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Study Abroad in Galway

National University of Ireland, Galway

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: April 15 for fall and full year
    October 15 for spring
  • Program advisor: Kendall Hook
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Program Snapshot

NUI Galway is an Instant Response program
What is this?

Cead Mile Failte! We’re so excited that you’re preparing to study abroad on an IFSA-Butler program and have chosen the NUI, Galway as your destination. We’re sure you’re going to love studying there!

What NUI Galway has to offer

  • Proud preservation of the Irish language and many Irish cultural courses
  • A friendly and flexible environment
  • An active Student Union that sponsors more than 50 social and cultural clubs and societies
  • More than 30 sports clubs and teams on campus, including playing fields and sports facilities
  • An on-campus medical center, restaurant and bookstore
  • Quick access to the Galway city center and all of its music, pubs and restaurants


  • Housing is with degree students and other IFSA-Butler students in modern student apartments within walking distance of the campus
  • Housing has kitchens available for student use
  • Students purchase or prepare their own meals


  • Flexible scheduling available
  • Students may enroll in arts, commerce, engineering or science courses
  • Students take five to seven courses per semester

We look forward to working with you! You can learn more about NUI, Galway by visiting their website.



Where can I find a list of courses that the university offers?
You can find available 2017 courses at NUI Galway by downloading the NUI Galway Visiting Student Handbook: Fall and the NUI Galway Visiting Student Handbook: Spring. These handbooks could be the available courses and credits in the previous year. NUI Galway advises that students should use these as a reference until the university releases the latest versions.

Are there any special courses at NUI Galway?
Yes! Visiting students can take Exploring the Indigenous Arts, Service Learning Course in Literacy and Learning in the Community or Exploring Irish Theater. See your Visiting Student Handbook (links above) for course descriptions. Additional information is available in the Community-Based Learning tab.

What if I need to take a required course?
Please be aware that IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that your host university will offer a particular course, or that you will be allowed to take that particular course. However, if you need to take a required course, you may indicate that it is required on your course preference form. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor will communicate your needs to your host university.

What courses am I eligible to take?
As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available.

For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:

  • When determining which courses to take, please bear in mind that the Irish academic system is generally an intensive, three-year program.
  • First-year (1000 level) courses are appropriate for departments in which you have little or no prior experience.
  • Second-year (2000 level) courses will be equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses.
  • Third-year (3000 level) courses will be equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses.
  • Fourth-year (4000 level) courses are equivalent to courses for a postgraduate degree. You may not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate study abroad student.

Course Restrictions

Please indicate the subject areas in which you would like to take courses on the appropriate lines of the departmental preference form. Generally, you must have some background in the subjects you wish to study overseas. Nominate only those subjects for which you are academically prepared.

Please note the following special circumstances:

  • Most first-year (i.e. freshman year) courses are offered on a yearlong basis only. Full-year students may enroll in first, second, and third year classes; however, students applying for a semester program are generally limited to second- and third-year classes.
  • Languages—French is available only to students who have previous knowledge of the language. First-year (i.e. yearlong) courses in Spanish, German, and Italian are available for beginners. Students interested in studying a language at NUI, Galway should be aware that it is difficult to determine what level they should enroll in until they have experienced the language teaching at the university.
  • English—Visiting students may take only one English seminar per semester and admission to seminar courses is limited.
  • Psychology—Visiting students are restricted in the number of courses they can take.

NUI, Galway imposes a higher tuition fee for courses in sciences and some other laboratory courses. If this fee applies to you, the payment is your responsibility. Students who enroll in two or more courses classified as science, engineering or another laboratory course will be charged an additional fee. These fees can be found under the fee table located under the Dates & Fees tab of this page.

