• Ireland
    • Galway
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
National University of Ireland - Galway
Degree Level
Apr 08, 2024
Feb 21, 2024
16 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The summer Galway program is ideal for students interested in learning about Irish studies in a lively, student-oriented city on Ireland’s west coast. Galway's magical combination of ancient history and contemporary culture makes it a great location for Irish studies.

The Galway program consists of one 5-week Summer session offering academic coursework in literature, history, theatre, music, and the Gaelic language taught by established Irish and US scholars. Many of these courses include enticing field trips offering hands-on experience with the subject matter, such as walking tours of Galway, outings to the Connemara gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area), live theatre, and guest lectures by leading playwrights and directors, private Irish film screenings, and private in-class music concerts by leading traditional musicians and singers. Those with Irish roots can enroll in a 1-credit course to trace your family’s genealogy.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

There are LGBTQIA+ friends, colleagues, and allies throughout the world. However, cultural understanding of gender identity and sexuality does vary from country to country. USAC has compiled a lot of resources to help you through that learning process.

Accessibility Support

USAC is dedicated to working closely with students with disabilities to ensure the best study abroad experience possible. You may request reasonable accommodations after your initial application is complete. We routinely receive requests for scheduling, material, and environmental accommodations for the classroom setting, which may include assistive technology, scribes and readers, printed material, and interpretation.



Environmentally-conscious students choose USAC because many of our programs are held in some of the most sustainable countries in the world. There are options to take coursework in sustainability and the environment, as well as field trips and studies where students can leave a lasting impact on their host country.

Program Highlights

  • Enjoy summer festivals, especially the Galway Film Fleadh, Ireland’s most prestigious film festival, and the Galway Arts Festival, one of the most vibrant celebrations of music, theatre, and arts of all sorts in Europe
  • Join in field trips that include the ancient Aran Islands and the rugged mountain landscapes of Connemara
  • Trace your Irish roots through a genealogy course

About National University of Ireland - Galway

National University of Ireland - Galway
NUI logo
Year Founded:

Ask anyone who has studied at NUI Galway – it really is a place apart. Our riverside 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.

While firmly rooted in the west of Ireland, with its unique landscape and culture, we reach out to the world through a global network of projects and partnerships.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.85
  • Housing 4.85
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

If you're reading this, take this as your sign to apply to study abroad, trust me.

I honestly think going to Ireland was the best decision I ever made. At first, I was nervous to even apply, but then my close friend gave me some good advice: "If not now, when?" So, I took my time and submitted an application just to try, and I am so happy I did. I remember sitting at JFK Airport before leaving for a flight to Dublin and I had no idea how amazing the next 5 weeks of my life would be. In Galway, I lived in a shared apartment in a village filled with pastel colored buildings with three other girls from all around the USA. I never experienced homesickness once because once I got there, my days were filled with making shared dinners in our kitchen, singing songs on our way to town, watching movies and doing homework on slow nights, and finding a new family to explore Galway with. I am still in contact with the people that I met on our trip, and in fact, some of us are planning an annual trip to go back. Our program director was so supportive, making sure we knew the ins and outs of the city before letting us loose, and he was always very diligent to make time for one of us if anything arose. The classes were amazing, the professors came from all over Ireland, and our tour guides on field trips were charismatic, reciting poetry at times and truly immersing us in hidden spots all over Galway county. I was really intimidated by the prospect of European travel, as I was born and raised in a pretty isolated part of Montana, and this trip made me realize that I belonged to something on a global scale. Going to Galway really did change me and I am so grateful for the effect it has had on my life. Since going to Galway, I have made friends from Ireland, Germany, and the UK. There are so many people out there, so many connections to be made, so many things to learn. If you even have an inkling of an idea to apply, I would say, do not underestimate the liberation of traveling. It may seem daunting, but it is possible and it will be so amazing.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The construction of the walls of Galway started in the 13th century, and you can see parts of them scattered around town, one place being in a modern shopping mall or behind a colorful pub. I've never seen so many different eras collected in one place, it's almost like being a time traveler.
  • Meeting so many new people in a global hub for tourism and travel
  • Ireland is such a gorgeous country
  • If you love history, it is a great place to connect with historically significant culture
19 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Way to Spend the Summer!

