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Irish Parliament Internship, Institute of Public Administration

- Fall
- Spring

This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, health and safety, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.

While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.

Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Specialists advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).

Contact Information

Operations Specialist
Diane Lindsey
Phone: (805) 893-3246; E-mail:
Academic Specialist
Andrea Nuernberger 
Phone: (805) 893-2810; E-mail:
Program Advisor​
Meaghan White
Phone: (805) 893-2667; E-mail:
Student Finance Accountant
Rachel Wilson
Phone: (805) 893-5927; E-mail:
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823

Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583​ 

UCEAP Online

Bookmark your Participants program page. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Predeparture Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad​, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
Connect with us! Join our Facebook network via the UCEAP Ireland page.

Study Centers Abroad

This program is administered from a UCEAP Study Center with a UC Academic Liaison and program officers. Study Center locations are in London and Edinburgh. Study Center staff will advise you on academic matters and ensure that your academic program meets UC requirements. They also provide general information and help with living in Ireland. The host university also has advisors who will work with you to plan your course of study.
The Study Center is the first point of contact for advice or assistance during the year.

Contact Information

London Study Center
3 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3RA, United Kingdom
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011-44-207) 079-0562
Edinburgh Study Center
25 Buccleuch Street
Edinburgh EH8 9LN
Scotland, United Kingdom
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011-44-131) 662-8988

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code ......... 011     (dial this to call from the U.S.)
Ireland country code .............353
Dublin city code .................. 1
Cork city code ................... .21
Galway city code .................91

Approximate Time Difference

Add 8 hours
Academic Information
Program Overview
This highly-focused program can enhance your career in Politics by allowing you the very unique opportunity to experience Irish politics and culture right from within its governing body, Oireachtas (Irish Parliament).
By participating in an intensive internship with a member of the Irish parliament or with a nongovernmental organization affiliated with the EU government, you will obtain a real-world perspective on Irish politics and learn how a parliamentary system of government functions. Supporting your internship experience, you will enroll in thought-provoking courses on Ireland's history, society, politics, and literature.
Courses are taught by lecturers at the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) which is part of the National University of Ireland system and is the national center for civil service training in public administration and public management. The IPA building, where classes are held, is located in an attractive, tree-lined suburb of Dublin within easy reach of the Parliament and city center.
Dublin is the republic’s political capital, the home of past and present writers of international stature, and the center of the island’s phenomenal economic growth. Dublin also affords easy access to the countryside, seashore, and mountains.
Academic Culture
​The Institute of Public Administration (IPA) is the leading provider of education and training programs for the wider public service. The Institute provides training courses as well as a range of undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. IPA awards degrees through the National University of Ireland system and is the national center for civil service training in public administration and public management. IPA courses are taught by full-time professional staff, all of whom have many years of teaching, training, and consulting combined with a deep understanding of the challenges and constraints facing the public sector.
The internship is an officially authorized program working within the Irish Houses of Parliament: the Dail and the Senate. It is governed by the House Committee on Procedures and Privileges. Interns have the status of adjunct staff. Work in parliament is subject to conditions laid down by the Committee on Procedures and Privileges covering such matters as access to facilities, dress code, dealings with press and televised media etc.
Each intern is part of a small staff: Irish parliamentarians commonly have a staff complement of just one or two. Interns are expected to work between two and three days per week. The nature of the work varies greatly but can be summarized as either administration or research. Typically a student will undertake some combination of these research and administration tasks. Throughout the internship, students are required to give an account of progress to the program director.​
Course Information
You will be enrolled in three prescribed academic courses in addition to the internship component.
Internship (7.5 UC quarter units/5 UC semester units): From Week 2 onwards, you will spend two days per week in Parliament. Based on your skills and past experience, you may be assigned research, report writing, drafting of press releases, or corresponding with constituents or organizations on local matters.
Central to the internship experience will be a research project, the focus of which will be determined in consultation with the program's Academic Director, IPA faculty and the member of parliament to whom you are assigned. The project is meant to allow you to focus on your research interests as they relate to Irish politics, culture, or society and will culminate in a written piece 2500-3500 words in length.
The structure of the program is organized so that the internship itself remains the most important aspect of the experience, and it is not possible for you to perform poorly as an intern and still have a good research paper. You will be evaluated by your performance as an intern in key areas. This evaluation will account for a significant portion of your grade. In addition, you will be asked to maintain a journal as a reflective exercise.
Academic Courses (4.5 UC quarter/3 UC semester units each): You will be enrolled in three upper division courses which are taken at the Institute of Public Administration:
  • Irish Society & Politics – An intensive course that runs in week 1. It covers contemporary issues in Irish Politics, Economy, Society and the European Union.
  • Modern Irish History – This course covers the major historical trends in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the 19th and 20th century.
  • Modern Irish Literature – The course covers key works by the major Irish writers of the 20th and early 21st centuries.