Mix of Arts/Commerce & Science/Engineering - Visiting Students

  • Up to 10 ECT per semester (20 ECT per year) = No additional charge
  • From 10 - 20 ECT per Semester (20 - 40 ECT per year) = 50% of the difference between Arts/Commerce & Science/Engineering
  • From 20 - 30 ECT per Semester (40 - 60 ECT per year) = Science/engineering fee applies


How many courses am I able to take, and how do I determine U.S. semester credit hours?
IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution. The number of courses you take depends on the credit value of the courses you select. At NUI, Galway, a full course load consists of 30 ECTS credits for the semester (equivalent to 15 U.S. semester credit hours) and 60 for the year (equivalent to 30 U.S. semester credit hours). The number of courses you must take depends on the credit value of the selected courses.

1 ECTS credit = .5 U.S. credit hours


The course preference form is not a registration form; it is a guideline to let your host university know which courses you are interested in taking abroad. You should discuss your course selections with your academic advisor at your home institution and have several backup choices in mind. Registration occurs on campus after a two-week trial period, which is similar to the add/drop period in the U.S. Students sit in classes before registering.

What are the registration conditions?
You must take a full NUI, Galway course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.


What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Please refer to your program calendar to review the exam period for your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting a grade appeal or academic follow-up for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned at NUI Galway. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.


Housing Options

What are my housing options?
The following housing options are available during your semester or year abroad:

  • Menlo Apartments (shared rooms with laundry included)
  • Gort na Coiribe (shared rooms)
  • Dunaras Village

Menlo Apartments and Gort na Coiribe offer mostly double rooms, but single rooms are available upon request and will incur a supplemental fee.

Both Gort na Coiribe and Menlo Apartments are within walking distance of the NUI, Galway campus and the center of Galway city. Each self-catering flat/apartment accommodates three to six students in double rooms. You will share a bedroom as well as a bathroom, kitchen facilities and living/dining areas in both complexes. Kitchens are fully equipped with cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery.

When Menlo and Gort na Coiribe housing are full, students will be placed in off-campus apartments at Dunaras VIllage. Each flat accommodates three to six students in single study bedrooms and is equipped with basic cooking facilities, shared living area, TV and Internet access. Bed linens are provided. Please note that this housing may include a supplemental fee.

You must supply your own linens (sheets and towels), which can be purchased upon arrival in Ireland. Duvets and pillows will be provided. There are phones for incoming calls in every bedroom. There are also public pay phones located onsite at each complex. You may also purchase call cards at the Reception of each student village to make outgoing calls from your bedroom phone. Rates to the U.S. vary per minute and using the specific calling cards available is the only way you can make outgoing calls from your room. (See your Preparing to Study Abroad guide for information about telephone services in Ireland.)

Rooms are equipped with Internet connections, a free service. You must speak to the on-site staff when you have moved in to get your Internet connection set up. If you bring a laptop, insure it before you go


There are no meal plan options for NUI, Galway. Students will have kitchens in their accommodations to cook thier meals.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals (whether a meal plan or self-catered) and any commuting costs you may incur. Some university housing requires students to move out during winter and spring breaks. If you wish to remain in residence during the vacation period(s), you must notify the university housing office upon arrival to make necessary arrangements. Staying in residence during university breaks may incur additional costs not covered by the IFSA-Butler program fee.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Ireland for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via email when it is released by the university.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info

Population: 73,000
Location:In the West, along Galway Bay

City features

  • One of Europe's fastest-growing urban areas
  • Offers a vibrant and diverse population, yet retains a quaint, small-town feel
  • Open-air markets, museums, shops and restaurants add to Galway's appeal
  • Students account for nearly 15 percent of the city's population
  • A thriving college town with a hip music and pub scene
  • A great place to soak up traditional Irish culture, including two Irish-speaking theatres
  • A Gaeltacht with the highest percentage of Irish speakers in Ireland

Do more!

  • Take advantage of local opportunities for fishing, golf and riding
  • Travel to Connemara and other parts of the Gaeltacht
  • Explore the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands


Galway Tourism
Visit Aran Islands
Galway News

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

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Students must have a round trip ticket to enter the country. Please use the program end date when initially booking your return. 

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Program housing is available only until the program end date.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Ireland, exams are taken under formal examination conditions and changes cannot be made for individuals.

