In partnership with Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs (ICISP) and Elgin Community College, students can spend a semester abroad at Carlow College in Carlow, Ireland. The semester program is administered by Elgin Community College, but students will earn credit on an JALC transcript.

This unique partnership enables students to immerse themselves in the culture of Ireland and visit County Carlow. Carlow is only one and a half hours southwest of Dublin in the gentle rolling hills of some of Ireland's most beautiful countryside. The academic program contains culture courses and well as electives in the humanities and social sciences.

Nicknamed the Emerald Isle for its lush green landscape, Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic which features coastal mountains, agricultural lowlands and numerous rolling hills, lakes and bogs. With a population of 54,000, Carlow is home to two colleges including Carlow College, known to locals as St. Patrick’s College.

Located 50 miles south of the thriving capital city of Dublin, Carlow is best described as a quintessential Irish country town. Affectionately referred to as “Carlow-Town” by the locals, Carlow serves the nearby rural areas of the Barrow Valley.

Leighlinbridge Castle

Leighlinbridge Castle

Program Overview

The Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs is proud to sponsor a semester-long study abroad program to Carlow College, in Carlow, Ireland. The program is available in the fall and spring semesters.

Students in this program will enroll as full-time students at Carlow College. The cornerstone of the program is The Irish Experience course which provides students with an introduction to the history, culture, and people of Ireland. This course includes field study for students and a forum for inquiry into the country they reside in for the academic term. Also available are both Irish history and literature courses. The remaining course options are similar to those students take at their home college. Attention has been paid to identifying courses that will help students fulfill general education requirements for their degree programs. Participating in a semester abroad need not delay a student’s graduation date.

A faculty member from an ICISP member institution will be on-site in Carlow to serve as a faculty liaison to students, the Carlow College faculty and administration, Elgin Community College, and ICISP. While this individual will be a support for students and other individuals, s/he will also provide service to Carlow College as a visiting professor or in another mutually agreed upon capacity.

Program Dates

  • Fall semester: September 11 - December 20
  • Spring semester: January 4 – May 9

Program Application Deadline

  • Fall semester: May 15
  • Spring semester: October 15

Admission Requirements

This program is open to serious students who have a strong interest in immersing themselves in Irish culture and history. All students are required to register for credit and participate in all classroom and program activities.

Applicants must meet the following minimum admission requirements:

  • 2.75 or higher cumulative GPA
  • Minimum 12 semester hours of college-level coursework completed
  • Two faculty recommendations
  • English Composition (ENG 101) completed with a grade of B or better
  • Physician's approval to travel
  • Recommendation of the International Office

Academic Program

Students will take 12 transferable college credits.
Required courses:

  • The Irish Experience (3)
  • 3 elective courses (9)

This required class is structured of American students and provides a safe environment in which the students can learn about Ireland. Students will then choose four additional courses from an approved selection of classes primarily composed of humanities and social sciences fields.

Lodging and Meals

Housing is provided at Lennon House, a newly renovated residence hall on the college campus. Students will have a private bedroom and will share living space, kitchen, and bathroom with two or three other students. WiFi is available in the residence hall. Laundry facilities are available on the premises. The cost of housing is included in the program fee paid to Elgin Community College. Meals, however, are not included in the fee. A nice selection of grocery stores and eating establishments are located within walking distance.


A current passport and visa are required for students in the semester program. Upon acceptance into the program, students will be provided with directions on how apply for a visa.


Participation in a pre-trip orientation is mandatory. The orientation will be approximately six weeks prior to departure. Details will be sent upon acceptance.

Program Fees

This program for the 2014-2015 academic year is estimated at $7,300. The program fee includes:

  • Instructional Costs at Carlow College
  • Course-related Field Trips
  • Housing
  • Linen Rental
  • Faculty Liaison
  • ICISP Cosponsored Program Fee
  • Orientation Materials
  • Mandatory Insurance

The program fee does not includes:

  • Transatlantic Transportation
  • Meals
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Airport Transfer to/from Carlow
  • Personal expenses