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Stranmillis University College Teacher Education

About Stranmillis University College Teacher Education, Northern Ireland

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

The Stranmillis University College Teacher Education program is an Instant Response program
What is this?

What the Stranmillis University College Teacher Education program has to offer

  • An acclaimed teacher education program that attracts students from throughout the U.K. and around the world
  • Supervised practical placements in local schools
  • Dedicated faculty and outstanding curriculum that gives students the skills, knowledge and values necessary to excel as teachers
  • Click here to read Stranmillis news article about IFSA-Butler students and their experiences in Northern Ireland schools
  • IFSA-Butler provides additional support from an on-site Student Services Coordinator (SSC)
  • An active Student Union based in one of Northern Ireland's most historic buildings
  • Excellent indoor sports facilities and modern campus amenities
  • Want to know more? Read our Stranmillis student blogs


  • Students live in single study-bedrooms with shared living facilities
  • All housing is on-campus and within an easy walk to classroom buildings
  • The program fee includes seven breakfasts and dinners per week during term time; students can purchase lunches at the campus cafeteria
  • All housing is equipped with Internet access


  • Flexible course selection
  • Students can choose classes from four degree programs: elementary, secondary, early childhood, and health and leisure education
  • Some courses will offer practical (teaching) experience in local schools that comprises 25 percent of those courses.
  • Other courses offer observational components, where students observe local classrooms.
  • Specialty focus available in areas such as assessment, curriculum studies or special education
  • Open to any student interested in education, not just education majors
  • Courses in other subjects also available

We look forward to working with you! You can learn more about Stranmillis University College by visiting their website.


Academic Structure

Pre-service teacher program
IFSA-Butler's program at Stranmillis University College offers education students an unparalleled opportunity to combine study abroad with practical experience in the classroom. Participants choose a full semester load of courses from four tracks: elementary, secondary, early childhood, and health and leisure education.

School-based service is at the heart of the Stranmillis teaching and learning philosophy, so each student will be able to actively apply classroom and theoretical knowledge with practical experience at a school in Belfast. Students spend approximately 25 percent of their time working directly with local pupils. Supervision is provided by Stranmillis teacher education faculty.

IFSA-Butler will assist students with the process of verifying that course selections meet degree program approval and state requirements for teacher education licensure. IFSA-Butler will also advise applicants about the process for obtaining a police clearance for Northern Ireland before departure.

As one of the only international programs available to pre-service teachers, the Stranmillis structure will give students the skills necessary to manage the increasingly culturally diverse North American classrooms they will encounter in their professional careers.

Can I participate in practical education work?
Each student will be able to actively apply classroom and theoretical knowledge with practical experience at a school in Belfast. Students spend approximately 25 percent of their time working directly with local pupils although this time estimate is course dependent. Supervision is provided by Stranmillis teacher education faculty. First year health and Leisure modules do not contain a practical element. Courses that include the practical education work will note so in the course descriptions.

Is additional documentation required to participate in the practical education work?
Students must apply for and receive a PBS Tier 4 visa in order to participate in any field work. IFSA-Butler will guide students through the visa process; however the student is responsible for the cost of the visa. The visa fee is approximately $500. Students must also receive police clearance for Northern Ireland before departure. IFSA-Butler will give further guidance regarding this process once a student is accepted into the program.


Where can I find a list of courses that Stranmillis offers?
Please click on the department links below to find subject area and course descriptions.

Elementary Education Courses
Secondary Education Courses
Early Childhood Education Courses
Health and Leisure Studies Courses

Are other subjects available at Stranmillis?
Stranmillis also offers special courses to IFSA-Butler students:

  • Northern Ireland Culture and Education
  • Peacebuilding and Reconciliation
  • Young People, Community and Culture
  • Work Based Professional Practice

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 Stranmillis.

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. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites you must fulfill in order to enroll in each course.


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, as defined by IFSA-Butler. The number of courses you take depends on the credit value of the courses you select. A full course load at Stranmillis University College is 60 module units for the semester (equivalent to 15 U.S. semester credit hours) and 120 module units for the year (equivalent to 30 U.S. semescredit hours). The number of courses you must take depends on the credit value of the selected modules. For information on the credit weight, please consult the chart below.

10 Stranmillis credits = 2.5 U.S. Semester Credit Hours
20 Stranmillis credits = 5 U.S. Semester 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.

What are the registration conditions?
You must take a full Stranmillis University College 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 Stranmillis University College. 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?
All students will live on-campus at the Stranmillis University College halls of residence. Students will live in single-bedroom dorms with private bathroom facilities. Accommodations feature in-room wireless internet connections, shared common rooms, coin-operated laundry and 24 hour security. IFSA-Butler students will be fully integrated with local students and all accommodations are within easy walking distance of university buildings.


Are meals provided?
The housing fee for Stranmillis University College includes a meal plan that provides breakfast and dinner daily to students. Students can purchase lunches at the cafeteria on campus or make their own lunches in the housing facilities.

For spring students, meals are not available in university dining for three weeks over the Easter break. However, cooking facilities will still be available in Stranmillis housing during this time.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. 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 two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Belfast for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail 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

About Belfast:
Population: 500,000
Location: County Antrim, in the East

City features

  • Offers a vibrant social and cultural life in a location with spectacular natural views
  • Voted the fourth favorite city in the U.K. by the Guardian/Observer travel awards
  • A thriving café culture
  • Great restaurants, bars and dance clubs offer terrific nightlife
  • Has a compact layout and numerous retail districts
  • Victorian and Edwardian buildings lend the city a dignified air, but the large student population gives Belfast a youthful atmosphere

Do more!

  • Explore Belfast on foot to discover its theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries and parks
  • Enjoy great clubs, live music and pubs along Belfast’s riverfront and the bohemian feel and inexpensive restaurants in the southern part of the city
  • Explore the glorious scenery of Northern Ireland
  • Ride a train from Belfast to Dublin, just three hours away
  • Take one of the ferries that regularly leave Belfast for Scotland

Go to Belfast
City of Belfast
Discover Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Tourist Board

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 Northern Ireland program fees
Expense calculator

Academic Year and Fall Payments Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 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.

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

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. Rates are current as of 12/9/2016.

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: Students who plan to teach or volunteer in a classroom as part of the Stranmillis program must obtain a PBS Tier 4 student visa from the U.K. Detailed instructions regarding U.K. visas will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

**Meals: The program fee includes daily breakfast and dinner.

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 their program in Northern 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.




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 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:


Several Stranmillis students created blogs to share their stories about life and student teaching in Northern Ireland. Click on the links below to read more about these students' unique educational and cultural experiences:

Belfast Bound

Globetrotting Student Teacher

Teaching in Belfast

Student Teaching Abroad: Lessons Learned in the Classroom

Stranmillis news article about an IFSA-Butler participants:
Welcome to the 'Fall 2016' Students!

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