Semester only (fall or spring)
Students study at the University College Cork (UCC). The university was established in 1845 and is one of Ireland's oldest universities. UCC is also a leading research university. Today, it is the home campus for over 17,000 students. There are over 1500 international students who attend UCC for a semester or year. UCC has 4 colleges: Art, Celtic Studies, and Social Science; Business and Law; Science, Engineering and Food Science; and Medicine and Health. UCC was voted University of the Year in 2011/2012.
Choosing When to Study in Cork
The fall and spring semesters offer very different opportunities for students to study at UCC. We recommend that you investigate the benefits for the fall and spring semesters before deciding on which semester you want to study abroad. The Office of International Programs will provide several information sessions throughout the fall term. You should attend one of them.
Fall Semester at University College Cork
Students participate in the pre-term program called early start. Students can select one course from six to learn more about Ireland through a faculty-guided course. The early starts also provide limited excursions around Ireland. It is an excellent opportunity for students to gain an introduction to Ireland and Irish Studies through a carefully guided approach to the country's rich culture, history, politics, business, and civilization. Students who study abroad in the fall will receive a limited number of cultural excursions and dinners. Once the early start program is completed, students will register and start their fall term university courses.
Students can choose from the following early start: (fall semester only)
- Early Start in Archaeology
- Early Start in Irish Folklore and Ethnology
- Early Start in Modern Irish History
- Early Start in Literatures in Ireland
- Early Start in Marketing and Management
- Early Start in Music
Spring Semester at University College Cork
Students start classes early in January with registration taking place upon arrival. Students have approximately a month off to prepare for finals and some use this time to travel. During the spring break, Loyola provides 1-4 day trip for the students who study in the spring, along with other cultural excursions and group dinners.
Criteria for Applying
University College Cork requires that students have at least a 3.00 cumulative QPA. However, students with a cumulative QPA of a 2.800 (no rounding up) can be considered, but admission will be based on the competitive pool of applications. ROTC candidates can apply as freshman to study abroad in the spring of their sophomore year. You should apply if you meet the following:
- Attend an information session on Cork;
- Attend registration sessions to determine if your degree program matches the courses offered abroad;
- Discuss with your major advisor the possible courses you could take abroad and see if there are any potential problems he/she sees with your plans to study in Cork;
- Academic reviews will be based on current course offerings;
- Registration will take place abroad and the course offerings for the term you will be abroad will be finalized overseas;
- Save as many electives for abroad to help with potential registration problems; and
- Discuss with your family if taking a summer course(s) is an option to help with any unexpected academic problems that could occur at Loyola or abroad.
- Students must submit an online application and an advisor acknowledgement form by December 4 (Wednesday after Thanksgiving break) of the sophomore year to study abroad in the fall or spring term of junior year.
- All students must declare their major, and minor if applicable, prior to submitting their online application.
- Undeclared majors will be turned down automatically.
Criteria for Remaining in the Program
Studying abroad is a privilege that students have to earn by receiving and maintaining the required cumulative GPA to be accepted into the Cork program. Students must also demonstrate through their disciplinary record (on and off campus) to the Office of International Programs they are able to represent Loyola University Maryland and the United States through the display of personal responsibility, honesty and integrity for oneself and others by making wise choices and avoiding risky and/or harmful behavior that could jeopardize their privilege to study abroad and/or harm the reputation of Loyola University, the host institution and their fellow students.
Therefore, once you are conditionally accepted into the Cork program, it is YOUR responsibility to keep your spot in the program. This includes your academic and disciplinary records at Loyola, which the Office of International Programs will review a second time prior to departure.
Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.800 (no rounding up) by the end of the semester prior to going abroad. Not maintaining the cumulative GPA of 2.800 could result in removal from the program. Summer (at Loyola or away) school will not be considered as an appeal to remain in the Cork program. Students will be financially responsible for any bills incurred by the Office of International Programs on the student’s behalf. This includes but not limited to airline tickets, housing and tuition deposits or full payments, etc. The student will be billed for these items.
