USIT Irish Studies Summer School
Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices
Co-sponsored by UW-Madison, the Irish Studies Summer School program administered by USIT (a provider of student support services for academic programs in Ireland) introduces you to Ireland's rich history and culture through study at Trinity College, a renowned 400 year-old university in the heart of Dublin. This program is an excellent opportunity for you to engage in Irish Studies in one of Europe's fastest growing capital cities.
The capital of Ireland for almost all of its thousand-year history, Dublin has been home to many of the world's leading writers and playwrights, such as Sheridan, Shaw, Swift, Joyce, O'Casey, and Beckett. From Neil Jordan to U2, contemporary actors, filmmakers, poets and musicians have continued to contribute to popular culture in Dublin. Originally a Viking settlement, Dublin is situated between Dublin Bay and the mountains within bus and train access to the renowned scenic areas of Kerry, Clare, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Donegal.
**For the summer 2013 program, USIT will be offering a $3100 scholarship towards the program fee. Click HERE for more details. Apply today - the application deadline is March 17, 2013.
Dublin, a city whose median population is under the age of 30, is a mecca for students and young adults. There will never be a lack of things to do in Dublin. You can catch a play at the world-renowned Abbey Theatre or sample the wide variety of cafes and entertainment venues in Temple Bar, Dublin's cultural quarter. Or, simply kick back and relax in Phoenix Park, one of the largest city parks in Europe.
Expressions of Irish culture are not confined to the National Concert Hall, but are accessible to everyone; traditional music is played by local street buskers and in area pubs for all to enjoy. On a simple stroll through Dublin's streets one is bound to recognize places illuminated in Irish literature and folklore.
Dublin is not only a cultural hub, but a transportation hub as well. Catch a ferry to England or Wales, or fly to another desired destination from Dublin's modern international airport. When seeking respite from city life, many charming villages and small towns are close by outside of Dublin. Within 30 minutes of the city center there are scenic mountains and sandy beaches, as well as beautiful public parks and gardens.
Founded in 1592, Trinity College is the alma mater of some of Ireland's most famous artists, writers, and political figures. Situated in the heart of Dublin, Trinity's campus is an ideal location for studying contemporary Ireland, with the National Museum, Parliament (Dail Eireann) and National Gallery, as well as cafes, bars, theaters and several music venues all within walking distance of the college.
Getting to Your Program
You are responsible for arranging your own transportation to Dublin, but are given guidelines for arrival dates.
A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for this program. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program.
IAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
Upon arrival, you attend an orientation at Trinity College to introduce you to the academic program, the Trinity campus, local facilities, and the city of Dublin. USIT provides support in addition to the cultural activities, excursions, and organization of the courses.
You will be housed on the Trinity College campus in apartments each consisting of four to five single rooms with two bathrooms, kitchen, and a shared living area. Housing and lunch (Monday through Friday) are included in the program fee. You may do light cooking in your room or purchase meals from campus dining facilities, as well as nearby supermarkets, delis, and restaurants. During the program, you will have access to the Trinity College library, restaurants, bars, and sports facilities, including tennis courts.
Excursions and Activities
In addition to lectures and seminars, the program includes exciting cultural events and unique field trips. The Summer School will spend a week in Northern Ireland, offering students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the recent conflict there. This immersion week enables students to explore "the North" within a structured environment, through courses and cultural events. This includes an all party political forum at Stormont, home of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Previous trips, tours, and social events have included excursions to sights such as Dublin Castle, the Irish Parliament, County Wicklow, and an archaeology trip to Boyne Valley. While in Dublin, students may also enjoy theater visits, local sporting events, a city tour, a literary pub crawl, and traditional Irish music sessions.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
Use the links below to find out more information on academics, daily life and student impressions for this program.IAP Program Handbook: USIT Irish Studies Summer School
(Summer - 2012-13)
Returned Student Network
to see testimonials from students abroad or to contact a returned student.
Check out student profiles to learn more about their experience abroad.
Katie WithamJustine ColganKate BeggsMaryKate Bruckbauer
“I couldn’t have spent my summer a better way! I loved that Trinity College is so centrally located in Dublin and how there were always evening programs to go to. I definitely want to go back someday.”
Watch videos about the program.
Irish Studies Summer School participants study alongside other U.S. and international students. You enroll in 4 modules from the options listed below, and you will earn 6 UW-Madison credits for the program (2 Summer School modules are the equivalent of one 3-credit UW-Madison course).
The Irish Studies Summer School is noted for its high powered teaching staff and visiting speakers. Members of Trinity College faculty and distinguished speakers from other academic institutions form the core of the academic team. Each module has an academic leader, but often several instructors teach each class. Leading activists and critics visit the program to help provide lively and interesting class discussions. Each week, you will gather for an Academic Roundtable session to discuss the week's academic classes and thoughts on program events.
Module options include:
Literature - This course studies modern Irish writing from 1890-2010. Beginning with Yeats and Joyce it traces the range and diversity of Irish literature to the present. This is an intensive reading course which focuses on the founding figures of modern literature but also explores their influence on succeeding generations. Selected fiction, (novels and the short story) and poetry will be covered in this exploration.
Drama - This course draws its strength from the renowned tradition of Irish Drama which can be traced from the nineteenth century. Through exploring its origins in this century with Yeats and the founding of a national theatre, the work of Synge, O'Casey and Beckett can be seen in historical context. Attendance at performance of plays will feature strongly in the course and will include visits to the famous Dublin stages of the Abbey and Gate theatres.
History - In this introductory course, you are guided through the most eventful period in Irish history with an opportunity to study key developments in the post famine period beginning with late 19th century background. The lectures on Northern Ireland will give particular reference to the outbreak of violence in 1969, issues of sectarianism and paramilitaries and the evolution of new political structures and processes.
Gaelic Culture - This course offers a fascinating insight into Celtic mythology, folk tradition and the language and literature of the Irish. You will be introduced to the linguistic and cultural heritage of Gaelic civilization and brought up to date on the fortunes of the Irish speaking world of today's Ireland.
Visual Culture - Takes an interdisciplinary look at visual culture in Ireland. Archaeology, art, architecture, film, television and video are the primary sources and areas to be examined, with reference to relevant literary, social and cultural contexts.
Critical Issues - This course is designed to provide students with a running commentary on many of the critical issues facing Ireland, north and south, and the relationships with Britain, Europe, the US and the Developing World. A discursive and analytical approach will be taken and covers aspects of economics, sociology, politics, religion and culture.
Program Web Page(s)
Interested in a Celtic Studies Certificate? Classes on this program qualify!
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
Dublin USIT Course Equivalents.pdf
Program cost information includes program fees, as well as out-of-pocket expenses with notes to help explain costs. Program fees are estimated and can be adjusted at any time. Once accepted, you will receive a cost sheet that includes confirmed program fees and additional out-of-pocket expenses.
Summer 2013 Cost Estimate Sheet -
Sources of available funding for study abroad include scholarships, grants and loans. To increase your chances of receiving financial aid, International Academic Programs (IAP) recommends filling out your FAFSA
to begin the financial planning process early.
For detailed information on financial resources click here
This scholarship list includes scholarships IAP knows about that are relevant to your desired program. It is not an exhaustive list of all available scholarship opportunities for study abroad. Although we make our best effort to ensure the list is up-to-date this information changes frequently, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to verify information.
Benjamin A. Gilman Internat'l Prgm
Foundation for Global Scholars
School of Education Study Abroad Scholarship