Program Fees

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What's included in our Ireland program fees
Expense calculator

Academic Year and Fall Payments Due:
July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 15
Summer Payment Due:
May 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one or two meals out.  If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate.  If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

Commuting: Estimates are for transportation between housing and university. Transportation for personal or recreational purposes is not included in the above estimates.

* U.S. citizens do not need to apply for a visa to study in the Republic of Ireland. However, citizens of certain countries may need to do so. If this applies to you, you will be notified by your IFSA-Butler program advisor. All students, regardless of citizenship, will need to register with the Garda (Irish police) upon arrival in the Republic of Ireland. Registration will cost €300 (approximately $400).

All costs are in U.S. dollars.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Ireland:

kendallProgram Advisor Kendall Hook assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Kendall studied abroad twice during her undergraduate career, in Florence, Italy for a summer term, and London, England for a semester internship program. In addition, she has personally traveled all over Europe and the U.K. She graduated from Baylor University and completed a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University, specifically concentrating on International Education Policy Management. She is very excited to help students find their fit, plan their own study abroad adventures and help them step outside of their comfort zone. She can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4205.

altStudent Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.




altStudent & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office in Dublin. Click here to read more about Resident Director Maria Keane.


abbyAcademic Records Coordinator Abby Miller graduated from Butler University where she worked as a guide for international students from all over the world. From that experience and combined with her own world travels, she knows the amazing experiences that studying abroad can provide. Abby is excited to work with IFSA-Butler students and to help answer any questions about their academic records. Abby can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4217.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:

Summer Program

NUI, Galway offers a summer program!

What the NUI Galway summer program has to offer

  • Location in one of Europe's fastest-growing urban areas
  • A traditional and authentically Irish environment
  • Courses that focus on Irish history, film, archaeology, art, music and culture
  • A friendly and flexible campus
  • Excursions to complement course work
  • Sports facilities, shops, restaurants, bookstore and travel office


  • Modern student apartment within walking distance of the campus
  • Housing is self catering, with kitchens available for student use


  • Students take two courses worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours each
  • Courses are based in the humanities with an emphasis on Irish studies

For more information on the summer program, please click here.

Community-Based Learning

Study abroad students can learn more about Irish culture through three exciting community-based learning opportunities:

  • Exploring the Indigenous Arts
    Available fall and spring (2.5 U.S. semester credit hours)
    Exploring the Indigenous Arts is a class that offers students studying abroad at NUI Galway a practice-based opportunity to learn about indigenous Irish music, song and dance, set in the unique landscape of Connemara. The course analyzes Irish identity and history, and its current position within a global context, and to examine the impact that Irish culture has had on the development of music, song and dance globally. Students from any discipline are welcome to take this course. Weekly concerts and field trips are included.
  • Exploring Irish Theater
    This course allows students to explore Irish theatre and performance, through both classroom-based and practical activities. Students form an understanding of the distinctive characteristics of Irish theatre, analyzing works of writers from W.B. Yeats to Martin McDonagh and beyond. They consider critically the history of Irish theatre through hands-on, archives-based activities and develop practical skills by engaging in workshops that cover acting, playwriting, direction and more. No prior experience of Irish theater is needed, nor is it necessary to have any experience with acting.
  • Service Learning Course in Literacy and Learning in the Community

Here's what one IFSA-Butler student had to say about her service learning experience:

"The servicing learning class is a great opportunity to get more involved in the Galway community as well as making friendships that will last forever. The people I met in the service learning course became some of my best friends abroad because we shared such a unique bond. The class is very small and hands on; students go into the local primary school at least once a week and work with different age groups on their homework for the night. It is only one hour long, but the memories created during these short times will last a lifetime! The students that attend homework help have been recommended by their teachers to participate because their homework is rarely ever completed due to certain home situations. These kids create a bond to you as a helper and you create a special bond with them as well! At the end of the year the college students throw a party for the kids, as well as give the school a gift by fundraising throughout the semester. It is an incredible opportunity to give to a community that is sharing so much with you, and is a special way to feel further connected to the place you'll be living for the semester or year. I highly recommend applying for this course; it was my favorite experience while abroad."

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.