Study Abroad: Northern Ireland (photo by William Murphy CC)

TUITION FREE! Carlow University students are welcome to apply for semester or full year of study in the Belfast, Northern Ireland. This truly unique program allows students to study tuition-free at their host university, so participants only have to pay for living expenses and airfare. Space is very limited, so students are encouraged to inquire as soon as possible.

Students may apply to study at the following schools:
  • Belfast Metropolitan College
  • Queens University
  • St. Mary’s University College
  • Stranmillis University College
  • Ulster University
 Additional details about this program can be found on the Irish American Scholars website.

The Location

Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west. At the time of the 2001 UK Census, its population was 1,685,000, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the population of the United Kingdom. Due to its unique history, the issue of the symbolism, name and description of Northern Ireland is complex, and similarly the issue of citizenship and identity. In general, Unionists consider themselves British and Nationalists see themselves as Irish, though these identities are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

For more information, please visit the Northern Ireland wikipedia site.


Queens University
and Ulster University are internationally recognized. They do not offer study in all disciplines, but most US students will find appropriate subjects on these campuses. Belfast Metropolitan College specializes in educating students with strong career goals in vocational areas such as business, marketing, computing, performing arts and communication, and also in Irish studies. Stranmillis University College of Queens University specializes in teaching training, and St. Mary’s University College of Queens University specializes in liberal arts and teacher training. The programs and faculty are of high quality and U.S. students can expect a fulfilling academic experience.

  • Sophomore or junior at time of application
  • Junior or senior at time of study abroad
  • 3.2 GPA minimum

Program Dates

(range depending on University)
  • Fall Semester
    • Best chance of placement
    • Open to both juniors and seniors
  • Spring Semester
    • Lesser chance of placement
    • Open to juniors only
  • Year (Fall and Spring Semesters) 
    • Lesser chance of placement
    • Open to juniors only

Program Fees

  • Tuition - NONE
  • Room & Board - Depends on location
  • International Health Insurance - $200 per semester
Application Process

Students must be nominated by the Center for Global Learning and submit all application materials no later than 25 January:


  • Completed application & nomination forms
  • An official academic transcript through the fall semester of the current academic year
  • A 500-word essay describing the applicant’s educational objectives while studying in Northern Ireland (Students should determine in advance that their intended course of study is offered at the institutions they select)
  • Two letters of recommendation – one from the student’s academic adviser and one from another faculty member or administrator at the applicant’s home institution.


For more information:

Center for Global Learning