Galway
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Study Abroad in Galway, Ireland

Galway

Maybe it’s the stunning coastline, or the rolling green hills, or the misty, mysterious weather; whatever the cause, the small city of Galway has long drawn musicians, artists, writers, and creative types to its charming streets. As you study abroad in Galway, you’ll enjoy the thriving theater and music scenes, browse the city's bustling markets, and feast on legendary seafood fresh from Galway Bay. Head to nearby Salthill for rowing, kayaking, and wind surfing, or take an Irish Gaelic language immersion program in the traditional village of An Cheathru Rua in Connemara. Whatever adventures you choose in Galway, you'll love immersing into Irish life in this quaint university town. Spend a semester, summer, or academic year studying abroad in Galway and explore Ireland's cultural heart.

About the Country

Ireland

Study abroad in Ireland to connect with Europe’s most warm and welcoming people. With a history reaching all the way back to the Mesolithic period, Ireland has a wealth of fascinating landmarks to see and learn from. Kiss the Blarney Stone, a limestone block that’s part of the medieval Blarney Castle, and find out if it really does give you the gift of gab. Step back in time at the Rock of Cashel, fifth century home to Munster’s kings, where it overlooks the pastoral countryside in County Tipperary. Meet the Benedictine nuns who live in Kylemore Castle, a 19th century private home transformed into an abbey after World War I, and walk through their Victorian gardens. Take a tour of Kilmainham Gaol, the Dublin prison where the leaders of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising were imprisoned and executed and where many other pro-independence Irish men and women were held during the war. Walk the five thousand year old burial grounds at Newgrange, where Irish kings were laid to rest. Visit the beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, where 18th century author Johnathan Swift once served as the Dean. In a country known for its verdant, unspoiled landscape, don’t be surprised if you want to spend as much time outside as your class schedule allows. Visit one of the sheep farms situated in Ireland’s rolling green hills. Go night kayaking on Lough Hyne in West Cork and let the bioluminescent phytoplankton living in the lake guide you with their light. Get up close to Fungie the wild dolphin, who’s been greeting visitors in Dingle Bay for decades. Visit the famous Cliffs of Moher, dramatically rising almost four hundred feet above the Atlantic in County Clare. If you’re in Dublin, you don’t have to leave city limits to get your nature fix: Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed park in any European capital, features acres of fields where wild deer graze, Victorian flower gardens, and the Dublin Zoo. For a more rugged adventure, the Wicklow Mountains invite you to hike through their gorgeous terrain into the Glendalough Valley. Bike the Waterford Greenway, a dedicated off-road track connecting Waterford and Dungarvan, and take in the lovely views of the Clonea Strand Beach. Roam Killarney National Park to bask in mossy green woodlands, watch colorful sunsets by the lake, and tour the grounds of Muckross House, a pristinely preserved 19th century estate.  

Thomas Fisher, Program Director, Galway

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Thomas has an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2008, his passion for Irish history and culture led him to Galway, where he earned a master's degree in Irish Studies at the National University of Ireland – Galway (NUIG). Since 2010, Thomas has worked with international students studying abroad in Galway on both semester and summer programs. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Irish Studies at NUIG. More

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Charming Galway

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Local Highlights

Salthill Promenade

Head out from the center of the city along 3 kms of coastal footpath to Salthill, a seaside resort area with lovely cafés, a casino, and one of Galway’s hidden microbreweries. Take in the fresh sea air while walking, running, or cycling, and join the locals in “kicking the wall” once you reach the west side of the promenade. You can even dive into the Atlantic Ocean off the platform at Blackrock… if you can brave the cold!


Galway City Market

Stroll through this quaint city market that offers everything from fresh organic produce to beautiful paintings of your favorite Galway landmarks. This bustling street market has been trading in Church Lane by St. Nicholas’ Church for centuries. The crepes and doughnuts are a must, with a lovely cup of freshly brewed coffee.


Galway City Museum

Don’t miss your chance to get the inside story on what makes Galway tick. The Galway City is filled with cultural artifacts, from a life-size sailing ship, to the simple necessities of the Claddagh fisherman. Be sure to grab lunch at the wonderful museum café that’s popular with the locals. Plus, free admission year-round!


Traditional Irish Music Session

Music lies at the heart of Galway culture; you can hear it seven days a week in the quaint pubs across the city. Nothing beats the toe-tapping sounds of your favorite Irish tunes while sitting next to a roaring open fire. There are two music sessions held daily in great pubs like Taaffees and Tigh Coilis on Shop Street, and the famous Crane Bar on Galway’s West End.


The Spanish Arch

No, we’re not talking about the pub/hotel, but rather one of the last remaining sections of the old medieval city wall. Named in honor of the close trading ties that once existed between Galway and Spain, the Spanish Arch is now a popular open area within the heart of the city. Located at the bottom of the main street in Galway near the mouth of the river Corrib, this beautiful location serves as an ideal meeting point. On sunny days, join the locals as they relax and take in the sunshine along the river. This pastime, known locally as “sparching,” fills the waterfront with people making the most of the fine weather and their time in Galway.


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Jacqueline Chilsen, Fall 14 MOJO, Galway.

Smooth Transition  
Having a support team and an on-site advisor made the transition easy and smooth.

Zara Saponja
University of Tennessee,
Fall 2015, Galway, Ireland
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