You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. Students enroll in three courses plus the internship for a total of 21 UC quarter units (14 UC semester units). The internship can be taken for a letter grade or P/NP. If you take it P/NP, all other courses must be taken for a letter grade. If you take the internship for a letter grade, you may take one of the three courses P/NP.

UCEAP course registration:

You will receive detailed instructions on how to enter your courses into your MyEAP Registration Study List. It's critical that you read and respond to all instructions regarding the registration process. Completing your MyEAP Study List is the only way for your UCEAP courses and grades to appear on your UC transcript. Note:  MyEAP uses UC quarter units exclusively (even for semester campus students).
There are several steps involved before your grades will be posted on your UC transcript. Grades must be submitted to the Study Center, reviewed by the Study Center, signed at the UCEAP Systemwide Office, transmitted to your campus, and then processed at the UC registrar.
Seniors should especially consider these issues to make sure they do not require grades sooner than what may be possible. No individual expediting is possible until the end of the 90-day window, regardless of graduation or graduate school deadlines.
Grades for the fall semester are typically available late January or early February. We do not know when grades for the spring semester will be available.
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
​The internship is an officially authorized program working within the Irish Houses of Parliament: the Dail and the Senate. It is governed by the House Committee on Procedures and Privileges. Interns have the status of adjunct staff. Work in parliament is subject to conditions laid down by the Committee on Procedures and Privileges covering such matters as access to facilities, dress code, dealings with press and televised media etc.
You are part of a small staff: Irish parliamentarians commonly have a staff complement of just one or two. The nature of the work varies greatly but can be summarized as either administration or research. Typically you will undertake some combination of these research and administration tasks. Throughout the internship, you are required to give an account of progress to the program director.
The way you are introduced to the internship can vary. You may start work right away, be introduced in week two, or be given preparatory reading at the introductory session and then fully integrated into work at the beginning of week three.
You work for around 15-20 hours per week, for a minimum of two and a maximum of three days a week. You are sometimes asked to work in the Parliament office for two days and asked to do research for Committee work on legislative work on a third day at the IPA. The working day in the Parliament is usually 9.30/10.00 – 5.00/5.30.  Practice varies depending on the deputies’ distance from Dublin, committee workload, events in constituency etc. In some weeks there are late sittings either dealing with emergency issues or because of the need to clear backlog.  On such occasions you may be asked to stay longer.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Extension is not possible in this program. However, you can participate in back-to-back programs if you submit a separate application to a fall program. Check the calendar dates of both programs before application and also find out the timing and location to get a visa for the second program.
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
You are encouraged to become acquainted with the Republic of Ireland prior to departure. Keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers and magazines and by watching films set in contemporary Ireland. UC libraries subscribe to the main daily newspapers published in Dublin, and weekly or monthly magazines of news and commentary also should be available.