In addition to maintaining the academic requirement to study abroad, a student must also maintain the disciplinary requirement and not get into ANY disciplinary trouble after being accepted into the program. When a student gets into disciplinary trouble AFTER receiving his/her acceptance, this strongly indicates to the Office of International Programs the student is not taking the opportunity he/she has been given to study abroad seriously, and it could also be an indicator of potential behavioral problems while abroad. If a student receives any disciplinary sanctions after being accepted into the Cork program, he/she can be removed from the program and the student will be financially responsible for any payments made on his/her behalf. This includes but not limited to airline tickets, housing and tuition or full payments, etc. The student will be billed for these items.
- All courses, grades and credits transfer from University College Cork to Loyola University Maryland and are calculated into the student’s GPA. This includes credit booster courses which “boosts” credits so that students transfer the equivalent of five courses/fifteen semester-hour credits.
- You will be in the classroom with other Irish and international students
- Loyola students will be studying in a European educational environment at UCC. As an example, for many of the courses offered at UCC, there may only be one test in the course, the final examination. The final examination can be written or oral and this final examination grade will be your final grade earned in the course. So, if you do well on the final examination that is your final grade. If you do not do well on the final examination that is your final grade too.
- Registration takes place overseas. You need to have as many course options as possible to counter any registration problems, like a course cancellation or course time conflict.
- Consult the Office of International Programs as early as possible to get assistance on course selections at Loyola so that you are prepared for Cork.
- Not all students may be able to take major courses at UCC.
- Science majors (biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematical science), information systems majors, and economics majors must be approved to register for courses in the above departments at UCC. If you have a major or minor in one of these areas, schedule a meeting with your major advisor to discuss whether you could study abroad and not take any major courses and return to your major/minor and graduate on time.
- If you plan to pursue additional education or take examinations that require you to submit documentation of courses and credits taken abroad, it is your responsibility to ensure in advance of going overseas that your courses and credits abroad will be accepted by the graduate and/or professional schools that you will apply to in the future.
- Speech pathology and elementary education majors will not be able to take any major courses abroad. It is very important to schedule a meeting with your major advisor to see if you can still study abroad without taking any major courses at UCC.
- Accounting and finance majors will not be able to take any accounting or finance courses at UCC. Finance majors should take FI 320-Financial Management before fall of junior year in order to remain a finance major and study abroad.
- All students should save at least 3-4 electives to use as back-up courses for abroad.
- Overall, students who study at the University College Cork do just as well at UCC as they do at Loyola. However, grades earned abroad can be higher or lower than what has been earned at Loyola. Loyola students will be learning in a different educational environment and this may reflect in their grades abroad.
- Students have to follow the same prerequisites for courses abroad as you would at Loyola. Therefore, make sure you have satisfied any prerequisite(s) in order to be able to take certain core or major courses at UCC.
- All students must at least maintain their cumulative GPA (2.800 or higher – and no rounding) through the end of the semester prior to studying abroad. If a student were to drop below the required cumulative GPA at the end of the semester prior to studying abroad, the initial acceptance can be rescinded by either Loyola, University College Cork or both and the student will be financially responsible for any payments made on his/her behalf (airline tickets, housing, tuition, travel assistance plan, etc.,) at the time of removal from the program.
Six Myths About Studying Abroad in Cork
As you prepare for your semester overseas, you will receive a lot of advice on how to prepare for this new educational experience. Some advice will be good and some not so good regarding academics at UCC. As you will soon discover for yourself, the educational system in Europe is quite different than the American higher educational system. When you listen to the advice given on how to study at UCC from past students, you will need to distinguish between the myths and the realities of academic life there.
Below are some common myths about what it is like to study at UCC.
1) “You don’t really need to go to class; you can cram during the study week and pass.”
Most classes do not take attendance, but 100% attendance is expected. UCC faculty understand that Irish students are independent learners, self-motivated, and eager to learn. UCC expects the same from you and assume this is why you wanted to study abroad at UCC in the first place.
You are expected to attend class and take detailed, edited notes in class; it is part of the learning experience. You will need to be self-disciplined and motivate to succeed in the Irish system. Faculty at UCC consider it the student’s responsibility and “job” to come to class and do his/her work without needing constant reminders. Going to class is your first encounter with the material and the professor’s priorities. It establishes the basis from which you can then work for mastery of the material on your own. Professors have been known to mention something in class, and it will then show up on the exam. Professors have often mentioned “recommended reading” in class, which turned out to be critical on part of the exam. You will need a lot of academic self-discipline in order to succeed abroad, and you cannot wait to be told what to do every day (More on this below).
