Pitt in Ireland & N.Ireland: History, Language and Culture

This program is on pause for 2022 but is expected to return in summer 2023.

This four-week immersive course is designed to give students a greater understanding of Ireland and Northern Ireland. You will develop a new appreciation for Ireland’ history, language and culture as we travel through the Emerald Isle. In the company of distinguished professors you will travel throughout the island from the cosmopolitan vibrancy of Dublin to the more pastoral landscape of Galway and the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht beyond. In Ireland’s capital you will experience culture through live music, cuisine and a guided tour of the city. You will explore its history, meet with locals, and gain an understanding of Dublin’s place in the world. You will also visit Belfast to experience the history you will be discussing in class.

On your westward journey you will spend time in the City of the Tribes – Galway. This small pedestrian-friendly city is welcoming and accessible to travelers and has maintained its sense of ‘Irishness’ throughout the Celtic Tiger boom years. Connecting here with the people and the language will enhance your cultural experience and allow you make those personal connections to the Island. Packed with activities and hands-on experience this course will give you a real-life experience which will be invaluable to your appreciation of Ireland, the Irish history, language, its culture and people.  Highlights will include Irish dance, Book of Kells, tour of government buildings, Gaelic football, conversing and engaging with native speakers and the ‘craic’ of a traditional Irish music session. Ireland is changing and advancing while still maintaining a friendly close personal feel and this three week course will allow students to see the past and present side by side. 

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity:

  • to study history and culture of Ireland&Nothern Ireland, and the challeges they are facing today
  • to explore role of the Irish language throughout history and its importance in Ireland today
  • to experience Irish culture through live music, Irish dance, traditional cuisine, and guided tours

Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland and the second largest city on the island of Ireland after Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. Belfast suffered greatly in the Troubles, and in the 1970s and 1980s was considered one of the world's most dangerous cities. However, the city is now considered to be one of the safest within the United Kingdom.Throughout the 21st century, the city has seen a sustained period of calm, free from the intense political violence of former years and has benefitted from substantial economic and commercial growth. Belfast remains a centre for industry, as well as the arts, higher education, business, and law, and is the economic engine of Northern Ireland.
Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a city rich in vibrant culture and history.  Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it has become Ireland's principal city.  The city resides on the banks of the river Liffey and is home to one of the youngest populations in Europe.  It is full of rich cultural and artistic heritage. Dublin is home to many monuments, castles and churches.  Opportunities to visit popular cultural sites such as Dublin Castle, O'Connell Street, Grafton Street, and Trinity college are among the out of the classroom experiences you can enjoy.  Dublin also has more green spaces per kilometer than any other European city. Dublin is also easily connected by rail to other cities in Ireland. 
Galway, a harbour city on Ireland’s west coast, sits where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic. The city’s hub is 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular meeting spot surrounded by shops, and traditional pubs that often offer live Irish folk music. Nearby, stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls. Galway is the perfect location to practice your Irish- it is often referred to as the 'most Irish' of Ireland's cities. You will likely hear Irish spoken in the streets, shops, and pubs.

Where You'll Live: 

In Dublin you will be staying in shared furnished aparments.

You can expect the following:
  • Shared bedrooms (2 or 3 students/bedroom)
  • Bedding (no towels provided)
  • Shared bathroom
  • Shared kitchen 
  • Internet access
  • Coin operated laundry 
Please note that meals are not included in the program fee.
In Galway you will be staying in a hotel in shared twin rooms.
We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions.




What You'll Study: 

You'll earn a total of 6 credits on the Pitt in Ireland program.  The courses will be comprised of lectures, guest speakers, city tours, and cultural activities.

If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate, please meet with your academic advisor to discuss this program and what the courses will fulfill for you.

Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found at www.abroad.pitt.edu/geneds.


Independent Study in History Abroad (Ireland) (HIST1901)

The historical and political situation in Northern Ireland is “loaded” emotionally for many Americans of Irish descent and for who see the conflict in terms of Imperialism and Colonialism and the fight of a “small nation to be free and united.” However, our investigation will show is that this conflict was/is much more complicated than the simple slogans one hears about it or in simple terms, such as “Brits Out” or “No Surrender.” What this class will attempt to do is take the emotion and the preconceived out of the discussion and instead analyze this period and its actors in all their complexity. 

Cultural Immersion in Ireland (IRISH1620)

This two- week immersive course is designed to give students a greater understanding of Ireland and the Irish language. They will develop a new appreciation for classroom learning during their travels through the Emerald Isle.
By the end of  program students this course will heighten their existing knowledge of Ireland, both culturally and historically in the context of the itinerary package provided. During this course, students will recall and review in a personal journal their experience throughout the week and assess cultural exposure in Ireland to that in Pittsburgh.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Oksana Stalczynski

Privet! I'm Oksana Stalczynski and I'm a Program Manager at the Global Experiences Office. I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, was an exchange student and Russian Language Scholar at Reed College in Portland, OR and did a summer language program in Dresden, Germany. Global experiences broaden your horizon, grow your circle of friends and improve your career opportunities. That’s why I think everyone should do one!

Feel free to contact me to find out more about global experiences programs at Pitt, and/or to learn/practice some Russian.


Schedule an appointment

  • Click here to schedule an appointment with me through Pathways.
  • Log into Pathways with your Pitt username and password.
  • Select Find Available Time.
  • Select the time that works for you.
  • Click the schedule button
  • You will see a confirms message on the screen. You will also receive a confirmation in your Pitt email.

Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email.

Your In-Country Contacts: 

Marie Young

Hailing from Dublin’s fair city, Marie Young has been teaching at the University of Pittsburgh since 2006. She currently instructs six levels of Irish along with offering a Spring Irish culture class. She is also Director of Irish Language at the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh where she co-developed an online Irish learning program. In 2009, Marie has received two awards from Glór Na Gael for her contribution to the language here in the USA. In 2016 she chaperoned the maiden voyage of a Spring Break Irish Immersion week to Ireland through the University of Pittsburgh and has been leading Pitt in Ireland program for several years.
Marie credits her grandfather with fostering her love of Gaeilge -“Ní as an ghaoth a tháinig sé”! (It is not from the wind it came). Outside of the classroom Marie is involved in the PGAA (Pittsburgh Gaelic Athletic Association) and involves herself very much in the Irish community here in Pittsburgh. 


Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $4,656 $4,856
Program Fee $443 $443
Study Abroad Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $5,399 $5,599

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare $1,000 - $1,200
Personal Expenses and Meals $1,000
Local Cell phone $100


Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2020-2021 will be posted and announced in the fall term.

What's Included: 

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition - 6 credits
  • Accommodations for the duration of the program in Ireland
  • In-country transportation between Belfast, Dublin, and Galway
  • Class related activities
  • Cultural activities such as a night of Irish music, city tours, etc.
  • Day trip from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher
  • International travel health insurance


When You'll Go: 

Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!