Travel Guides 

UCEAP students report it is wise to acquire a few guidebooks before departure. There are a number of travel books that give comprehensive accommodation, sightseeing, historical, and travel information, covering practically all countries of the world. Suggested travel series include the Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, Blue Guide, Michelin Guide, and Intelligent Traveler’s Guide. Other resources are Time Out, DK, Insight, and Footprint guidebooks.
Adjusting to Irish Culture
You will likely hear about culture shock in your UC campus orientation meetings. Some students feel the term overstates the matter, others feel that shock is just the right term to describe how it feels to adjust to a foreign environment. In any case, adjusting to life, even in a country where the language is the same and much of the popular culture is shared, can present significant challenges.
Though many returned students describe their UCEAP term as “the best time” of their lives, they admit that genuine effort is required to make the adjustment, especially upon arrival.
To begin with the obvious, Californians need to adjust to a significantly cooler, darker, damper climate. In fact, compared to much of North America, Ireland and the British Isles experience a mild climate, warmed by the Gulf Stream. But this may seem increasingly irrelevant after weeks of overcast skies and temperatures in the 30s and 40s. Few Californians are prepared for the increasing dark of November and December. Because of the latitude, the days approaching the winter solstice grow very short, and darkness lasts from approximately four in the afternoon until eight in the morning. Even when it can be seen, the sun is low on the horizon. The compensation, of course, is the impressive explosion of spring and the relatively longer days of May and June.
Making good friends with local students is clearly important to the process of adjusting to student life. UCEAP students report that the best way of doing so is to join some of the clubs and sports teams that are available. Nearly all students have remarked that they find friendships are slower to form than they expect, and some effort is frequently needed to get to know fellow students.
Nearly all students report that they encounter the most difficult times in late November and December, that the combination of gray weather, shortened days, adjustment to a new academic system, and homesickness bears down the hardest. But virtually all report that the first term is the most difficult and that after the winter break they feel considerably more at home in their host universities.
 The Study Center will organize a Thanksgiving lunch event. All students are invited and strongly encouraged to attend.​
Social Conduct


Although Irish people may be one of the most stereotyped groups of people around the world, Asian-American students report a significant amount of stereotyping by local citizens (e.g., students are assumed to be Japanese tourists and locals speak a few words of Japanese to them). All Asian-American students report this unexpected behavior.

Drinking & Smoking

You will find quite different practices and attitudes toward drinking and smoking. In general, Irish students use pubs for socializing a great deal, and a night out may be more frequent and involve the consumption of more alcohol than you may be used to. You are not required to adopt this cultural practice and should note that pubs serve a range of nonalcoholic beverages. Coffee shops are becoming increasingly popular. Smoking, while more controlled than a few years ago, is still quite common, especially among university students.

Sexual Orientation

Although the Irish are not as open about sexuality, especially in the smaller cities, you will find that larger cities have well established gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities. In addition, most universities offer GLBT clubs. The age of consent for gay males is 17 years. There are no legal prohibitions against lesbianism.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
You must arrive in Dublin on the Official EAP Start Date as noted in the program calendar on the UCEAP website. Go to the Institute of Public Administration to be welcomed and taken to your homestay.  Interns will attend a mandatory UCEAP orientation in Dublin, which will cover important topics such as health, safety, and academics.  The UCEAP orientation is separate from the orientation, called an "induction," which the Institute of Public Administration will provide throughout the first week of the program.  Participation in both orientations is mandatory.
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
No group flights have been arranged by the program. You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements to the Irish university. Even if you are on full financial aid, you are responsible for reserving and purchasing your airline ticket. Your Financial Aid Office is not responsible for purchasing tickets. You are strongly urged to purchase a changeable airline ticket. Standby tickets are not appropriate.
You are subject to dismissal from UCEAP if you do not arrive on the Official Start Date and at the place and time specified in the UCEAP program calendar (Student Agreement, Section 10).
The start date of the program can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. In addition, flights are routinely changed or canceled. Confirm your flight schedule with your airline about two weeks before departure. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges incurred for independent travel. In order to be kept informed of any program changes, you must update MyEAP with any changes in your address, e-mail, or phone number.

Customs Fees

Do not ask other students to carry any items abroad for you (laptop, camera, extra bags, etc.) and do not volunteer to do so for others. Airlines may not allow you to carry items for others. If you are allowed to board the plane with the items, Customs abroad may charge you a high duty for those items. They will assume you plan to sell them, especially if you already have similar items of your own. This is particularly a concern with electronic goods.

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is based partly on the UCEAP Program Budget for the program. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student fare to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Travel Documents
You are not required to present a birth certificate to the host university, even if requested. Your passport is sufficient identification.
Make photocopies of all important documents and keep the copies in a separate location from the originals. Have accessible an electronic list of passport and credit card numbers, and any other personal information that would need to be replaced if stolen or lost.

Entry Clearance (Visa)

You are not required to obtain an entry clearance prior to departure. However, you will be required to show proper documentation of your student status and evidence of financial support in order to pass through Irish immigration. Further information about this process can be found in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
Second Step: Within 30 days of your arrival in Ireland, you will need to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). Your institution will have detailed information for you. You will need to show the GNIB all the same original documents you showed upon arrival to Irish immigration. You will also need to present your student identification card from your institution, proof of residence, and a credit card to pay the €300 immigration fee. The UCEAP Participation Letter from UCEAP that you show to Irish immigration upon arrival also contains the proof of insurance required by the GNIB. You can print out an insurance card from the UCEAP website and attach it to the letter. In addition, the GNIB requires you open a bank account in Ireland before registering with them. At time of publication, semester students need to deposit €2000 and year students need to deposit €3000. These amounts are subject to change. Different rules apply to financial aid students (see the Entry Clearance instructions in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist).