2) “It’s not really necessary to pace yourself because it’s totally possible to do a whole semester’s worth of work during the exam period, which is really long by American standards.”
Pacing is essential. You need to start work in the very first class and keep a consistent level of study and research throughout the semester, as what is presented in class are the guidelines, and the student is expected to do the work. The study and exam periods can indeed be long, but we are talking about a semester’s worth of learning. And any educational psychologist will tell you that relying exclusively on your short term memory when taking an exam is a recipe for failure. The European and other international systems give you a great opportunity to structure your own workload, free of the burden of quizzes and midterms. Frantically cramming in everything in the last two weeks is not structure, it is craziness. It also all but guarantees that you will remember very little of the material and you are very likely to receive a very poor grade. Also note that even though the exam period may be three weeks long you might, by luck of the draw, end up with three or four exams in one week, maybe even the first week! You will need a lot of academic self-discipline in order to succeed abroad and you cannot wait to be told what to do. Successful local students spend a lot of time working on weekends and prior to the study period in order to do well academically. Thus, one American student was heard to say after a bad exam, “I just wish I had had one more day to study” when in fact she had not started studying until the end of the semester.
3) “Since the classes are often boring and over our heads, it is hard to care about them as much as I would at Loyola.”
Many foreign systems are not as interactive as the American educational system. Some require very little, if any, active participation from undergraduate students. Professors have spent their entire professional lives becoming experts in their subjects. Undergraduate students are expected to learn from them, under their guidance. In these systems, undergraduate students are expected to demonstrate first how much they have learned and how much they know, before they can present their own opinions on a subject. It is very important to take very detailed notes during such classes. Some Loyola students find these different educational traditions “boring” because they are not interactive. They are however an integral part of the international experience that enables our Loyola students to take integrated courses so they understand better how other nations educate their students to compete with our students in the global economy.
One great advantage the European system and some foreign systems have over Loyola is the long ‘shopping period’ (think drop/add) they might offer at the beginning of the semester. However, in order to benefit from this, it is important to go to more classes than you will ultimately need FROM THE BEGINNING of the semester. The idea is NOT to go to one class for a week, decide it’s not for you and begin another --- in that case you have joined the second class a week late and may have missed crucially important information. The students who put the most effort into class selection also tend to be the most satisfied.
4) “Professors abroad will not fail you because they know you are there just for one semester.” On a whole our students do just as well abroad as they do at Loyola, but some students have received grades lower than what they have been accustomed to at Loyola and even a small number have actually failed courses abroad. So the reality is professors don’t fail students. Students produce work and it is either acceptable or not acceptable, and if it is not acceptable, you will receive lower marks and even failing grades. Therefore, since you are not familiar with the new academic system you are going into, wouldn’t it be wise on your part to make sure you are doing everything you can (attending class, keeping up with your assignments, taking good notes, etc.) to try to get the best grades possible?
5) “Failing a class is not that big a deal because you can always re-take the final exam.”
This is not necessarily true at UCC. It will depend on quite a few factors and there is no guarantee it will work out for you. First, most of the modules/courses in the fall are examined by continuous assessment, which means that most modules/ courses have no official end of the year exam in May. However, there are a few exceptions to this and the student must consult the Book of Modules for Visiting Students to ascertain how the module is assessed. This is your responsibility. You can ask the International Education Office if you have any questions on this.
The module or course grade is based on the course work the student submits over the fall semester (in class test(s), a paper(s), projects, etc.) only. If you fail an in class test in the fall, the relevant school/department will decide if it is possible for the student to retake the test or do an alternative assessment. However, it may not be possible to arrange for an alternative test or assignment.
