Office of International Programs

National University of Ireland, Galway

Galway's Location
Galway, with a population of 65,000 is the ideal European university town. A significant number of Galway’s population is current or former college students; the resulting interdependence of town and college has helped to build a vibrant cosmopolitan city that caters for young people. This confident fusion between the old and new, between the traditional and the radically different, gives the city its unique edge. Galway can justly lay claim to its title as “cultural capital” of Ireland, with a quality of life that is quite exceptional.

NUI Galway has experienced significant growth since the 1960’s with several new buildings and a student population of approximately 14,000. The campus itself is situated on the banks of the River Corrib, close to the center of Galway, on a very beautiful site. A friendly, intimate atmosphere prevails on campus, greatly enhancing the learning environment.

building on University College Galway campus

See More Photos of Galway


You should plan to take courses within your major while at Galway.  There is little possibility of fulfilling Core requirements while on this exchange, so an ideal candidate would be an independently-motivated junior or senior with primarily major requirements left to complete.

Study abroad students at Galway are permitted to take courses in the following subjects:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Archaeology
  • Classics
  • Celtic Civilisation
  • Economics
  • English (students are limited to one seminar per semester)
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Irish Studies
  • Italian
  • Law
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology (study abroad students cannot take a full load of psychology courses and cannot take most lab courses) 
  • Sociology & Political Science
  • Spanish
  • Womens Studies

Academic Requirements

Galway requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission.

Galway's Academic Term

  • Fall runs from approximately early September through late December.
  • Spring runs from approximately early January through mid-May.
  • The Spring semester includes a 3 week Easter break which typically falls during the month of April.
  • Galway offers a variety of summer programs including Irish Studies, creative writing, and archeology field schools. Course dates and costs vary by program.

Course Selection and Transfer Credit

Use the course catalog to select courses. To view course descriptions, click on the department link included at the top of each department's course list.

USM students can take 20-30 ECTS credits per semester to earn 12-18 USM credits. USM students pay a flat tuition fee to Galway, regardless of how many credits are taken. Information about fees is listed under the cost section of this webpage.

Like most Irish schools, undergraduate degree programs at Galway are completed in 3 years. That means that courses transfer back to USM in the following way:

Galway Year 1  = 200 Level USM Course
Galway Year 2  = 300 Level USM Course
Galway Year 3 = 300 or 400 Level USM Course

The first digit of the course number typically indicates the Galway course level (ie. HI 208 is a second-year history course, which is similiar to a 300-level history course in the U.S.). Galway's course catalog notes any applicable restrictions within each academic department. Pay attention to these restrictions when working with your USM advisor on your course approvals.  

Students do not register for courses until after the first week of classes at Galway. Your course preference form only notifies Galway of the courses that you are considering. You will attend the courses you desire during the first week of school and register for them at the end of that week. During the second week of school, you can make changes to your schedule. After week two, your courses cannot be changed. Since your registration isn't finalized until you get to Galway, be sure to have your USM advisor approve backup course choices.

Housing at Galway

Students are offered the following accommodation options:

*        University approved residential accommodation complexes
*        Private sector houses and apartments
*        Hostels (short term)
*        Lodgings

Guaranteed on campus housing is not available for students who are attending Galway for only one semester. Student may apply a space on campus, but first priority is given to full year students.

NUI Galway has an on-campus accommodation office to assist students with the important task of finding appropriate housing. The Accommodation Service helps students find accommodation, provides advice on accommodation issues, e.g. letting agreements, tenant rights and obligations and help in the event of a dispute.

If students have not secured permanent housing prior to their departure they must make temporary arrangements such as booking a few nights in a local Bed and Breakfast. The Galway Accommodation website has contact information for temporary housing options.


USM students pay the reduced Irish student rate for tuition and fees which is approximately €3756 and includes up to 15 credits of tuition. Housing costs will vary depending on which housing option the student selects and students are responsible for their own meals.Students should budget approximately €600 per month for housing and meals.

Student Visa

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to study in Ireland. However, you must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau within 7 days of arrival and pay a €300 registration fee (~$400). Galway's International Office website has more details on the registration process and required documents. 

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