We know how tough choosing a study abroad program can be. Maybe you’ve been dreaming about study abroad in Ireland for years, or maybe this country just popped up on your radar. Either way, you now have to decide between studying abroad in Cork or Galway, Ireland. Which one will it be? Keep reading to learn about both of our Ireland programs to find the one that’s right for you!
Cork City is known for its balance between charming historical heritage and modern cosmopolitan energy, giving you the best of both worlds. It’s no wonder that Cork was named the European Capital of Culture in 2005 and is on Lonely Planet’s list of the top 10 cities in the world to visit! Cork is the second largest city in Ireland, but you can’t miss evidence of traditional Irish culture and heritage around every corner. With its larger population comes a variety of industries, such as brewing and electronics, and attractions like two theaters, an Opera House, and a city museum. There’s always something to do and see in Cork, so you’ll never be bored. But if you do want to explore the rest of Ireland, Dublin is 140 miles north and the Lakes of Killarney are a couple hours to the west.
The University College Cork was built in 1845, making it one of the oldest universities in Ireland (talk about history!). UCC hosts 3,000 international students, so USAC students will have the opportunity to make connections with locals and meet people from all over the world.
The university has four colleges: Medicine and Health; Business and Law; Science, Engineering, and Food Science; and Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences, and semester students have the opportunity to take a variety of courses in these fields (Note: USAC hosts one specialty program in Cork during the summer with a unique set of course offerings.).
Field Trips & Optional Tours
During a semester session in Cork, students can dive deeper into Irish culture and history during several field trips and optional tours. Join us on field trips to some iconic destinations in Ireland, including the Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle; Clonakilty, Mizen Head and Barleycove; and the Ring of Kerry.
Summer students will have the opportunity to participate in an optional tour of Dublin and Southwest Ireland. On this five-day tour we will introduce you to the capital of Ireland, Dublin, and explore some smaller towns for a taste of Ireland’s Celtic past.
Founded in the thirteenth century, Galway is a lively, student-oriented city that is ideal for students interested in learning about Irish studies. As the third largest city in Ireland, Galway is the perfect place to discover Irish history and tradition and immerse yourself in the local culture. The USAC Galway program is only offered in the summer, so students will have the opportunity to participate in various events and festivals, such as the Galway Film Fleadh and the Galway Arts Festival, all summer long.
The Galway program consists of one five-week session offering courses in literature, history, music, and the Gaelic language. USAC students will study at the National University of Ireland, Galway, which is situated on a 260-acre campus along the banks of the River Corrib.
Summer courses are designed to introduce students to the unique culture of Ireland and give them the opportunity to trace their Irish roots in an optional field study. Courses include: Introduction to the Gaelic Language; Irish Music – Performance, Transmission, and Practice; and Documentary and Travel Photography.
Field Trips & Optional Tours
During our five-week program in Galway, students can travel to the Aran Islands and Connemara on two USAC-organized field trips. Both field trips will introduce participants to Irish history and culture while exploring some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe.
When you come to Ireland, you’ll be tempted to spend some time in Dublin, but what if we told you that you can explore Dublin while earning academic credit? The optional Dublin tour and field study is a five-day is a chance to sample some of Dublin’s historical and cultural riches while visiting significant city sites and historical spots like the five-thousand-year-old tombs of the Boyne River.
So, there you have it! Which USAC Ireland program is right for you? Whether you choose to study abroad in Cork or opt for a summer in Galway, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore Irish culture and history. However, if you’re intrigued by big-city life, then head to Cork. If you’re searching for an authentic taste of Irish traditions, then Galway is for you.