If a student who studies in the fall or spring at UCC takes modules/courses that require an end of year official examination in May, the student MAY have the option of repeating the examination in August. HOWEVER the student MUST travel back to UCC for the exam AND not all modules/courses have repeat exams. You would need to check the Book of Modules for which ones may have repeat exams. If you do a repeat exam and pass, you will only receive a grade of 40%, the minimum pass grade at UCC for your exam, and it will not matter how good your answers are. The repeat exams are not graded on the same basis as the mainstream examinations.
6) “It’s impossible to guess what will be on the exam so it makes me feel like I have to study everything, which is so overwhelming that I lose motivation.”
Well, yes: you are expected to know everything that you have studied for that course. A final exam can ask questions about a point that was briefly discussed in class but that the student was expected to study further on his/her own. Examples of previous exam papers and assignments for most classes are available at UCC. Professors design and teach their own classes, they set assignments and exams, and they grade their own papers, so it is vital that students attend their classes. So in a very real sense they are not just studying to pass a test, but to exhibit their ability to command the material. This is a perspective on studying that many American students do not encounter before graduate school.
Don’t panic! Students have consistently adapted to these different systems and done very well. If not, study abroad would not be as popular as it is at Loyola and particularly the Cork program. It’s not impossible; indeed it’s not necessarily more difficult; but you need to be aware of what’s going on. You have to be proactive and tailor your academic habits to fit the new environment. Indeed, some students miss the freedom and responsibility of the European system when they return to Loyola, but that of course depends on each individual.
Length of Stay
- Fall semester students leave in August to participate in the pre-term early start program, which begins in mid-August and runs for one month. The university officially opens shortly after in late September, and goes until mid-December. Fall semester students return in December from the program. There is no mid-term holiday/break in the fall term.
- Spring semester students depart in early January. Spring semester classes usually begin the first week in January and go until around June 1.
- Depending on how the UCC academic calendar falls, there is a possibility the group will depart on January 1, or earlier. Spring semester students have approximately one month off to study for exams and travel.
- Semester only students live in Leeside Apartments. Leeside is approximately 15–20 minutes away from the university. They are roughly 10-15 minutes from the center of the city.
- The Leeside Apartments have different room-size configurations. Some apartments have single bedrooms, but the majority are shared bedrooms.
- Students share a living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
- The apartments come fully furnished.
- Leeside rents to various groups of students, and not exclusively to Loyola. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that all students will have a single bedroom.
- Most students will have to share a bedroom.
- Please keep in mind that overseas housing is very different than housing at Loyola. Rooms are much smaller and may not have all the modern amenities U.S. housing may have.
- Meals are not included. Students must provide for their own meals. There is a cafeteria on campus and other eateries around campus and in the city. Most students cook their own meals. There is an English market in town, and supermarkets.
- Students can also find inexpensive pub food near the university and Leeside.
- Students are eligible for consideration for all forms of federal, state, institutional and private sources of aid, with the exception of the federal work-study assignment.
- Loyola's financial aid can be used on this program.
- All students must have a comprehensive health plan, which includes hospitalization and accidents that can be used while overseas.
- All students must have a valid passport. The passport must have at least six months left after the study abroad program end date.
- Students who receive college work study and study abroad may lose their college work study for the returning semester to Loyola. Contact the financial office for specific information.
- Students will have to pay an Immigration Fee upon arrival. This is currently 300 Euros and is subject to increase.
- Bedding is not provided, but linens can be bought upon arrival. Students can rent cleaned linens through Leeside or purchase their own in Ireland.
- Students should budget for any start-up costs associated with study abroad.
- Students pay a study abroad fee and a reduced comprehensive fee. Accepted students must submit a study abroad deposit to hold his/her spot in the program.
- Please consult the financial aid office regarding your financial aid package.
