National University of Ireland, Galway

National University of Ireland MapCéad mile fáilte (“one hundred thousand welcomes”) to Galway! The National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) is located on Ireland’s west coast and offers students a traditional Irish experience unlike any other.

  • Over 17,000 students attend the university
  • Notable alumni include President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and current Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) Enda Kenny
  • 3 hours from Dublin by bus
  • Students have unique opportunity to take Service Learning courses – previous students have worked in primary schools and homework clubs

Find out more about:

  1. The Campus
  2. The City

“Galway steals your heart the moment you begin your stroll along Shop Street. This city is thriving in culture, beauty and charm. From the local buskers and nightly trad sessions to the swans along the river on your way to campus, being a student in Galway is magical.” – UCEAP NUI Galway student, 2012-2013

Campus Life
NUI Galway Quadrangle
NUI Galway Quadrangle

Situated on the west coast of Ireland, Galway is home to the beautiful National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) campus. As the oldest and largest university on the west of Ireland, NUI Galway has earned national and international recognition as a research-led university with a strong commitment to top-quality teaching.‌ Since the university opened the doors of the Quadrangle in 1845, the NUIG campus has been constantly evolving to accommodate its growing number of students-both local and international.‌ Today, the main campus has over 90 buildings and is situated right on the banks of the River Corrib. The campus is also currently in the middle of a €400 million “Campus of the Future” expansion programme.

Galway students have the opportunity to get involved in over 82 different student-led societies on campus-ranging from photography to philosophy! NUIG’s new 6,500 sq ft sports complex is ideally located in the heart of campus and students can take part in over 50 different student-led sports clubs.  The Student Union hosts many live music and DJ sessions and is often seen as the main meeting hub for students, clubs and societies throughout the week. In addition, NUIG offers a unique ALIVE Volunteer Programme where students can develop tangible and transferrable skills by volunteering throughout the university and city community.

The importance of the Irish language is another distinct feature that creates a unique atmosphere around the university. Galway sits very close to the Connemara Gaeltacht region- one of several Irish-speaking regions in Ireland-and the Irish language is a very special part of the university’s character and charm. BONUS: UC students also have a chance to learn a bit of Irish themselves through language courses offered by the University!

Top Five Things to do whilst studying at NUI Galway

1. Take a stroll along the Satlhill Prom (Be sure to kick the wall at the end like the locals do!)

2. Spend a Tuesday evening at Monroes Tavern trying out traditional Irish dancing

3. Take a day trip to the nearby Cliffs of Moher

4. Grab some Saturday morning doughnuts from the doughnut man at the Galway market

5. Have a picnic on the Claddagh with friends

The City
Galway Bay. Photo by UCEAP student Laura Delamare
Galway Bay. Photo by UCEAP student Laura Delamare

Designated the “most Irish” city on the Emerald Isle and IrishCentral’s best place in Ireland to move to from America, Galway (Gaillimh) has a traditional, bohemian charm about it that truly makes it one-of-a-kind! It’s a city rich in history that is also influenced by a very contemporary culture. And with students making up over 20% of its population, Galway is a city that is forever young at heart, catering to young people in a truly unique way!

Galway is the cultural hub of Ireland and throughout the year you will find plenty of activities to fill your time. Whether watching the local buskers play their own renditions of Oasis, Johnny Cash and Ed Sheeran classics along Shop Street or experiencing one of the many festivals that take place in the city, there’s always fun to be had along the cobbled-stoned streets of Galway! In addition, the amazing natural sites of The Burren, Connemara, and the Cliffs of Moher are all just short bus rides away and offer great weekend excursions.



Interested in studying abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway? Click here to find out what the programme has to offer.
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