You could never get enough of St. Patrick’s Day in March, and with a summer study abroad program in Ireland, you’ll experience the luck o’ the Irish every day during your break! The Emerald Isle opens its arms to students from all over the world. With an international reputation of academic quality and endless outdoor activities, your short time there will be chock-full of stimulating classes and adventures. Immerse yourself in the Irish culture, from exploring Stone Age ruins to sea kayaking in Cork to moseying through modern art galleries. Riverdance your way over the pond to study abroad in Ireland this summer!
Why Spend Summer Abroad in Ireland
The days are warmer and longer in the summers — perfect for getting the most out of your daily craic and spending long evenings with new friends. You could go to festivals nearly every weekend during your summer in Ireland; class excursions may include going to the Galway Arts Festival, the Fiddler's Green International Music Festival in Rostrevor, or the Tall Ships Festival in Waterford. Wanna get the adrenaline going? Take hiking trips at Omey Island in Galway, Gweedore in County Donegal, and County Down's Mourne Mountains.
Whether your academic pursuits veer towards theater, engineering, or marine biology, most summer study abroad programs in Ireland will provide smaller class sizes for one-on-one instruction. You’ll travel in smaller groups, allowing plenty of opportunities to befriend the leprechauns (after all, you want to get the most out of your summer in Ireland, don’t you?!). Did we mention the lithic, moss-covered universities are neighbors to rolling green pastures and flowing rivers? You’ve never known beauty like this!
The welcoming locals will show you the ways of experiencing a summer abroad in Ireland to the fullest — from exploring charming chapels to bustling markets to long walks on the beach. The lively musical atmosphere (not to mention step dance!) will keep your spirits high while you sip on carefully pulled stouts in darkened pubs.
Dublin. The capital of Ireland is located on the east coast and borders the Irish sea, a low mountain range, and farmland in a maritime climate with cool summers. Marvel at medieval castles and cathedrals along the cobblestoned streets on your class excursions. Discover numerous music and arts festivals boasting jazz and blues. Celebrate the summer solstice at Body and Soul, where you can boogie on the grounds of the Ballinlough Castle, or hit Sea Sessions to play rugby or ultimate frisbee while listening to a live DJ. Whoever said to study abroad in Ireland in summer experience is boring was just plain WRONG!
Limerick. This city, with a small-town feel, lies in the midwest region of Ireland on the River Shannon, where you can take a tour on a kayak. Students will love the cultural, artistic, and adventure activities Limerick has to offer. Go for a bike ride on the Ballyhoura Mountain trails, gander at arts and artefacts at the Hunt Museum, and explore the iconic King John’s castle. Visit the nearby cities of Galway, Clare, Cork, Tipperary, and Kerry when you need a long break from your studies!
Galway. Ireland’s cultural heart is situated in West Ireland and lies on the River Corrib. You’ll love the cozy atmosphere of this university city, which invites you to explore the nearby Aran Island, Dunguaire Castle, and the Spanish Arch. Stroll through Brigit’s Garden for some down time and then kick off the night with new buds at Quay Street. You won’t want to miss the Galway Races festival — a weeklong event with delicious foods, fabulous fashion, and top horse racing.
Tips for Summer Study in Ireland
You’re probably more eager a four-leaf-clover-finder to sign up for summer study abroad programs in Ireland! Keep a few tips in mind to keep that eagerness at its peak while you’re there. Remember to pack for various weather conditions: hot, chilly, and rainy. Pack sunglasses and sunscreen, layers of clothing to warm up or cool down throughout the day (sweaters, T-shirts, sweatpants), a good pair of walking shoes, and an umbrella or raincoat to really tackle the Wild Atlantic Way.
Maybe not a class Irish experience to the untrained adventurer, but did you know you can go surfing in Ireland?! Take your mind off your studies and head to LaHinch in south Ireland, a famous surfing spot that attracts some of the best surfers in the world. Just a 20 minute drive away is the magnificent Cliffs of Moher, where you’ll have stunning views of the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges. Quote “Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince” or “The Princess Bride” between awing crashing waves and snapping selfies.
Scholarships for Summer Study in Ireland
Like most countries in Europe, Ireland’s peak tourist time is the summer season. You’ll find that accommodation and airfare have a bigger price tag than usual. Not to worry though, “Euro” in luck with summer study abroad scholarships in Ireland — deepen that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for your travels. The following are just a sample of the numerous scholarships available:
- TEAN offers a FULL-RIDE summer scholarship up to a $26,000 value for undergraduate students. The selection criteria requires a one-page essay about what your journey would be like studying abroad. The deadline is March 1st, so don’t be late!
- CEA provides several summer study abroad scholarships based on need, merit, and diversity. The range of the awards fall between $500 to $1000. With a good GPA and essay, you’ll be one step closer to achieving this award!
- IES Abroad awards summer scholarships and grants up to $1000 based on need, diversity, and merit. Scholarship applicants need to be attending a school that is a member of the IES Abroad Consortium, so make sure you qualify before applying.
Keep in mind the scholarship requirements, qualifications, and deadlines. Program coordinators are also a good resource for summer study abroad scholarship advice, questions, and tips. If you want to get your ducks in a row and track your progress throughout the process, create a spreadsheet to stay organized. You’ll be glad you got those extra scholarships when your tummy wants extra helpings of fish and chips! Visit GoAbroad.com’s Scholarship Directory for a robust list of available summer study abroad scholarships in Ireland as well.
Benefits & Challenges
You’ll meet international students from all over the world while you’re in Ireland — you’re joining a global community! Your summer study abroad in Ireland will arm you with the knowledge of its history, customs, and culture. Ireland leads the world in exporting tech software, so look into technology internships for summer credits if you’re interested. Whether you’re into computer science or the arts, employers will no doubt be impressed that you studied in Ireland.
While Ireland’s dominant language is English, you might have a little trouble at first understanding their accent, which is often lyrical and poetic in its own way. Hang in there, as you’ll be matching their melodic accents before too long.
You’ll find that punctuality isn’t heavily emphasized, as the Irish tend to roll up 10-15 minutes late to social gatherings. The important thing is to be friendly — acknowledge other people, smile, and maintain eye contact (not staring). Keep the conversations light, and you’ll make friends with red heads over red ales in no time.
Grab your lucky charms and head to the northeast corner of the mighty Atlantic. Between cups of strong tea (and a little whiskey every now and then), you’re bound to unfold the magic of the island during your summer study abroad in Ireland in 2017!