Costs and Benefits
Students/parents pay to Loyola the following charges:
- Loyola tuition
- Loyola housing charge
- Reduced Comprehensive fee
- Program fee
- Study abroad deposit to hold your place in the program
Students receive the following benefits on the Cork Program:
- Tuition fee covered at UCC
- Shared housing at Leeside Apartments
- Limited trips through Early Start Program (fall only) and limited cultural excursions
- 1 - 3 day trip/limited cultural excursions in the spring program
- Special dinners
- Round-trip airline ticket from the United States to Ireland and from Ireland back to the United States
- Official airport pick-up and drop-off
- Orientation on campus and abroad
- 3-4 day trip (spring only)
- Enrollment in student travel plan
- Guide fees, entrance fees, and motor coach expenses
- Predeparture orientation
- Services provided by part-time on-site director
Items not included in the Loyola charges but should be budgeted for:
- *Meals (past students suggest budgeting $1,800- $2,500)
- Bedding packages
- *Immigration fee (to enter and stay in Ireland)
- cell phones and other communication expenses
- Medical and dental check-ups (immunizations up to date)
- *Start-up costs (bedding, cleaning supplies, etc)
- *Health insurance (if you do not have a health plan that is valid abroad)
- Travel to and from the airport (United States)
- Personal travel (hostels, hotels, airline or rail tickets, food, etc)
- Bike rentals (optional and most students do not purchase)
(These items do not normally occur but could happen depending on the student and unforeseen circumstances:)
- Airline ticket change (student wants to come home early)
- A hotel stay abroad for an emergency (snow storm or flight cancellation)
- Lost keys or room damage (which students will be billed for by Loyola)
- Illness (payment of services rendered expected at the time of service)
- Summer school (student is behind in their degree program or a course is not offered abroad)
Documents for Abroad
Currently, the following documents are required to travel and study in Ireland:
- Valid, signed passport (with six months left after the program end date)
- Immigration card (obtained in Ireland)
- Letter from health insurance company verifying health coverage that is valid abroad
- Official letter of acceptance from UCC
- Letter of support from Loyola University Maryland
- No visa - currently, American citizens do not need a student visa - subject to change at any time
The Irish unit of currency is the Euro, which is abbreviated as EUR. You should check the current exchange rate by visiting this website: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/exchange
The easiest way to handle money is with an American ATM card. You should check with the issuer to make sure your numerical PIN number will work abroad. You can only draw from a primary (usually checking) account. Be sure to check with your bank to make sure you ATM card can be used in Ireland and Europe. Check with your home bank to see what fees will be assessed by them.
It is also imperative that your bank knows that your child is going abroad to Ireland. For your child’s protection, the bank will block your credit card for any charge that seems out of the ordinary.
You can use credit cards in Ireland and Europe for everything from drawing cash to buying dinner to taking a cab. While Visa and MasterCard are more widely accepted than American Express for purchases, American Express offers its card holders some very useful financial services. Check with each company before you depart.
Drawbacks to Plastic
Even with careful planning and strict adherence to a budget, it is very easy to overspend. Finance charges can add up quickly if you extend payment on goods or take out cash advances. It is a good idea to establish an online banking account with your bank at home so that you can monitor your spending in U.S. dollars.
- The Student Health Office at UCC is also recommending that you get a Meningitis C shot when you arrive on campus. Even though you might have had a Meningitis shot already, the Health Center at UCC has informed us that there is a different strain of Meningitis that is found in Ireland. The shot is free and provided by the Student Health Office at UCC. It is not mandatory, but highly recommended by the Health Office at UCC. You can also consult the CDC website to help you with your decision. It is up to you whether you want to get it.
Students studying at UCC have limited access to the counseling and support center there. There are some restrictions regarding visiting students and services available to them. There may be a wait time to see a counselor and there are limits to how many sessions students can have. Appointments with a psychiatrist may require the use of the student's private health insurance.
UCC has a Disability Support Service Office. This office supports international students, but there are limitations on what services can be provided to study abroad students. Accommodations and services provided by the Disability Support Service office may not be the same abroad as the services provided at Loyola. We encourage students to meet with Loyola's Disability Support Service Office to discuss their options for abroad.
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This is a working list of the course equivalencies for the Cork, Ireland program.
The course approvals and equivalencies provided are the most current for the Office of International Programs. Once accepted to a study abroad program, students will have an academic interview with the appropriate director and will be advised on their course selection.
Please be advised: All students are solely responsible for informing themselves about the status of these courses. Course approvals and equivalencies may change at a moment's notice. This means you should confirm if the following courses are approved, or if the courses have been removed.
If there are other courses you desire to take, and they are not on the course equivalency list; you must get written course approval by the department chair. The courses that you choose should fit into your degree audit and enable you to graduate on time.