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IRELAND - University College Cork

University College Cork extends a warm welcome to visiting students from the United States, Canada, and other non-EU countries. Those of you who do decide to come will be some distance from home; we will do our best to ensure that your stay with us will be academically rewarding and socially enjoyable. We have over 2400 international students studying at the University during a typical academic year. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures and do much to enhance and enrich life at the University.

UCC has taken a number of steps to ensure that visiting students coming here receive all the necessary attention and assistance they need. The International Education Office is responsible for the overall coordination of the many programs in which we are partners and can assist with the various practical and personal matters which arise for any student settling into a new environment in an unfamiliar country. A number of special orientation programs have been organized for incoming visiting students.

The historical links between Ireland and North America always been strong and it is a particular pleasure to welcome American and Canadian students traveling in the other direction, as it were, from that traditionally taken by Irish emigrants. We are confident that your stay with us will be a fruitful one and that you will leave Ireland with fond memories of your time spent in University College Cork.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0. GPAs of 2.8 may be considered in exceptional circumstances but may need to provide additional recommendations or essays.  

Cork - the city that has it all! The greater metropolitan area of Cork, Ireland’s second largest city, has a population of almost 300,000.

Cork City is a cosmopolitan modern city with all the advantages of a capital city with none of the disadvantages! It has the cafe, restaurant and nightlife culture of a vibrant European city while its inhabitants can still easily walk down its main street and bump into friends and acquaintances. The city is also the principal commercial and banking center in the South of Ireland. It is a busy, thriving seaport and home to a large number of modern industries.

As a small city, everything is easily accessible and a full range of amenities, be they recreational, business, shopping or sport, abound in the city itself. Cork City, however, does not stand isolated from its county - the largest in the country. Therefore, ‘city and ‘county’ life merge effortlessly together bringing the beauty of County Cork, water sports and outdoor pursuits right to your doorstep.

UCC’s main campus is within walking distance of this mass of activity and life. What’s more, with the beauty of its campus, UCC is considered not only a respected University but also one of the nicest ‘gardens’ belonging to Cork as a whole.

Cork was also very proud to have been designated ‘European Capital of Culture 2005’, reflecting the strong tradition of music, art, and theatre in the city.

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the Embassy of Ireland Website


Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Most lectures are general in scope. Lectures are supplemented by practicals, tutorials and language laboratory sessions, as appropriate. If a student is having study difficulties, there is help at hand through the University tutors (in some departments) and lecturers, and through fellow students. The Student Counsellors are available for consultation on developing study skills.

Most professors will be European. Professors are often more formal than those in the United States, though still concerned with student success.  Some classes may tend to involve more lecture than group work or discussion, as is the norm in Europe.    In some classes, referred to as modules at UCC, there will be few assignments except for an exam or two.  However, as many of the Early Start programs, and the Book of Modules open to US students, understand US university culture, they will have a better understanding of your needs.

Courses/Modules available

At UCC, individual classes are referred to as “modules,” and degrees/majors are called “courses.”

Study abroad students can take advantage of Irish-focused programs with early starts, such as those in traditional folklore, literature, music or management.   These students would start about three weeks before the standard program start date to take just the early-start module.  It is a great introduction to Irish heritage and culture.  More information can be found here.

Visiting students can combine modules from different academic departments/schools/colleges and across different levels, from introductory (year 1) to senior level (year 4). The program allows you to be flexible in selecting modules, although certain pre-requisites may be required for admission to specific modules. In addition, students should also be aware of possible timetable conflicts when putting schedules together.

The number of credits allocated to each module will vary depending on the fraction of program workload it accounts for. An undergraduate module may equal 5, 10, 15 or 20 credits. Each module has a unique 6-character code, which contains information about the module. The first two characters EN in the module EN1001, for example, indicate the subject area of the module (in this case an English module), the third character indicates the year or level (in this case a First Year or Level One module), and the remaining three characters 001 identify the particular module within the subject area.

A standard 5 credit module offered in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences could, for example, consist of 24 lecture hours, plus associated tutorials, essays, and reading, although in certain subjects the lecture load may be greater than 24 hours.

The majority of American visiting students coming to UCC will wish to take modules in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences. Although departments are happy to consider applications from students to take virtually any module (there are restrictions in some cases), it is helpful to bear a number of points in mind.

Demand for some modules is extremely high. This is particularly the case for modules in Applied Psychology, English and History, where the demands of Irish and other European students frequently coincide with those of visiting American students. Please bear in mind that it is not always possible to guarantee admission to particular modules, although we will do our best to offer you places in the modules you prefer. Essentially, the earlier you apply, the better your chances.

While the academic year is divided into two teaching periods, some modules are taught over the full academic year. This means that a student wishing to spend a semester only at UCC does have a range of options from which to choose, but that modules in some departments cannot be taken by students who will not be spending the full academic year at UCC. 

The Departments of History and Applied Psychology have a necessarily tight limit on the numbers admitted to certain seminar courses, while admission to certain subjects such as Applied Psychology depends very much on what modules students have already taken in this discipline at the home university. The Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems restricts visiting students to modules valued at twenty credits per year and students are not permitted to take modules from different years and are only open to students studying at UCC for the full academic year.

Remember that Semester 1 is our autumn term, and Semester 2 is our spring term. A term runs for 18 weeks.  

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 168 total contact hours, or 672 hours of in- and out-of-class time. It is 27 ECTS.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 126 total contact hours, or 504 hours of in- and out-of-class time. It is 21 ECTS.

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.

Student Life

We have compiled an information guide for Visiting US and Non-EU Students. We hope you will find the information in this brochure informative and helpful.  It covers such matters as application and registration procedures, the choice of courses, campus services, accommodation costs and social life. 

More information on campus life can be found here

Housing and Meals

We anticipate most students will be in University Hall Apartments.  

University Hall Apartments are fully equipped with a spacious kitchen/living room and en-suite bedrooms. A limited number of bedrooms are not ensuite; however, there is a shower room is adjacent.

Apartments are furnished with:

  • Electric Hob/Oven and Microwave
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Fridge/Freezer
  • Crockery and Cutlery
  • TV with remote control
  • Iron/Ironing Board
  • Toaster and Kettle
  • Recycling Facilities
  • There is a telephone in each apartment allowing both incoming and outgoing calls.


  • A Study Desk and Lamp
  • Double Bed With Underbed Storage
  • Full-Length Mirror
  • Built-in Storage Units
  • Notice Board
  • Framed Print
  • Residents are asked to provide their own bed linen (double bed), duvet and pillows.

University Hall comprises:

  • 3,4 & 5 bedroom apartments most with en-suite bedrooms

  • Self-service Launderette - Laundry Tokens are available to purchase at Reception

  • Rooms available for special needs residents

  • Weekly refuse collection

  • Free internet access to UCC network

  • Residential Wardens

  • Cable T.V.

  • Economic Gold shield electric heating

  • Enclosed parking area for bicycles

As for meals, there are no meal plans, but there are many places to eat around campus.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the University College Cork includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, and housing. Meals are not included.

***The additional estimated fee for Early Start Autumn Semester is about $2,000, depending on exchange rates.***

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost for Southern Hemisphere programs, as that starts a new academic year


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College




Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office