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Students who are granted DACA are strongly encouraged to consult an immigration attorney to evaluate the risks of potentially being unable to re-enter the United States and any impact that participation in UCEAP might have on any deferred action application. If you are undocumented and have not been granted DACA, we strongly encourage you not to leave the country.
Packing Tips
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
Identify all luggage on the inside and outside with your name, address, and destination (the international office at the host university is preferable). Pack lightly, as all carriers have weight restrictions. Luggage restrictions vary by airline.
Objects such as scissors, pocket knives, knitting needles, nail clippers, etc., must be packed in your checked luggage; they will be confiscated if found in your carry-on luggage.


  • Clothing that is washable and quick drying
  • Clothing that can be layered (T-shirt, fleece or lined vest, cardigan/pullover sweater)
  • Jeans and fleece-lined pants
  • Lightweight and warm jackets
  • Warm socks
  • Scarf and gloves
  • Flip-flops, walking shoes, casual footwear
  • One dressy outfit
  • Coat (thrift shops sell good quality coats appropriate for the weather)
  • Umbrella
  • Rainwear and rain boots (available at all large department stores)


  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Beach towel
  • Lightweight blanket
  • Seat pad (good for train and bus travel)
  • Travel-size sleeping bag
  • Empty backpack (to bring home items purchased abroad)
  • Travel alarm clock and flashlight
  • Small gifts for new friends (with UC logo or California designs)

Do Not Pack

  • Medications that are illegal in Ireland
  • Fragile items, unless they are bubble-wrapped


The electrical current used abroad is 50 cycles AC rather than the 60 cycles current used in the U.S., and voltage abroad is 220–250 rather than the standard U.S. 110–125 volts for small appliances. Most electrical outlets abroad have three-pronged sockets. In general, North American appliances need both a converter and an adapter for use abroad. However, travel irons, curling irons, blow-dryers, electric razors, etc., can be purchased in the U.S. with either a built-in converter or a dual voltage function. These appliances will need only an adapter to be used abroad. (Appliances without either a built-in converter or a dual voltage function will need an external converter, which can be purchased at electronics stores or travel specialty shops). U.S. clocks must be battery-driven to operate abroad. UCEAP students recommend that you purchase small appliances once abroad, although they will be more expensive than they are in the U.S.
If you plan to take a laptop, be sure that the AC input of its power supply will accept 240 volts and 50hz (AC input: 100–240V; 50–60hz); if it does not, purchase a transformer before departure. The correct adapter plug (for three-pronged outlets) can be easily found in the U.S. or abroad.
Since the cost of electricity abroad is high, and improper use of appliances may damage both the electrical outlets and the appliances, ask before using the outlets. Some university accommodations will test your appliances to make sure they are compatible. Information on purchasing appliances and accessories can be found on the Magellan’s and Distant Lands websites.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protections for your property, as in spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
UCEAP's travel insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage.  UCEAP strongly recommends you to examine the details of the UCEAP travel insurance benefits and to purchase additional property insurance coverage, especially to protect high cost items such as laptop computers, MP3 players, and other valuables. Review the policy carefully before departure and determine if it provides adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss. 
You may decide to purchase additional coverage, especially for high-value electronics (e.g., computer, tablets, camera, etc.). If you decide to do so, purchase supplemental coverage before departure because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. You can safeguard your belongings from damage or theft by locking your room and securing money, travelers checks, jewelry, passport, and other possessions. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and going to questionable parts of the city, especially at night or when alone. Minimize your vulnerability by staying in control of your drinking and your behavior. Do not invite casual acquaintances or strangers home.
Return Travel
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase a ticket that allows changes to the return date.
The estimated airfare amount in the UCEAP Program Budget is based on the cost of a changeable round-trip student ticket.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.


  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.



Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
Handling Money Abroad

Initial Expenses

Before leaving the U.S., exchange $200 into euros. The funds will be useful upon arrival for snacks, transportation, tips, and unexpected purchases. Some U.S. banks will purchase the foreign currency for you; the process may take a week or more. Dollars can also be exchanged for foreign currency at airports.
Take a bank card that enables access to funds in a U.S. bank account at an ATM. The bank card must have a four-digit PIN. Most U.S. banks will charge currency exchange fees when money is withdrawn from an ATM. The fees can be high. However, Irish banks will not charge currency exchange fees.

Travelers Checks

You can take travelers checks issued in the foreign currency to open a bank account and for immediate use after arrival. Travelers checks are not as widely accepted at retail venues abroad as they are in the U.S. You will first need to cash your travelers checks at a bank. Not all banks provide this service or cash American Express travelers checks, and some banks will charge a fee. You will need to show your passport as ID when cashing travelers checks. If you are opening a bank account, take any amount of travelers checks. If you are not opening a bank account, take only a small amount of travelers checks and rely on your ATM card for cash.

Host University Fees

You are not obligated to pay application or registration fees that are normally required by the host university. Disregard these two kinds of fee requests when returning forms to the host university. You are, however, responsible for all housing deposits and expenses, the international student orientation fee (often called the “freshers’ conference fee”), and other charges.
Communications Abroad

It is important for you to keep in contact with your Study Center during the year. The Study Center address is noted in Your UCEAP Network in this guide.
Study Center office hours are generally 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office may be closed for lunch. You may contact the Study Center anytime and leave a message on the answering machine. Until you are settled in at your host university, you can have phone messages left at the Study Center office. Inform callers that the time difference is eight hours ahead of California.
Internet Access
Internet access is available at all host universities in the Republic of Ireland, but facilities and resources are not the same as at UC. You will likely need to wait to access a computer.
Information on computer and e-mail access differs slightly by host university, but you will either receive instructions from your host university in a packet before departure, at the university’s orientation immediately prior to the beginning of the term, or when you register for classes on site. To set up your computer and e-mail access, contact the university’s international office or computing services department, or your academic department.
There are two types of public phones in Ireland: coin and calling card. Calling cards are the most convenient method for making calls from public phones and are available from the post office, travel centers, some news agents, and machines on underground platforms. Many pay phones also take major credit cards and charge cards. Unfortunately, phone card phones may not be available in the residence hall and you may have to walk to one elsewhere on or off campus.

Collect Calls

Collect calls are expensive! Do not phone the Study Center this way unless you have an emergency. In Ireland, dial 10 for the operator and for long-distance calls.

Directory Assistance

For information in Ireland, dial 190 for Directory Enquiries and 114 for international calls.

International Phone Calls

You are strongly encouraged to use Skype for all international calls. If using an international calling card, the direct dialing code to the U.S. is: 001 + area code + number. You can call the U.S. collect through the international operator.
Mail & Shipments
Local mail service is usually fast. Airmail takes from six to ten days to or from California.


Packages generally take six to eight weeks to send by surface mail. Host university offices will not accept or store heavy or bulky packages.
Housing & Meals
General Information
You will participate in a homestay with a local Irish family. Breakfast and dinner will be provided during the week, and on weekends you will receive lunch, but not breakfast and dinner. Other meals are your own responsibility; homestays are included in the UCEAP fees and the arrangements are made by the Institute of Public Administration. Homestays are integral to the program and are required for all participants.

Dietary Needs

Vegetarians, vegans, and those with other special dietary needs should make these needs known as early as possible so efforts can be made to find a suitable host family. While every effort will be made to find a matching family, please remember that food culture and expectations may be different and it will not always be possible for the host family to conform to your dietary needs.


If you have a strong aversion to smoke for health reasons, make this known as early as possible so efforts can be made to find a suitable host family. Smoking is much more common in Ireland, so please be prepared to make adjustments to accommodate this fact.
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
The Eurail pass must be purchased in the U.S. You can select length of time and travel zones. The pass can be mailed by the issuing party only to a U.S. address. The pass is valid in the Republic of Ireland, but not in the U.K.

