• Ireland
    • Dublin
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
University College Dublin
Degree Level


Starting Price
Price Details
This estimate is based on a semester program fee, and includes housing costs. Scholarships are available for students who decide to study abroad at UCD for a full academic year.
What's Included
May 01, 2024
Apr 02, 2024
61 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

University College Dublin (UCD) is Ireland's largest and most diverse university. It is also Ireland's most global university, with international students comprising 20% of the student body. UCD offers a suite of exciting semester-long programs in Arts & Humanities, Social Science, Business, Engineering, Science, Journalism & International Affairs, Agriculture & Food, Nursing, Law, Sport & Exercise, Pre-Physical Therapy, and Architecture. UCD's beautiful self-contained campus is located just south of Dublin city centre. The campus encompasses world class sports & recreational facilities and a range of excellent on-campus housing options. Students are also invited to participate in a full program of social and cultural activities while studying abroad at UCD. The consistently positive feedback from Students who study abroad here speaks to their well-supported, academically and culturally enriching experience at UCD.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • No. 1 Irish University of choice for international students.
  • Ranked within top 1% of higher education institutions world-wide.
  • Ireland's most globally engaged university with over 38,000 students drawn from over 152 countries.

About University College Dublin

University College Dublin
University College Dublin Crest
Year Founded:

University College Dublin (UCD) is Ireland's largest and most diverse university. It is also Ireland's most international university, with 20% of the student body consisting of students from 120 countries around the world. UCD is located 3 miles south of Dublin city centre in a beautiful self-contained campus with extensive on-campus housing options, academic and recreational facilities.

Program Reviews

4.57 Rating
based on 53 reviews
  • 5 rating 71.7%
  • 4 rating 20.75%
  • 3 rating 3.77%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 3.77%
  • Academics 4.1
  • Support 4.35
  • Fun 4.55
  • Housing 4.45
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 53 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Why I Enjoyed my Time at UCD

I initially chose to study abroad at UCD because I knew the business school was very good. I also did not know any other students studying at UCD. The first week, the study abroad program did a very good job putting together events to welcome the international students, and they were a great way to meet new people. During class time, professors did a very good job facilitating discussions, and outside of class they were extremely willing to help when I needed it. Overall, I loved UCD because of the people, the city, and the academics.

13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

UCD Engineering vs American

I enjoyed my time at UCD studying mechanical engineering. I think the classes were not that much harder than my American engineering classes. The academic freedom from accountability was the hardest thing to get used to vs. the US. There is not ongoing academic assessment like homework every week. Class grades are largely determined by a large midterm test or assessment and a final I tried to sign up for a dance class with the dance society every week and was mostly successful. The classes were very laid back and fun. I also engaged with a 5v5 pickup soccer event that was biweekly organized by the student residences which was also a lot of fun.

One reason why I wanted to study abroad at UCD is because international travel within Europe is so cheap compared to traveling from the US. I went on weekend trips to Spain, England, Scotland, France, and Germany. I also went on trips to other cities in Ireland including Cork, Belfast, Galway, and some coastal towns. Getting to spend 20 euro to fly to a different country was absolutely insane to me that it was that cheap.

I studied abroad at UCD via a program called Arcadia Abroad. I personally would recommend doing it through the program if possible because they took care of some of the annoying logistical stuff for me like applying for housing that some of my roommates that didn't study through Arcadia had problems with. From Arcadia, I was also introduced to a cohort of American students via some group bonding events before classes started that was really nice so I could meet people that were in a similar boat and added some familiarity from home to such a foreign experience.

I was assigned what I believe is one of the worst housing options on campus, but I was still really surprised by what was offered. We had our own suite style rooms fully furnished and a full kitchen and common area (no oven unfortunately). The really nice perk was that we had our own private bathrooms which was a really nice bonus I wasn't expecting until I got to my room.

25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience, rough around the edges

Dublin is an amazing city for many reasons, including its charm, pubs, and views, but it's also not without its flaw when looking to study. There is a very real chance you will not get accommodation from UCD, as me and some of my friends did not. You will instead have to constantly search sites like daft.ie and the student accommodation pad for some of the most insulting accommodation listings. I ended up paying more than most campus accommodation prices, with a 20 minute bike commute (in Ireland's rainy weather too) that takes over an hour in Dublin's absolute joke of a public transit system. If you're like me, this may even lead to a lengthy tour of the Irish healthcare system after getting hit by a van on your way to class. It's very slow (you're looking at around 9 hours in the ED for just a concussion), but at least the price is much better than the US (hospital visits are free with a GP referral!).

Despite dropping the ball on accommodation, however, there are many things to praise about UCD. Academically, I never once felt as relaxed studying in the US as I did on even the busiest weeks here; the lack of gamified busy work gives you much more time to focus on actually learning the content. Even in my more difficult classes like thermodynamics and heat transfer, I felt I learned just as well as in my home university with only a fraction of the difficulty. There are, however, some culture shocks on final exams since they are such a large part of your grade. UCD also has an amazing system for clubs and societies which I wish my home university would adopt itself (go to freshers week and sign up for as many societies as you can!). The campus resources are plentiful, and the library is amazing, even if its usually too packed to find a good spot to study with friends.

