MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. Programs, Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

Summer Nursing and Pre-Health

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Length of program: 6 weeks, mid-June to late July
  • Application deadline: April 1
  • Program advisors: Julia Lieberman
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Program Snapshot


We're so excited that you're preparing to study abroad on this nursing and pre-health program for the summer. This program is hosted by Ulster University and based at the university's attractive Coleraine campus. This program is a great way to combine an enriching international experience with practical studies in nursing and pre-health.

What the Summer Nursing and Pre-Health program has to offer

  • Two key health courses: Nutrition Through the Lifecycle and Principles of Microbiology
  • Instruction provided by regular Ulster University biomedical sciences faculty
  • Courses offered at one of the U.K.'s top biomedical research centers
  • Field and laboratory experiences are a key part of the program and include a visit to medical microbiology laboratories and practical laboratory work
  • Based at Ulster University, which offers outstanding programs in nursing, health sciences and pre-professional subjects
  • IFSA-Butler provides additional support from an on-site Student Services Coordinator (SSC)
  • Ideal for students majoring in nursing, health sciences, pre-health studies, biology or other health and science subjects
  • Read this blog about the 2014 experience
  • Local cultural excursion to be held on 12th of July


  • Students live in single bedrooms
  • Most rooms have private bathrooms
  • Housing includes common living area and kitchen
  • Program fee includes daily breakfast
  • Housing located on campus within walking distance of classes


Academic Structure

What is this program's structure?
Students take two classes, Nutrition Through the Lifecycle and Principles of Microbiology. See the Academics tab for full course descriptions.

Are there any course prerequisites?
Applicants should have taken at least one entry-level course in nursing, biology or cell biology.

Will I have classes with local students?
Although IFSA-Butler is committed to providing integrated programs, summer courses abroad are usually geared toward study abroad students only. Please be aware that your contact with local students may be limited, as you will likely attend classes and live with U.S. and other international students. All courses are taught by Ulster University faculty.

What field experiences are part of the program?
This program includes several hands-on field excursions that complement classroom learning:

  • Field visit to medical microbiology laboratories in Belfast City Hospital as part of Microbiology course
  • Opportunity to undertake practical laboratory at the Centre for Molecular Biosciences within the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, the top-ranking such facility in the U.K.
  • Visit to W5 (who-what-where-when-why) science education center in Belfast and complete "DNA, a Question of Taste" workshop. This special, day-long workshop explores the evolution of gene TAS2R38 (which codes for a taste receptor in the tongue) and features practical lab techniques such as DNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction enzyme digests and gel electrophoresis.
  • Students complete a gene evolution workshop at a renowned science education center


This program features two courses that focus on nutrition and microbiology. Both courses are mandatory.

Nutrition Through the Lifecycle
This module provides the student with an overview of nutrients and their role in human nutrition necessary for further study of the impact of nutrition through the lifecycle. The module explores factors determining food choice in healthy people at various stages in the life cycle. It introduces how dietary factors impact on health through the lifecycle. This is important for health promotion, nutrition and dietetics. Click here to view a full PDF course description.

Principles of Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of microscopic forms of life–organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is concerned not only with their role in disease but, as our knowledge increases, with their many beneficial activities and their central role in human health. Microbiology occupies a central position in biotechnology and genetic engineering and many of the recent major advances in science and medicine have been achieved using microorganisms as model systems. It is therefore essential that all life sciences graduates become familiar with this unseen part of the biosphere and appreciate the impact microbes on the environment and human, animal and plant health. Click here to view a full PDF course description.

Course Restrictions

Students attending this program are required to take both summer courses for credit and to complete all required work.


Students will receive 2.5 U.S. semester credit hours for each course, for a total of 5 credits for the summer. Courses are graded on an A–F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or audit.


Students are required to take all course exams. See PDF course descriptions for specific course requirements.


After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned from Ulster University. 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.

About Ulster University

Ulster University is a large, multi-campus university in Northern Ireland. It is world renowned for its peace and conflict studies program and offers highly ranked studies in nursing, health sciences and pre-professional studies. The university enrolls over 30,000 students across its campuses and attracts students from throughout the U.K. and around the world.