Storage While Traveling

Numerous sites exist where you can store luggage, either during breaks or while traveling after the end of the program. Most storage sites are usually at airports, underground stations, and train stations. Rates and hours will vary, so confirm all details in advance.
Extracurricular Activities
Dublin is the cultural as well as the political capital of the Irish Republic. You are encouraged to take advantage of its theaters, including the world famous Abbey and the Peacock, the popular culture of the pubs, horse fairs, traditional folk festivals, the collections and lectures of the National Gallery of Ireland, and the National Museum and Library. You may also visit the various parts of the Republic and neighboring countries.
Students with Disabilities
While in Ireland, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from the United States. Irish law requires access to public buildings for persons with disabilities, and this requirement is enforced. Under Irish law, public service providers should ensure the service is accessible to those with mobility, sensory, and/or cognitive disabilities. Significant changes have been made in recent years to having an accessible public transportation system.
The majority of buses and trains in the main city areas of Ireland are now equipped for individuals with limited mobility, sight, or hearing disabilities, although some train stations and pathways may not be as easily accessible. Mainline and suburban trains require special portable ramps to permit boarding from the platforms to the carriages. These are available at all terminal points and major junctions and stations that have staff on duty. They are also available on some trains. Travelers are advised to contact the local railway station in advance to ensure such facilities are available. There are many resources available online for those with mobility, sensory, and cognitive disabilities.

Have a Plan

  • Be realistic about your condition and its impact, on your worst and best days.
  • Have a plan for what to do to do during flare ups, along with a list of signs indicative of not being able to copy. Work a realistic day-to-day schedule and needs.
  • Regardless of how you have managed your disability on your campus, you may have to address the tension between the program structure and the need for flexibility demanded by the typical, sometimes daily, fluctuations of your condition.
For more information:
Travel Sign-out Form

Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?

You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account.

Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the U.S.), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you.

The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Working Abroad
The work situation in Ireland is quite different from other countries due to an impacted job market and high unemployment rates. Visiting students must apply for a work permit, which may or may not be granted. The permit process takes six months to a year. Therefore, do not expect to earn money during your time abroad.
LGBTIQ Students
​There are no laws that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults. The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation with respect to employment, goods, services, and education. However, same-sex couples are prohibited from obtaining a marriage license in the country.
​For more information,
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before you Go

While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy.  Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term. Your UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance and it is does not meet ACA requirements for domestic coverage as required by U.S. law.  Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823.  It is underwritten by ACE American Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis.  You can submit a claim for a refund of covered expenses to the UCEAP insurance carrier.
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance.  Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country).  It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims

ACI at

Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
In addition to the following section, read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Before departure, review the U.S. CDC Travelers’ Health information website for specific health information for all your travel destinations.
Modern medical facilities and highly skilled medical practitioners are available in Ireland, but due to high demand, access to medical specialists and admissions to hospitals for certain non-life-threatening medical conditions may result in extensive waiting lists. Call the Study Center for guidance.

Student Health Service

The Student Health Service provides on-campus medical, psychological and psychiatric care to registered students. Most host institutions do not charge for student health center services appointments.  Your information is confidential. No information is given to others without your permission. 
Due to resource constraints, the Student Health Service is unable to see all students who request a same-day appointment. The Student Health Service is in addition to a General Practitioner (GP) or specialist as it does not operate as a General Practitioner Service, does not undertake emergency or routine home visits, and is not in a position to be responsible for your health care out of hours, at night time or week-ends. It is important therefore, particularly if you have an ongoing illness or chronic condition to register with a local GP. Student Health Service can refer you to a list of GPs in the area.  You should then contact the GP practice and inquire how to register as a patient.
Most routine medical treatment takes place in a “surgery,” the medical center or office where one or more doctors practice. If you require more specialized services, the student health service will further refer you to a specialist. Although you might be able to make your own appointment directly with a specialist, this is not the usual procedure.
If you plan to request a referral to a specialist, or if your U.S. doctor considers that you should continue with treatment while in Ireland, provide a detailed letter from your U.S. doctor to the student health service. This letter should specify your condition, treatment, and medication regime. Contact details for your U.S. doctor should also be included. This letter will be needed for appropriate referral and further medication prescription.

