Ireland: Galway - Irish Literature, History, and Music

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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.

  • 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
  • Explore one of the cultural capitals of Europe on the optional tour/field study of Dublin
  • Trace your Irish roots through a genealogy course

Questions & Answers


based on 3 reviews
  • Academics 9.7
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
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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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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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!)

How can this program be improved?
I wish we watched even more Irish films than we already did for fun - they were really educational and great choices of film.
Yes, I recommend this program
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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.

Yes, I recommend this program


About USAC

USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing...