Although Ireland has a reputation for beautiful, though gloomy and blustery, scenery, the summertime is when it really comes to life.
As a student, you have the opportunity to study and learn about Irish culture, music, and history while spending a summer on a study abroad program there. Settle down for a course at one of Ireland's 20 universities, or join in on a study abroad travel program that will take you around all the sites.
Visit ancient castles and modern clubs in the same day. Listen to musicians in pubs weave together set lists that embody traditional ballads right alongside top 20 favorites. Find a new favorite food at a restaurant that offers traditional Irish meat and potatoes, or at a new modern spot -- especially in Dublin, Galway, Cork, and Belfast.
Get ready to find a great program and study abroad in Ireland this summer!
It is important to do an adequate amount of searching around for a program that fits you best. Things to look for are cost effectiveness, dates, and requirements. Don't feel overwhelmed, and look at each program one at a time!
ISA Galway offers an Irish Studies program at the National University. You have the opportunity to take two classes in the summer session. For about $5,300, you'll take classes, have numerous excursions, on-site staff and housing paid for. The GPA minimum requirement is 3.0.
API offers an Irish Studies program at the National University of Cork. For about $5,300, you’ll take classes, have numerous excursions, on-site staff and housing in student dorms paid for. The GPA minimum requirement is 2.85. They also offer another program in Limerick with one class for the same price.
CEA Dublin offers a Business and Culture 4-week summer program with one class for $4,900. CEA partners their Global Campus with University of New Haven (Connecticut) to provide the classes in Dublin. Minimum GPA entrance is 2.5.
IFSA Butler offers a unique opportunity for nursing and pre-health students in Belfast. Spend 6 weeks taking courses from University of Ulster faculty. The cost is approximately $5000 including housing and the minimum GPA requirement is 3.0.
In any country, each city possesses its own unique quality. Make the best of your study abroad experience by finding one that best suits you. You can come out of your comfort zone or play it safe. Either way, immerse yourself and take in all that the city has to offer!
Dublin boasts the capital and is the biggest city in Ireland while still maintaining an element of small-town charm. For example, as people exit public busses they generally thank the bus driver- not something you see in many big cities. In Dublin you’ll find the National University of Ireland, Trinity College, and University College.
It has a vivid nightlife and shopping area, and is close to the Guinness Brewery and the Jameson Distillery. Dublin is a popular tourist destination for Americans so there’s a good chance of meeting several people from the United States while you’re there. Dubliners seem happy to give advice and directions to tourists, so don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.
Cork is the third most populated city in Ireland and has the second largest natural harbor in the world after Sydney, Australia. It houses the University College Cork and Blarney Castle, where you may kiss the Blarney Stone, visit art galleries and museums, or go back in time by walking through St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral. Spend time antiquing, then stop by a café in Shandon neighborhood. You won’t run out of options for enjoyment in Cork but it’s not large enough to be overwhelming.
Galway houses the National University of Ireland Galway. It is the seat of Gaelic language and heritage. It is the home of the Lawrence of Arabia actor Peter O'Toole. Ten percent of the population speaks Irish Gaelic. Galway is great for its proximity to some of Ireland’s most beautiful landscapes. The Cliffs of Moher is one of the most visited attractions in Ireland. Also nearby are Burren National Park and the Aran Islands.
While technically part of England, Belfast carries its own charm and compelling attractions. Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland and home to Queen’s University Belfast. When you visit Belfast you can learn the myth of the creation of The Giant’s Causeway or explore the only museum in the world that can describe the creation of the Titanic in the very city where the famous ship was built.
The lush green landscape, the festivals, the music, and the food are best when seen, heard, and tasted through summer’s lens. Ireland comes to life in the summer with music, heritage, and cultural festivals making wherever you go interactive. Meet locals, sample foods, and experience a mix of traditional and modern Ireland. Ceilidh (pronounced CAY-Lay) are traditional gatherings with folk music and dancing. These are very common in every part of Ireland. Here are just a few examples of what you might encounter.
In May there is the Cork International Choral Festival, in June you can attend Bloomsday in Dublin, in July the Galway Arts Festival brings visitors for two weeks, and in August you can experience Puck Fair, Ireland’s oldest festival located in Killorglin. One advantage of studying in Ireland is the ease of travel, so it’s possible to think of making it to more than one of these festivals. Excursions through Ireland are easy enough as well as to Northern Ireland. You can also find cheap flights to Scotland, Wales, England, and Brussels.