Irish Exchange Program
Exchange Program with Northern Ireland
choose to enroll in either a semester or year-long program.
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.
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. www.qub.ac.uk
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. www.ulster.ac.uk
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. www.stmarys-belfast.ac.uk/
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. http://www.stran.ac.uk/
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. www.belfastmet.ac.uk/
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 email@example.com.
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 studentuniverse.com, statravel.com, cheapflights.com, or hipmunk.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and make an appointment to discuss your interest and receive an application.