Selecting a Program

Factors to consider....

Be sure to start by going through the Steps to Study Abroad section of this web site. It outlines the process and describes how study abroad works.

Also check the section on Major Advising Pages to see if one has been created for your major already. If so, you’ll find some good tips on what kinds of classes can easily transfer from abroad and also view a list of suggested programs that offer relevant course work for your major.

As you contemplate where you would like to study in Ireland, many factors come into play.

First, you will need to select a site that offers the classes you need to continue to make progress toward your UI degree. That can be relatively easy if you have lots of flexibility in your schedule, for example, if you still need to finish up some General Education Program requirements, need electives, and/or need major credit in a subject area that is commonly taught in Ireland, such as humanities, social sciences, science, and engineering. Selecting a site can be much more challenging if you need to get very specific classes during the semester you are abroad, for example, if you are a senior in the health or biological sciences, or in engineering. Sometimes a short-term summer program is worth considering in these cases.

Second, you need to consider how much you can afford to spend on study abroad. If you are fortunate and have lots of financial support and a healthy GPA, a semester or year at an elite Irish university such as Trinity College Dublin is a possibility. If cost is a large factor in your decision, you will probably study in a smaller community, or for a shorter length of time. (You don’t have to live in Dublin to take advantage of the city. Most universities in Ireland are located within a 2 – 3 hour train ride from Dublin, which allows you to spend weekends there.)

Now, consider some of the “watershed” decisions you need to make about studying in Ireland, as described in other sections of this self-advising manual, including

In Dublin or Not

Levels of Cultural Immersion & Program Models

Using a Program Provider or Enrolling Independently

The UI offers 3 study abroad programs on the island of Ireland, two in the Republic of Ireland and one in Northern Ireland.

The Irish Writing Program is a six week summer program in creative writing, and Irish literature and drama. It is located in Dublin. Our instructors are published Irish writers and professors from local universities. The program yields 6 s.h. of resident credit through the Department of English.

The Iowa Regents Semester in Ireland program is located at University College Cork, in Southwest Ireland. It is a direct-enrollment program. Students live with Irish students, take classes with them, and are taught by Irish professors. The fall semester features “early start” classes that introduce U.S. study abroad students to aspects of Irish culture and society, including Irish archeology, environmental studies, business in the EU, Irish folklore, Irish literature, Irish music, and Irish history. Students who attend for the academic year can earn a Diploma in Irish Traditional Music or a Certificate in Irish Studies. University College Cork is a comprehensive university offering classes in the humanities, social sciences, and science and engineering.

Our Semester at Queens University Belfast is another direct enrollment program located in Northern Ireland. Like UCC, it is also a comprehensive university featuring humanities, socials sciences, science and engineering, and education.

The University of Iowa does not require its students to go on programs offered by Study Abroad. You can study on other U.S. university programs, or enroll independently in an Irish university. Thus, if there is a compelling personal or academic reason to study in a location where the UI does not have a program, by all means explore that possibility with the help of a study abroad advisor. We want to help you find the best “fit” for your needs, be they academic, personal, or financial. The Study Abroad Resource Room is a great place to start looking.

Further reading

Cultural immersion worksheet
Cost comparison worksheet