Summer Program Housing

Errigal/Knocklayde Student Village is a small complex of apartments situated in the center of campus at UUL Coleraine set on a green self-contained campus about a five minute drive away from Coleraine. Students live in six- or nine-bed apartments with wash basins in their rooms and communal bathrooms for the whole apartment (generally two or three bathrooms per apartment). Modern and functional, the convenience store and facilities on campus are on the doorstep and the train station directly to Belfast is opposite the entrance to campus. There are established and active clubs and societies on and off campus as well as a gym, horse riding and tennis courts close by.


The housing component of our program fee includes daily breakfast. Students are responsible for preparing or purchasing all other meals. Residences include kitchens, and there are grocery stores, cafes and restaurants within walking distance.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes housing while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of any additional housing if you arrive before the start of the program or stay in Northern Ireland after the program ends.

Will I have access to a computer?
Yes. All students have access to one of the university's computer facilities. In addition, housing is equipped with wi-fi if you plan to bring a laptop. Internet cafés are also available in Coleraine.

Will I need to bring my own sheets?
Bed linens, including duvet and pillow, are provided. Towels are provided, but students will need to provide their own washcloths.

What should I do if I have any special needs?
If you have any special needs related to your accommodation, please notify IFSA-Butler as early as possible so that we have adequate time to make appropriate arrangements. Please note that special needs are not the same as accommodation requests or preferences. Accommodation is guaranteed, but your preferences are not.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will receive your housing assignment when you arrive in Belfast for the IFSA-Butler orientation.

Can I arrange my own housing?
No. Independent housing is not allowed for this program.

Location Info

About Coleraine
County Londonderry, in the central part of Northern Ireland

  • Located in the area known as the "Triangle" consisting of Coleraine and the nearby coastal resorts of Portrush and Portstewart
  • A charming town center within easy walking distance of campus
  • Location of the Riverside Theatre, the third-largest professional theatre in Northern Ireland
  • Beaches, dunes, dramatic cliffs and woodlands are all nearby
  • Railway stop at edge of campus so that traveling to Derry or Belfast is easy and convenient
  • Sports Centre
  • "Triangle" area offers a wide range of entertainment for students, in the form of nightclubs, bars and restaurants, golf courses, sailing, fishing, hiking and other outdoor pursuits

Coleraine Tourism
Coleraine Borough Council
Coleraine Rugby Football and Cricket
Visit Derry
Coleraine Chronicle (news)

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

Summer 2017

  • Mandatory arrival in Dublin*: June 10
  • Program starts: June 10
  • IFSA-Butler orientation: June 10-11
  • Residence begins: June 10
  • Local orientation: June 12-13
  • Classes begin: June 12
  • Program ends: July 25

* There are no longer direct flights from the U.S. to Belfast. Summer students should plan to fly into Dublin. IFSA-Butler will arrange for group transportation from Dublin to Belfast via a coach. Please contact your program advisor for more details.

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 day shown on the calendar as “Program ends.”

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed.

Program Fees

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What's included in our Ireland summer program fees
Expense calculator

Payment Due: May 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for the entire program fee, which includes tuition, services and housing. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee includes daily breakfast and 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.

† Housing Deposit
Students in summer programs do not pay the $300 housing deposit.

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.

*Student Visa: U.S. citizens studying in the U.K. for less than six months (180 days) do not need to apply for a visa, but can instead enter the country as a student visitor at no cost. Student visitors are allowed to remain in the U.K. for up to six months but are not allowed to undertake any paid work, internships or unpaid volunteer activities. Citizens of some countries may be required to obtain a student visa. If this applies to you, your IFSA-Butler program advisor will notify you. Detailed instructions regarding U.K. visas will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

**Meals: The housing component of our program fee includes daily breakfast.

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

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 the Summer Nursing and Pre-Health program:

julieProgram Advisor Julia Lieberman assists the student through the application process in addition to answering cultural and logistic questions about the study abroad experience. Julia graduated from Clark University with a Bachelor’s degree in Geography. She studied abroad twice during undergraduate, for a semester in Belize and then for an independent study in Nicaragua. She has traveled extensively studying, working and living abroad, mainly in South America and Europe. These life-changing experiences lead Julia to her interest in study abroad and he desire to help others do so. Currently, Julia advises students traveling to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. She can be reached through the email link above or by phone at 800-858-0229 ext. 3638.

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.


donnettaStudent & 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 rally 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:

Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students

Student Stories

Haley Rives Student Nursing Website-Includes great advice for future students!

Kristen Cruse Presentation

Mikayla Piper-Advice for nursing majors who want to study abroad

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