Overseas university spotlight: University of Galway (Ireland)

Located in Europe's Capital of Culture (2020), the University of Galway has one of the most picturesque campuses in Ireland.


I was blown away by all it has to offer -- from its facilities to its housing options to academic opportunities -- and I especially loved Galway as a city.


Here are more of the highlights from my visit to campus in June 2022!

The Quadrangle building, built in local limestone in a Tudor Gothic architectural style, is modelled on Christ Church at the University of Oxford
The Quadrangle building, built in local limestone and modelled on Christ Church at the University of Oxford

Galway

Made famous recently after Ed Sheeran's 'Galway Girl' (I personally prefer the Steve Earle 'Galway Girl' version), this city is Ireland's third largest and home to 75,000 residents (20 percent of whom are students).

With both the Dublin and Shannon international airports within a 2.5-hour bus or train, it's easily accesible with many flights from the U.S. and is a coastal city surrounded by stunning scenery.

Spanish Arch
Spanish Arch
The River Corrib, the fastest-flowing city river in Europe
The River Corrib, the fastest-flowing city river in Europe

It's most notable for being city of festivals, culture and art, and according to the New York Times, is Ireland's friendliest and most charming city, full of cobbled streets.

Our group! Highly recommend the Galway Girl drink here!
Our group! Highly recommend the Galway Girl drink here!

But it's not all song and dance; Galway also happens to be a global hub for the medical technology industry.


Eight of the world’s top 10 med-tech companies are based here, and the medical devices

designed and made in Galway are saving lives all around the world.


Academics

The University. ofGalway was established in 1845 as one of the three Queen's Colleges and is known for its courses in medicine, drama, marine biology, law and hospitality to name a few.

Notable alumni include the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and Nicola Coughlan, star of Derry Girls (my fav!) and Bridgerton.


With 19,000 students, Galway is about 10-15 minutes from the centre of town and is made up of four colleges.


It's particularly unique for being the only bilingual university in Ireland, so if you happen to speak Irish, you can choose to study your degree in this language.


If you don't speak Irish, you'll have no trouble hearing it around campus.

Speaking of campus, Galway also has the most biodiverse campus in Ireland and is fifth in the world for sustainability, committed to responsible consumption and production.

Driving its sustainability priorities is the Ryan Institute, the largest research institute at the university, which is focused on four thematic areas: Marine & Coastal, Energy & Climate Change, Agriculture & BioEconomy and Environment & Health.


With more than 100 research groups, it accounts for 20 percent of the research income.

Inside the building, we got to view an extensive collection of skeletons and animals, some of which were alive!