College Visit…Ireland Style

College Visit…Ireland Style

The month of October is finally here, and with the new month comes new adventures. All this month, many of the fourth years will be attending college visit to start getting an idea of where they want  to go after secondary school and what they might want to study. When the opportunity to visit a couple of the colleges arose, I decided to go and see how different the colleges here in Ireland differ compared to those in Michigan.

The college the fourth year class visited this Friday was National University of Ireland, Galway (or NUI Galway/ NUIG for short). Located right next to the popular town of Galway, the college is an impressive establishment. It is a research-led university with various majors, from human rights to marine science. Most undergrad degrees can be completed in four years, but some of the Arts and Business majors can be completed in three while medicine is usually six years.

With over 30 universities in Ireland, NUI Galway is considered on of the best schools to attend for a degree. With over 17,000 students and over 2,000 international students, Galway is on the bigger side when it comes to the amount of students. They report that they are Ireland’s top university for graduate employability with 96% employed or furthering in their studies within six months. They are the leading university in Biomedical science and Engineering, web science, human rights, marine science, and applied social science.

When it comes to price, NUI Galway is consistent with other colleges in Ireland. It cost 10,260 euro a year to attend, which works out to be $11,210 at the current exchange rate. Compare this to Trinity College in Dublin (considered the most prestigious university in Ireland) whose tuition is 12,010 euro, which is about $13,452. However these are basically the living cost, there are additional cost for the actual classes that also need to be included (for both colleges).

The college visit was very similar to the college  visits I did while I was in Michigan. I went to various talks, heard about different academic programs and toke many pieces of paper with information. The one things that is different is the way you get into the programs.

As I may have mentioned before, when students take the leaving cert exam, they put down the tope three careers/majors they would want to study in college. Then they take the test and see how many points they get. In order to be even considered for a program, the students need to get an x amount of points or they cannot do that major. For example, if someone wants to study psychology, they need to get 300 points out of a possible 640. If they get 300, then they can study the major. If they don’t, they have to select another major.  From what I have learned from my fellow classmates, 300 is reachable. When the requirements start getting into the high 400s and low 500s, it is more challenging.

Visiting NUI Galway and being able to see the town of Galway again was a lot of fun. I got to experience another college in a different country and saw a ton of interesting programs. Next up for colleges visits is the fabled university in Limerick, which I have heard is quiet good. I will have to wait for two weeks and see before I can say anything.

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