I specifically studied chemical engineering, which had an even smaller program here than at my home university. One of the reasons I chose UCD was because of the lack of similar programs at other institutions. The faculty in all my engineering classes were amazing, however, and I felt welcomed and encouraged in all my classes. Overall, I would recommend UCD to anyone looking for study in Ireland, looking for easy access to cheap Ryanair flights, or anyone that just needs to enjoy some much lighter schoolwork for a semester.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would get myself much more waterproof gear, as you will be wet half the time, especially if you bike.
  • Great academic system
  • Friendly staff, peers
  • Excellent clubs and activities
  • Accommodation troubles
  • Rainy
  • Cost of living
27 people found this review helpful.
Response from University College Dublin

Thanks Drew for your review. Whilst we are not in a position to facilitate all students in on-campus housing, we do have more capacity on-campus in the spring than in the autumn when you studied with us.
Looking to the future, UCD is building more residences to add to our existing portfolio which will come on stream in the next few years. UCD also has a bus terminus on-campus next to the student residences which is an easy 30-minute commute into the city centre. UCD is facilitated by all of the major bus routes so I am guessing that your off-campus accommodation was not well facilitated to UCD.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Engineering Abroad @ UCD

UCD has an amazing engineering study abroad program. Compared to my home university (GW), their engineering program is much bigger and they offer a huge variety of classes. Although it may seem hard to study abroad as an engineering major, UCD makes it very easy to get classes that will transfer over to your home university. They also have a very extensive study abroad program that plans free trips for you to travel around Ireland and meet other study abroad/erasmus students. It was also relatively easy to travel to other places. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Prague, and Rome during my time at UCD. The only negative is that most of the local students do not live on campus, so it can be a little hard to meet Irish students.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Try to go to all of the UCD events in the beginning of the semester! It can be a great way to meet other students.
  • Culture
  • Location
  • Safe Campus
  • Almost everything on campus is closed on weekends
28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Engineering Student at UCD

I have thoroughly enjoyed my semester abroad at UCD. While I am studying business and environmental science at my home university (Northeastern), the classes I ended up taking at UCD placed me in the engineering program. The academic staff was incredibly helpful in the planning process with my home university, and it has been enlightening to gain an Irish and European perspective on the topics I'm studying. Ireland's close proximity to Europe is also great for weekend trips, and I was thankful to have traveled to Switzerland and Scotland for relatively cheap. Highly recommend at semester abroad at UCD for anyone interested!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Pace yourself! When studying abroad, it can be tempting to say "yes" to everything and burn yourself out. Try new things and meet new people, but also take care of your own health, rest plenty, and don't forget about your academics! Also, I found that the education system here is more self-paced and weighs final exams more heavily than in the U.S., so keep that in mind.
  • Travel
  • Culture
  • Flexibility
  • Cold
  • Dark
  • Wet
26 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Abroad at UCD as a Civil Engineering Major

I spent a semester at UCD studying in the School of Civil Engineering. Classes were decent, although the course setup was very different from how things are run in the United States! Professors generally were less available, exams had much greater weight in overall course grades, and often lecture halls were only half full. It was tough to make friends with Irish students at UCD, and even when I did, I only ever saw them in class because they commuted in to school and I lived in an on-campus residence hall. Even getting involved with societies wasn't everything I had hoped for. I would say the academic experience on UCD campus was fine, but not great.

My experience outside of academics, however, was awesome! I appreciated being out of the hustle and bustle of city center and enjoyed taking long runs and walks through the surrounding neighborhoods. The area was very safe and beautiful. Plus, there was easy access to city center via a 30 minute bus ride. There were so many incredible things to do, places to eat, and (of course) great pubs and clubs to check out. This was really where I met the most people and formed some good friendships!

My biggest piece of advice to someone studying at UCD: be more outgoing than you think you should, don't let the location of UCD prevent you from exploring Dublin city center, and travel to other Irish and European cities if you can!

25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


LOVED the city. Wish the city center wasn't so far away. The buses can become expensive and a hassle and very time consuming. Also, the school community is lacking. There are opportunities to get involved, but it doesn't really feel like a community. It feels more like a bunch of co-existing students. I appreciate the food options on campus especially because some places are more cost friendly than other places, but it would be nice to have some sort of a semi-meal plan option. also, our sink broke. ugh. took awhile to get fixed. but overall, so great!

34 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Don't Study Abroad at UCD

I'll try to not be too negative in this review, but I genuinely hated my time studying abroad at University College Dublin. If you are thinking about studying abroad here, make sure you know what you're getting into. I spent my whole academic year here, and I seriously regret it. UCD is in the middle of nowhere; it honestly did not feel like I was in Dublin. Students generally are not super friendly, and it was quite lonely. The Irish students are a bit cliquely and overall are not interested in making friends with American/other international students. The school is huge, which was something I wasn't used to, coming from a medium-sized liberal arts school in the US. The campus has nice facilities, but it's quite ugly (unless you're into Brutalist architecture) and has a strange layout. Housing was fine, although a bit overpriced. It's a commuter school, so campus is dead on the weekends when all the Irish kids go home. I was living in a 7 bedroom apartment, and while it was nice to have my own bedroom and ensuite, I was living with international students who were all slobs.

Ireland is also not a very fun country. The weather is absolutely abysmal. You're on an island, so you're kind of stuck here. Many of the American students take trips around Europe during weekends or breaks, but if you don't have the money to do that, Dublin gets really boring really quickly. There are some beautiful places in Ireland, but they all kind of look the same. Irish people are generally pretty cool and laid back, but most of them just want to drink and party all the time. I cannot emphasize enough how much I wish I didn't study abroad here, and I can only recommend UCD if you intend to explore the rest of Europe while you're here and use it as a crash pad, or if you have an interest in learning about Irish history (but Trinity would be better for that anyway.) Don't study abroad at UCD if you can help it.

  • Lots of societies and clubs
  • Isolated
  • Lack of academic support
  • Not an "immersive" Irish experience
65 people found this review helpful.
Response from University College Dublin

Hi Emily
We are sorry to hear that you didn’t have a great experience in Ireland and UCD, but many international students do. UCD is 6kms from the city centre with great transport links. Wishing you all the best in the future.

Questions & Answers

UCD Study Abroad Application deadlines: Autumn & Full Year - May 1st Spring Semester - Oct 25th