Irish Exchange Program

Exchange Program with Northern Ireland

ireland Centre students who study abroad in Northern Ireland may
choose to enroll in either a semester or year-long program.

ireland Students studying in Northern Ireland often attend Saint
Patrick's Day parades, where, like Mariel Smith '11 (who took
the photo above), they are entertained with extraordinary acts.

The Irish-American Scholars Program, sponsored by The Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, The United Methodist Church, and the Roman Catholic Church, allows two or three Centre students (juniors or seniors) to study abroad in Northern Ireland for either one semester or a full year. Participating students are placed in one of the following universities: Queen's University, University of Ulster, Belfast Metropolitan College, Stranmillis University, or St. Mary's University College.

Participating  Institutions

Queens  University  Belfast  is  one  of  the  20  top  research-intensive  institutions  in  the  United  Kingdom. While  the  university  does  not  offer  courses  in  all  disciplines,  most  U.S.  students  will  find  appropriate   subjects  at  Queens  University.


The  University  of  Ulster  has  a  national  and  international  reputation  for  excellence. With  four  distinct   campuses  across  Northern  Ireland,  students  are  placed  at  a  specific  campus  based  on  their  field  of   study.


St.  Mary's  University  College  specializes  in  liberal  arts  and  teacher  training,  and  is  integrated  into  the   larger  Queen's  University  system. In  2011,  St.  Mary's  was  ranked  third  amongst  all  universities  in  the   United  Kingdom  for  student  satisfaction  with  their  overall  university  experience.


Stranmillis  University  College  is  highly  recognized  for  its  teacher  training  curriculum,  but  also  offers   courses  in  early  childhood  and  health  and  leisure  studies. Stranmillis  is  a  college  within  the  system  of   Queen's  University  Belfast.


Belfast  Metropolitan  College specializes  in  educating  students  with  strong  career  goals  in  vocational   areas  such  as  business,  marketing,  computing,  performing  arts,  communication  and  Irish  studies.

Requirements. Students must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher to apply.

Apply. Interested students must submit to Leigh Cocanougher in the Davidson Room of Old Centre the following four things by January 14, 2014.

1) A completed application form (available from Leigh Cocanougher)
2) An academic transcript
3) A 500-word essay describing the applicant's educational objectives while studying in Northern Ireland
4) Two letters of reference, one from the student's academic advisor and one from a faculty member or administrator at the applicant's institution

In late January, a Centre committee nominates the two or three students to the reviewing committee (composed of representatives of each denomination and the participating school/university in Northern Ireland), then reviews the applications. Students are typically notified of their acceptance and placement by the end of March.

Cost. The comprehensive fee is the same as for study in Danville, except that 1) there is a $375 surcharge, and 2) students pay for their own airfare to and from Northern Ireland. In addition, during the semester they spend in Northern Ireland, Centre students participating in this program will not pay room-and-board to Centre; they will instead use that money to pay for their housing and meals in Northern Ireland.

Deposit. The $375 non-refundable deposit/surcharge must be paid at the Centre business office (Boles Hall) one week after you hear of your acceptance to hold your place in the program.

A Note on Semester-long Centre Programs. Students may only study abroad on a semester-long Centre program once, though they may participate in as many CentreTerm and/or summer programs as they wish.

Statement about Grades Abroad. The grades that Centre students studying abroad have received in the past have been consistent with, or even a bit higher than, grades received on campus. Nevertheless, we want to make certain that you understand from the outset that the courses you take abroad will not necessarily be taught or evaluated as they would be at Centre. In the past, some abroad students have complained—after the fact—that it was unclear how their work was being evaluated, that they received little or no feedback of their progress from the professors, that they were unfairly competing with more advanced students, that they didn't receive their grades until months after they returned, etc. We will, of course, do what we can to advise you on courses you take, but finally you are responsible for those choices, and you must live with the results. The faculty committee on curriculum and academic standards will almost certainly not agree to change an abroad grade because you believe it is too low.

Medical Insurance. Students studying abroad through any Centre program receive travel and accident insurance at no additional cost. Centre's Study Abroad Insurance, while provided through EIIA (Educational & Institutional Insurance Administrators), is administered through AIG Assist. Every student studying abroad with Centre College receives an AIG Assist contact and information card as well as a passport sticker. Each has the Centre insurance policy number, which is the only information needed to receive services. The categories of coverage provided are: accident and sickness ($100,000 limit with a $250 deductible); emergency medical evacuation and emergency family travel ($100,000 limit); accidental death and disability ($200,000 limit); and repatriation of remains ($100,000 limit). For specific questions, please contact the International Programs office at 859.238.5285 or

Book Air Tickets Early to Save Money. Students in the past have generally been able to find economical round-trip air tickets. Some have found,,, or helpful sites. Book early for the lowest prices.

Pre-Departure Training. Students will attend a mandatory travel medicine clinic and a mandatory meeting on safety and security before leaving for Northern Ireland.

Psychotropic Medication and Counseling. The kind of counseling and support services available on campus are not available abroad. Because any significant life transition can exacerbate and complicate already existing mental health issues, students who are currently on psychotropic medication and/or have been in mental health counseling are encouraged to consider participating in the three-week Early Summer Strasbourg program or one of the CentreTerm programs abroad. In addition, those students are urged to meet with a Centre Student Assistance Program counselor prior to their leaving, to develop a support plan for their time abroad.

Pre-Registration / Convocation Credits. While in Northern Ireland, you pre-register for future courses via e-mail with your regular academic advisor. You will automatically be credited with six convocation credits during your term abroad.

Passport. If you do not currently have a passport that will remain valid for at least six months after your return, begin the process of obtaining one as soon as you are selected. In the recent past, some students have waited three months to receive a passport, even though the passport agency has stated that it will take six to eight weeks. Do it now!

If interested, contact Leigh Cocanougher at x5285 or and make an appointment to discuss your interest and receive an application.