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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Semester Minimum GPA: 3.0
Service-Learning Programs: YES Class Eligibility: Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Academic Area/Focus: American Studies, Anthropology, Art: Art History, Arts and Education, Classics, Comparative Literature, Dance, Economics, English, Entrepreneurial Studies, Environmental Studies, European Studies, History, International Studies, Latin, Media and Society, Music, Peace Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Public Policy, Religious Studies, Social Sciences, Sociology, Theatre, Writing & Rhetoric Language Courses Offered: French, Spanish
Program Description:

Galway, Ireland

Galway, a university town with a vibrant artistic and cultural atmosphere, is the administrative capital of County Galway and the largest city in the West of Ireland. This area of the country is noted for its geographic and cultural distinctiveness.

With the largest concentration of Gaelic-speaking communities in Ireland, the West is widely recognized as the most typically "Irish" part of the country. The Gaelic heritage is perhaps most evident in the Aran Islands (Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer), located just off the coast at the entrance to Galway Bay. 
About the Program
Courses & Academic Focus
Money Matters
Application Information
Program Handbook


About the Program

Hobart and William Smith Colleges maintain an affiliation with the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) to provide students with the opportunity to live and study among Irish students at an Irish university. Participants in the program are also encouraged to join one of the many university clubs and organizations in order to directly experience Irish student life and culture. Community service options are available and provide a unique opportunity for students to gain access to the local community.  

Courses & Academic Focus

This program consists of a combination of special courses taught for the group and regular university courses. All students will take two required courses:

Contemporary Irish Culture and Society (1 credit)
This course, an interdisciplinary survey designed to give students insight into important historical events and processes that have shaped Irish culture and society, is organized and taught by faculty from the Centre for Irish Studies at NUIG. A series of excursions are linked to this course and will serve to illustrate key themes and topics.

Fall 2021 Director’s Seminar: Alcohol and the Irish: Stereotypes and Realities of Irish Drinking at Home and in the US (1 credit)

This course will explore the history of alcohol consumption in Ireland, as well as the construction of an enduring, negative stereotype about the Irish and the Irish diaspora. Students will learn about how the intersection of gender, class, and nationality factored into patterns of Irish alcohol consumption and treatment, as well as how those patterns were (and are) represented in fiction and film.  Despite the stereotype, Ireland is not even among the top 20 countries in the world in terms of alcohol consumption according to the World Health Organization. That does not mean, however, that alcoholism is not prevalent and has not wrought considerable damage to Irish society at home and abroad. Consequently, we will also focus on the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption on Irish society.

Students from a variety of disciplines may find this course of interest, as we will explore an array of topics, including: how different types of alcohol are made and the impact of technology on the process of brewing and distilling alcohol; approaches to alcoholism and addiction; the societal impact of alcohol and alcohol abuse; and how this issue is portrayed in literature and film.

Spring 2021 - Students will have the option to choose one of the following Director's Seminars (1 credit) 

Option A: Craft, Community, Creativity: Microbusiness Galway
This course allows students to explore the flourishing maker culture of Galway City and nearby areas, focusing on four areas: food and beverage; performing arts; applied arts; and fine arts. Course readings will include theoretical works on creativity; studies on the preservation and reimagining of traditional crafts; and articles that analyze the economic, social justice, and sustainability impact of craft-oriented microbusinesses. To ensure that students use the city as a classroom, the class will visit studios and restaurants and attend performances; host guest lectures by local craft entrepreneurs; and participate in one or more hands-on craft workshops. 

Option B: The Walking Essay: Mapping Nature, Mapping Culture
This course will combine a series of writing assignments with readings in and discussions of the cultural and natural history of Galway. Students will read a diverse selection of exemplary "walking essays" from authors including Montaigne, St. Augustine, Baudelaire, Joyce, Woolf, and Thoreau and consider the ways in which these essays produce literary, cognitive or conceptual maps of the terrain (literal and figurative) that they engage. We will conceive of walking in both literal and figurative terms: our work will encompass imaginative meanderings as well as actual physical walks in and around Galway.

Elective Courses (2 courses/2 credits)
In addition, students will select two electives from the regular NUIG catalogue. Following are examples of courses taken by students on previous programs. Consult the NUIG website for further details on course offerings:
Some sample course titles include:

Introduction to Northern Irish Politics
Feminist Thought 
Shakespearean Comedies 
Short Plays of Samuel Beckett 
Women in Irish Society Irish Art 
Drama and Theatre Studies 
Gaelic Language 
Scottish Short Stories 
Church and State in Ireland 
Contemp. Irish Poetry 
The English Language in Ireland 
Irish Famine in a European Perspective

The Galway program is accessible to students from virtually any academic discipline as participants will be able to select two courses from the NUIG catalogue. Note that access for international students to some NUIG courses is limited due to such factors as the duration of the course and the nature of course prerequisites. Science students with very specific courses needs are advised to consult with staff at the Center for Global Education before applying to this program.


This program is open to juniors and seniors (sophomores may be considered in exceptional cases) in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students may be required to successfully complete a Reader's College orientation course during the semester preceding the program. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


Students on this program will be housed alongside Irish and international students in flats in a complex called “Gort na Coiribe”, located on the Headford Road about a 10-minute walk from the NUIG campus. Fully equipped kitchens are included in the flats and a large shopping center and a cinema complex are nearby. As you are responsible for your own meals on this program, you may choose to prepare your own at home. In addition, full meals may be purchased at the university canteen at government subsidized prices. To view the accommodations, visit the Gort na Coiribe website at
Galway, Ireland


Several excursions linked to the Irish Culture and Society course are included as part of this program. They typically include visits to Northern Ireland, Dublin, Cork, Kerry, and the Aran Islands. Some local excursions in and around Galway may be organized as well.

Money Matters

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing, and program-related activities and excursions. Note that no HWS board fee will be charged. Students should plan to bring their board fee to cover meal expenses throughout the program.

Additional expenses not covered include airfare, visa, books, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $900-$1100 from the East Coast, visa at $350, and books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.

Application Information

HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program. 

  • This program is offered every semester.
  • All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in October (for Fall programs) and late February/early March (for Spring programs).

Program Handbook

IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) to date that have been uploaded by CGE staff. Program participants receive their updated copy of the handbook 2-3 months prior to their specific program's start date.


Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS for your program until you have received a notification from the CGE letting you know that the most recent version (your version) of the handbook (along with program start/finish dates) has been posted online and sent to your e-mail.

NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.                     

Resources for Smart Travelers 

Rick Steve's Packing Tips!

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2021 09/30/2020 10/26/2020 TBA TBA