The National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) is one of Ireland's top universities. Home to over 17,000 students, 2,000 of whom are international or visiting students, NUIG offers courses in virtually every subject. Founded in 1845, NUIG invites visiting students to sample from their seven faculties (schools): Arts, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Science. Some programs may require prerequisite courses and additional documentation to admit visiting students.
Situated on 260 acres, NUIG has the look and feel of a historic European university with modern touches tastefully incorporated within it. Classroom buildings consist of large lecture halls where professors in every field share their expertise with students. Since NUIG is a public university and receives generous funding, students can expect state-of-the-art facilities. Likewise, Ireland is leading Europe in many technological fields, and NUIG heads the way with the latest educational technology to support students' learning. Students should expect every amenity and service they have come to appreciate at their home universities and more.
NUIG is located on the banks of the River Corrib, close to the City of Galway. The largest and most important city in the west of Ireland for nearly 1,000 years, Galway has a population of 75,000. A cosmopolitan city with a thriving cultural and commercial community, Galway has earned its title, "Cultural Capital of Ireland," because of its dynamic theater, arts, and culture scene. Students seeking an experience in a quintessential European university town need look no further than NUIG.
Website of Program/University:
National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG):
Unique Aspects of Program:
Although language will not be a problem for visiting students, NUIG operates according to the British education system. Students should expect large classes consisting mainly of lectures. Instead of periodic assessments, most courses require one final paper or exam at the end of the semester. This requires students to take more responsibility for their learning and keep up throughout the semester. At the same time, visiting students are invited to meet their professors and seek assistance just like they would in the U.S.
Another interesting feature of NUIG's academic system is registration. Rather than schedule a course roster prior to arrival, students have two weeks at the beginning of the semester to sample courses and register for the ones they want based on trial and error. In addition, students can expect to have a completely Irish educational experience, as they will be surrounded by Irish students in every course.
Due to NUIG's large student population, students have the opportunity to get involved in countless clubs and activities. In years' past, students have done everything from join the rugby club team to master Irish dancing. Students looking to immerse themselves comfortably in another culture have a world of possibilities open to them at NUIG.
Country and/or City Information:
Students seeking a cozy, accessible city with a cosmopolitan, European atmosphere will have the best of both worlds in Galway. The following websites will help you learn more about all there is to explore in Galway and Ireland:
Galway County Government Website www.galway.ie/en/
Galway Visitor's Guide www.galway.net/
Irish Tourist Board www.ireland.ie/
Irish Government Website www.irlgov.ie/
Frommer's Ireland Guide www.frommers.com/destinations/ireland/
Lonely Planet Ireland Guide www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/destinations/europe/ireland
Let's Go Italy Guide www.letsgo.com/destinations/europe/ireland/
Irish Times Newspaper www.ireland.com/
Students must have achieved Sophomore standing and have a minimum 3.0 grade point average to be considered for this program. Students who meet this requirement are highly encouraged to complete a Lasallian International Programs Consortium application and submit it by the application deadline.
Because of its size, NUIG offers a vast catalogue of courses for study abroad students. Up-to-date program options and course listings may be found on NUIG's website: www.nuigalway.ie/arts/overseas_students.html. Students seeking courses in Celtic Studies may need to provide proof of language proficiency for courses taught in Gaelic. Business students may find course options on NUIG's Commerce Faculty website: www.nuigalway.ie/faculties_departments/commerce/visiting_students.html. Engineering or Science majors may have to provide additional documentation of prerequisite courses to gain admittance to these programs. Engineering courses may be found at: www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/visitingstudents.html. Science course listings may be accessed here: www.nuigalway.ie/science/. Law and Medicine courses are not available for visiting students.
Like many European universities, NUIG does not provide housing directly on-campus. This gives students an opportunity to live among Irish students during their semester abroad. Students will be placed with other study abroad students in 4-person flats at Niland House, which is a beautiful 10-minute walk from NUIG's campus. All apartments have fully equipped kitchens, and students must be prepared to cook for themselves during their semester in Galway. The flats are also fully furnished with furniture, beds, and linens. Students must only pack clothing and personal items to make their living experience complete.
If you are a student at one of the US Lasallian universities or colleges, you will remain enrolled at your school and pay tuition and program fees there. Tuition is based on your campus tuition rates and may include an additional surcharge depending on the program. Contact the person on your campus responsible for study abroad.
La Salle University and National University of Ireland, Galway do not currently offer special scholarships for study abroad students, but please check with your financial aid office to learn more about your financing options for a semester abroad.
Spring applicants: October 13
Fall applicants: March 16
Must complete Lasallian Consortium application and an NUI application form with your passport photo attached to the form along with a copy of your passport and official transcripts.
Allison's Study Abroad Experience: Ireland
My friends at LaSalle must be wondering what happened to the girl they said goodbye to back on that hot, muggy day in August...
I left as "their roommate who will be back in January." I returned 4 months later as their new flatmate.
While they blast their new favorite rock and pop songs, I drown them out with my vast collection of Irish Trad.
I laugh hysterically at stand-up comedy from Danny Bhoy, while they struggle to even understand the accent that has become second nature to me.
They buy coffee, soda, and chips for the apartment, while I come home from class craving a cup of tea and a scone.
I suggest we go to some pubs on the weekend; they politely remind me that they're called "bars" back here.
While they sat back and watched the Super Bowl, I desperately scanned the channels in search of a good Rugby or Hurling Match.
Their walls are covered with posters of famous actors and bands. Mine is draped with a giant Irish tri-color and postcards of London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Rome...
They say "please" and "thank you." I say "Le do thoil" and "Go raimh maith agat."
They don't understand why I prefer the overcast, cold, rainy days to the warm sunny ones.
These are all, of course, minor things that my friends and roommates, no doubt, just find quirky and amusing. But it doesn't take away from the fact that the semester I spent studying abroad in Ireland was truly life changing. Nothing could have prepared me for the experience of living independently, on my own in a foreign country. Every day was a learning experience in Ireland, whether it was trying to master the Gaelic language, adapting to the customs and practices of my fellow students, or trying "oysters and Guinness" for the first time at the local festivals.
I have contemplated life while gazing out over the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, I've been stuck in Irish traffic jams as dozens of sheep crossed the road, and I've played board games at hostels with students from Denmark, France, Bulgaria, and Norway. I've walked through the religiously segregated neighborhoods of Belfast in Northern Ireland, I've sat outside Buckingham Palace to watch the sunset over London, and I have celebrated foreign holidays with my Dutch roommate.
I have tried the "drink of High Irish Kings" while inside an ancient castle. I sat on a bench for hours listening to an elderly man from Cork tell me the entire history of Ireland. Going to a pub on a windy Saturday afternoon in late autumn, I got caught up in the fervor and excitement of the Rugby World Cup with all the local "hooligans." I belted out the lyrics to "The Wild Rover" and danced with an entire room of enthusiastic people at the nightly Trad around town. I almost took for granted the fact that my walk to class everyday took me through the cobblestone streets of historical Galway, over the River Corrib, and right past two huge Medieval Cathedrals.
I sat in class with other Irish students at NUI, learning about their history and literature. I even sat in class with Irish students and learned to look at my own country's history and culture from a new perspective. Living in the very heart of Galway and attending the National University of Ireland gave me memories and experiences that I will never ever forget.
Studying abroad is not an experience that can truly be described or appreciated in words though, let alone such a limited number of words. It was an amazing opportunity to expand my horizons, both culturally and personally. It has completely changed who I am, and for that I am forever grateful. Ireland will always hold a special place in my heart, and was an experience that I hope each and every one of you gets the opportunity to pursue!