USAC Ireland: Irish Studies in Galway

Live in a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a thriving student culture!

offered by University Studies Abroad Consortium

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Galway is celebrated throughout the world in song and story and takes center stage on Ireland’s western seaboard. The city was founded in the thirteenth century by the Anglo Norman de Burgos on the eastern bank of the River Corrib. It became a walled and fortified city-state ruled by fourteen powerful merchant families, later known as the Tribes of Galway. Today it is the third largest city in Ireland and a vibrant, bustling center of the arts and commerce, though it still retains a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. The city, with its medieval streets, waterways, range of shopping facilities, wealth of music, and other cultural events, is a place to be treasured. The center of the city is closed to traffic and compact enough for you to wander around comfortably. Galway is famous for its numerous annual festivals and celebrations, such as the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Races, and the Oyster Festival. Anyone who knows the song "Galway Bay" will be familiar with Claddagh, an old fishing village of thatched cottages, now just outside the city center. This is the birthplace of the world famous Claddagh ring (a crowned heart clasped by two hands) which is a popular souvenir.


  • Anthropology
  • Arts
  • English
  • History
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Political Science


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