The specialist, general practitioner, or any other medical services will charge fees. All services must be paid up front. You can then submit a claim form for reimbursement to the UCEAP insurance provider. If you have questions about benefits provided by your UCEAP travel insurance policy or need information about the claim process, contact AC at
Physical Health
Recognize that your behaviors have a significant impact on your wellness.  Observe healthy habits, as follows:
  • ​Eat a balanced diet
  • Stay hydrated: Drink water
  • Avoid negative health behaviors (excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, etc.)
  • Do not skip on sleep
  • Maintain a positive outlook
  • Excercise
If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact the Study Center immediately.  The Study Center can provide advice about the Irish health system, the UCEAP insurance claims process, and help if extended absence from class is expected.
Arriving in a new country is a very busy time and there are a lot of changes to go through. There are differences in food, weather and customs to cope with. In this type of situation, with all its stresses, you may find yourself paying less attention than usual to your health.
Existing health problems can also be made worse by the effects of adjusting to unfamiliar food, a different climate and the emotional strains of being away from home. It can be easy to concentrate on your studies and forget about taking care of yourself. Travel health is about prevention and common sense: Being aware of health issues that may arise and taking the appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you are travelling not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip.

Know Before you Go

Inform yourself before you travel.  Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care.  Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
Prescription Medications

Plan Before Departure

Continue with your prescription medication, as indicated by your doctor, especially while abroad. Cultural, environmental and academic differences may create triggers.
​If you take psychotropic medications (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse, Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutrin, etc.):
Talk to your doctor.  Travelers cannot enter the country with controlled substances or products containing controlled substances (cannabis, heroin, and amphetamines).  You must have a letter from your doctor detailing your condition, treatment and prescription medication regimen, and a copy of the prescription, including your doctor's contact information, to facilitate answering any questions by Customs officers, should that arise upon arrival in Ireland.
The Customs National Drugs Team has dog units located at airports and ferryports. The drug detector dogs are trained to detect drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin and amphetamines. There are penalties for drugs offenses in Ireland. Ask your prescribing doctor if your medicine contains controlled substances.
A prescription issued by a physician in the United States will not be dispensed by a pharmacy in Ireland. The prescription must be issued by a licensed doctor in Ireland. In general, approved prescribed drugs and medicines are provided by the retail pharmacy (chemist's shop). The official term is now community pharmacy but it may also be described as the retail pharmacy or just the pharmacy. You will need to make an appointment with a local doctor to be assessed. The local doctor will then decide if he/she agrees with the treatment and may or may not proceed to issue a refill for your prescription. The letter from your doctor will be needed for this appointment as the local doctor will need clear and sufficient detail about the your medical condition and medication regimen. The local doctor will not reissue your US prescription if the medication is not licensed for use in Ireland, or not licensed for the therapeutic indication given. 
Importing medication can be complicated.
Over-the-counter medications of most types are available, but many U.S. brands are not (ask the pharmacist for substitutes). Some over-the-counter medications in the United States may require a prescription in Ireland.

Traveling with prescription medications

  • Keep the medication in its original packaging. Ensure that it is clearly labelled with your full passport name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack the medications in your checked luggage.  
  • Carry copies of all original prescriptions.
  • Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.
  •  Verify your medications with
Mental Health
While the transition to your studies in Ireland through UCEAP can be an exciting opportunity, you may be coping with personal, financial, health, and other stressors.
Culture shock and homesick feelings are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture shock function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life. It is easy to become worn down from physical and mental stress due to the vastly different environment. To counter this, adjust your expectations, eat well and drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and share any concerns with the Study Center.
The Study Center, host institution, and UCEAP Systemwide staff can help you navigate the Irish health care system. We can help you with information about local services, the UCEAP travel insurance coverage, and other considerations to help you restore balance, build strength, gain emotional resiliency, and increase your personal well-being. Do not try to cope alone.
The UCEAP travel insurance will cover your visits to a private physician, if necessary. The UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit receipts to the UCEAP insurance company for reimbursement.
Ask the UCEAP Study Center or host institution staff for referrals and/or read the Insurance chapter in your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Health Risks
Food Allergies
​Students with severe food allergies should take precautions.
Precautions to take include:
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor; have a plan
  • Carry symptom-reducing medications at all times, including epinephrine
  • ear a medical alert bracelet with instructions for assistanceear a medical alert bracelet with instructions for assistance
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter, Allergies section.
Air Quality
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
UCEAP takes your safety and security very seriously and provides credible and timely advice during predeparture and while in Ireland. However, as in the U.S., you are ultimately responsible for your personal safety.
Before traveling, ensure that you are fully prepared, that you are aware of any risks and have mitigated them. International travel is a great opportunity, and you should know how to optimize the experience for yourself. While UCEAP provides resources aimed at helping you understand how to have a safe experience, it cannot ensure that your travels and stay in Ireland will be problem-free or account for all the potential health and safety risks that you might experience.

