Irish-American Scholar Program

The Irish-American Scholar Program, sponsored by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church offers students the opportunity to study abroad in Northern Ireland for one or two semesters, and is open to all Ozarks sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Sponsored by

Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
United Methodist-Related Colleges and Universities

In cooperation with

Queens University Belfast
University of Ulster
Belfast Metropolitan College
Stranmillis University College
St. Mary’s University College
Business Education Initiative of Northern Ireland

Queens University and University of Ulster are internationally recognized. They do not offer courses in all disciplines, but most U.S. students will find appropriate subjects at these institutions. The University of Ulster has multiple campuses. Students will be placed at a specific campus depending on their field of study.

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.

Stranmillis University College specializes in teacher training.

St. Mary’s University College specializes in liberal arts and teacher training.

The programs and faculty at all of these institutions are of high quality and U.S. students can expect a fulfilling year. More information can be found at:

Queens University Belfast –
University of Ulster –
Belfast Metropolitan College –
Stranmillis University College –
St. Mary’s University college –

Who May Apply 
Current sophomore and junior students at U.S. colleges and universities that participate in the Business Education Initiative. (Note: If your school agreed to host a BEI student during the current academic year, you are eligible even there is not a BEI student currently at your campus.) Students may not attend a school in Northern Ireland for their final semester of study. In order to obtain a Visa, the student must return to the U.S. to complete his or her education. This generally means that juniors may only apply for a fall semester placement.

Space Available
Spaces for Irish American Scholars are limited at each participating school in Northern Ireland. There are generally fewer opportunities to place students for the spring semester. Ultimate selection will be determined by space availability and by a student’s GPA.

Grade Point Requirement
A minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.

Application Process
Students must be nominated by their home institution and must submit:

  • A completed application form
  • An official academic transcript through the fall semester of the current academic year
  • A 500-word essay describing the applicant’s educational objectives while studying in Northern Ireland (Students should determine in advance that what they hope to study is offered at the institutions they select.)
  • Two letters of reference - one from the student’s academic advisor and one from another faculty member or administrator at the applicant’s college or university