I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland in the Summer of 2023. It was such an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. I was able to leave the country for the first time and be immersed in the culture. The USAC staff supported me on every step of the way, but I still felt like I had freedom to explore on my own as well. I made amazing friends from my program and we would adventure throughout Galway. It is a beautiful city and by spending five weeks there I was able to truly get to know the ins and outs. I got to watch live traditional Irish music in a pub, as well as go on field trips to the beautiful Aran Islands and Connemara. Studying abroad helped me push myself and grow as a person and I can't wait to visit Ireland again!

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

I cannot recommend enough

I had a blast in this program. Everything was great and the timing was wonderful with the GIAF. Perfect for students on the quarter system who still want to be able to work in the summer.
Do not skip the day trips and go to the arts festival whenever you can, they're so much fun and a great way to see the country and culture. Bring sea bands or ginger for the trip to the Aran Islands though.
I highly recommend taking an afternoon to walk to Menlo Castle, it's just across the river and has some interesting history.
If you take a trip to Blarney, DO NOT KISS THE STONE.
Bring at least 2 pairs of good walking/hiking shoes, one pair will get wet and you want a dry pair to change into.
The music class is fun, but I wouldn't say it's terribly enlightening if you're a music major already. The theater class is very much worth it.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
It's easy to stay in you're room when it gets wet and windy, but with the arts festival going on there's lots of great shows to see in town so be sure to get out and experience all the great art.
116 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience of My Life!

Studying abroad in Ireland, with USAC, was one of the best things I ever did for myself. I am a musician and being in the cultural heart of Ireland was the best way I could explore this. The streets are filled with Irish talent, and pretty much every local I talked with was very kind and accommodating.
The dorms were located in Corrib Village. Had my own room, with a shared kitchen and bathroom alongside 5 other girls. It was very convenient and also offered a free shuttle into the city centre every hour.
I never had a problem with safety, *but always be cautious*.
The academics were great as the teachers very much cared about whether you learned the material or not.
The field trips were some of the best parts. My favorite- Inishmore. We took this trip to the Aran Islands and it was one of the most beautiful things I've experienced. HOWEVER, when you go to the Aran Islands, make sure you wear long pants, because some of us (not me) on the group got ticks while walking through the brush.

What would you improve about this program?
If the students had more opportunity set up to interact with Irish Locals. I found I was the only one in the program who really took advantage of interacting and befriending the locals. It would be better if everyone else could as well.
128 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

fantastic and truly Irish experience!

Everyone talks about what's "truly Irish," but this experience captured it all. Fantastic history class with field trips to forgotten places of real historical impact; theater class where we got to participate in the Galway Arts Fest along with locals; in-depth Dublin tour; it's hard to list everything that made me feel like an honorary Irish citizen before I came home! (And it made me want to become one for real!)

What would you improve about this program?
I wish we watched even more Irish films than we already did for fun - they were really educational and great choices of film.
107 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience!

I participated in this program in the summer of 2009 and it was an absolutely amazing experience. Galway is a beautiful city on the west coast of Ireland that is near the Connemara Gaeltacht (Irish speaking areas of Ireland). The teachers that I had were amazing and they were able to get through quite a bit of material in just a five week time period. I participated in the music class and learned how to play the tin whistle within the first week.
There were several field trips that were part of the five weeks. During the time of the program, Galway has three different festivals, the Galway film fleadh, the Galway Arts Festival, and Race week which are all important parts of a summer in Galway that not many people get to experience.
I found my teachers and the rest of the support staff to be incredibly nice and helpful and worked hard to give us such an amazing experience. I also created a close group of friends who I still keep in touch with and can't wait to see again.
I highly recommend this program to anyone looking to spend time in Ireland or someone who just wants to get an experience that they will never forget.

114 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story

Questions & Answers