 You play an active role in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. 

​Staying safe in another country is similar to staying safe in a large U.S. city. Understand the potential threats, know which neighborhoods to avoid, and remain vigilant (pay attention to your surroundings; do not walk around while talking on the phone or while listening to music).
If you will be traveling, think about how you are getting to your destination and/or any travel inside a country.  Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.  Be proactive about your safety. Be prepared.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and contracted with emergency service and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. 
Steps to manage or minimize risk and avoid being a victim of a crime:
  • Assess your surroundings.
  • Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones. 
  • Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Trust your "gut feelings"; if you feel threatened, leave the area immediately and find somewhere more secure.
  • Research potential risks you can encounter while traveling. 
  • Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking.
  • Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety.  This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other.  Choose your buddy wisely.  The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?

Know what to do in a possible risk scenario

Locate the nearest emergency exits. If evacuated in a group, remain in the center of the group with as many people around you as possible. Don’t take the lead or straggle behind.
Register online with the U.S. embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
Read the UCEAP the Guide to Study Abroad, Safety Chapter  for more information on how to prepare to have a safe experience and access the U.S. Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
Crime & Prevention
Ireland is comparable to other Western European countries in that most crime—usually non-violent, petty crime— takes place in the larger, more densely populated cities (Dublin and Limerick). Ireland has drug and violent criminal activity, but these incidents are generally confined to gangland/ organized criminal communities.
Dublin is a reasonably safe city. The only dangerous area into which a visitor might venture would be the northern part of O’Connell Street at night. The Garda (police) recommend that you do not leave valuables exposed in a parked car, be as careful of your handbag or wallet as you would be in any major city, and do not carry your passport or large amounts of cash or leave them in your hotel room.
Because handguns and assault rifles are illegal in Ireland, the level of actual violence, especially the life-threatening sort, is lower than in the U.S. Typically, visitors to Ireland tend to become the victims of crime when they drop normal security practices and vigilance due to excessive alcohol consumption and/ or the misconception that there is little or no crime in Ireland.
Exercise sound personal safety practices to minimize your chance of becoming a victim. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid unlit areas, public demonstrations and showing signs of affluence.


  • Keep your valuables, especially wallets, passports, credit cards, and the like, in buttoned or zippered inside pockets, or in money belts or fastened bags.
  • Never leave bags, backpacks, or suitcases unattended, not even in locked cars.
  • Burglary is on the rise in the student residences. Keep your room door locked at all times, and store valuable items in locked drawers or closets if available.
  • Exercise common sense about your personal safety and belongings and do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the perception that Ireland and continental Europe are safer than the U.S.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash and, unless traveling, leave your passport in a safe place in your room.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, especially in highly populated areas or in situations where you would be time or place predictable.
  • Do not leave your drinks unattended at bars or restaurants, as there have been some instances of drinks being spiked with illegal substances, leading to incidents of robbery and sexual assaults.

Criminal Penalties

While you are in Ireland, you are subject to local laws, even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. If you break local laws in Ireland, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not in your host country. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Ireland are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Civil Unrest
​Protests and small demonstrations do occur but with no violence. Irish police presence at these events is generally adequate, although Americans are encouraged to avoid areas where protests are taking place.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Ireland’s public transportation system has a good safety record. Bus service in the cities is generally adequate. Pay close attention to where bus stops are in both directions, as the drop-off and pick-up locations could be several blocks away from each other. Intercity bus and train services are good.

Pedestrian Safety

Use caution if you lack experience with traffic moving on the left, especially when walking on narrow winding roads. Motorists may drive through red lights, park on pavements, and drive over crosswalks when pedestrians are using them. Motorists often turn left without signaling and may park at bus stops, forcing pedestrians into the road.
For more information, refer to the Association for Safe International Road Travel website.
Fire Safety
Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
  • Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Warning after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy voluntary departure on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:

If you are in the U.S.

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
If you are abroad
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times:

U.S. Embassy in Dublin

42 Elgin Road
Dublin 4
During business hours: (+353 1) 668-8777
For emergencies involving American citizens: (+353 1) 668 9612
Main Embassy: (+353 1) 668-9946
American Citizen Services/Passport Unit: (+353 1) 668-8056
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