and university have grown together, entwined for 175 years, creating a unique, safe and exciting home away from home. Galway is a city overflowing with creativity, from year-long festivals to the creation of medical device solutions shaping health care across the globe. We’re part of a city with a big heart and soul, that’s alive with passion and pride. Here we celebrate the place, the people and the feeling of inclusivity that makes NUI Galway so unique. Galway is both a friendly and safe city for students to study in.

Building your Employability: Our postgraduate courses have a 98% employability rate so choosing to study at NUI Galway gives you that professional edge before you even graduate. Through our strong links with business and our highly valued reputation in the industry, we offer our students every opportunity to develop their personal and professional skills, while providing an excellent foundation from which to launch your career. NUI Galway graduates are successfully employed at high-profile organisations in Ireland and throughout the world, including Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Cisco, Wayfair, SAP, Accenture, PWC, Regeneron, AIB and Deloitte to name but a few.

Entry Requirements Students applying for full postgraduate degree programmes from outside of the European Union (EU), and who are liable for full non-EU tuition fees, should apply online via Apply to NUI Galway. Visit our website for more information on the application process and entry requirements for your country. You can also have a look at our Country Specific Student Guides. Check out the NUI Galway Postgraduate Prospectus to view courses available to you.

Student Blogs: NUI Galway believes in optimising the student experience and providing everlasting memories. To envision your new life in Galway read here from past international students for a flavour of what's to come.

What does your university look for in international student applications?

You need to have your transcript (or predicted grades), your CV, a personal statement, English Language Test Certificate (if applicable), a copy of your passport, references.

Applications are judged on a rolling basis and based on merit.

Please outline any steps to apply to your university


When should international students start the application process for your university?

Applications open from the 1st of November.

Once a student submits their application, it takes 2-3 weeks for it to be reviewed and for the student to receive an answer.

What is the academic experience like at your university compared to other international universities? What surprises students most?

NUI Galway has an academic community of world-leading researchers working at the forefront of their fields. With extensive worldwide partner institutions, NUI Galway offers you opportunities to collaborate internationally through its postgraduate programmes. As part of your course, you may have the opportunity to travel or be part of a global team. You will learn with the best—we attract academics who are world leaders in their fields and who are working to address global issues.

What is living in Galway like for international students?

Generations of students have loved Galway city since the university welcomed its first classes in 1845. It’s a perfect student city—big enough to provide everything you want yet small enough to be friendly, sociable and accessible. You’ll find entertainment, culture and shopping available practically on your doorstep, and it’s easy to get around by bike, public transport or on foot. Galway city offers students a fun and safe environment. You can shop by day and socialise by night in the city’s charming streets and lanes. You can enjoy the city’s culture—music, drama, and poetry—at one of the theatres or music venues. You can wander along the river or by the sea, swim in the Atlantic or catch some sun on the beach. Galway’s hinterland is magical too—from lovely beaches to grand mountains to desolate bogs, you’ll find wonderful places to swim, hike, and explore all that Ireland’s west coast has to offer.

Articles About Studying Abroad in Ireland