The J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics stimulates and facilitates international student exchange.  Students can study abroad at a wide range of worldwide destinations.  You can choose to spend either half the year on a work placement programme and the other half studying abroad OR the full year studying abroad.  For students abroad, tuition is through English (non-language students) and you can study both business and non-business modules.

We have an extensive global network of high quality exchange partners. The number of exchange places available at each of our partner university’s is limited and specified in the official exchange agreement. In case the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, student selection will be merit based on their exams here at University of Galway. Therefore, it is important to maintain a good grade average from the start of your studies.

Study abroad opportunities per programme

  • B.COMM GLOBAL EXPERIENCE In year three:  One semester studying abroad in North America, Australia, Asia or Europe and one semester of work placement in Ireland, or full academic year of study abroad.
  • BIS students have study abroad incorporated into their third year. Some of our partners include Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Kogod School of Business (Washington DC, USA), Montana State University (USA), Lehigh University (NY, USA), and Rennes School of Business (France). This opportunity is offered on a competitive basis. Click here to see where your B.I.S degree can take you in the world!
  • B.Comm Accounting. Students on this programme have the opportunity to add an international experience dimension to their degree at the end of second year, when they may apply on a competitive basis to transfer from the three-year B Comm (Accounting) degree to a four-year B Comm (Accounting) with international experience. Successful applicants will spend one semester of their third year at an international university studying business through English, either in Europe, North America or further afield and a second semester in a work placement. The students will then return to University of Galway for fourth year to complete their degree.
  • B.Comm International (FrenchGermanSpanish) On completing the first two years of the degree in Galway, students transfer to the country in which their chosen language degree is spoken (France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Chile etc.) for a year, where they enrol in one of the universities with which we have exchange programmes. There you follow courses in your chosen language and in Business Studies. Students have the opportunity to study abroad at some of the world’s most elite universities and business schools, and gain an alternative perspective on education in another country. The international year provides students with the opportunity to experience a new culture and build a network of global connections. You will also develop your cross-cultural awareness and communication skills.‌

Factsheets for our European partner universities

Factsheets for our International partner universities


How can I transfer from B.Comm to B.Comm Global?

To apply to transfer to B.Comm Global you need to have achieved a minimum of 60% overall in 1st year exams and be currently in your second year of studies. A Transfer Advisory Session will be held by the Study Abroad Officers in Semester I of second year where you will receive information on transferring, destinations and the application form.

Do I have to pay fees abroad?

There are no tuition fees to be paid abroad, but some universities may have a Semester contribution (Germany) or a registration fee. With some fees you will be contributing to a travel card or some other useful necessity for living/studying in the host country. 

Where can I get my transcripts when applying to my host university?

You can request your transcripts from the Student Registry Helpdesk:

Exam Transcripts - University of Galway

How do I complete a Learning Agreement? (Europe - ERASMUS)

Please read this information from the University of Galway International Office. How to complete an Online Learning Agreement.

Course Enrolment Form (outside of Europe)

Student Declaration Form

All students must complete this Student Declaration Form before travel:

Student Declaration Form - Study Abroad

How is Accommodation arranged?

Your host university will send you information about accommodation as well as other information about courses in English etc. You are responsible for organising your own accommodation while on exchange.  The availability of accommodation varies: some partners do not have on-campus accommodation while others can guarantee rooms to exchange students who apply on time. Check this with the International Office at your host institution and pay attention to application deadlines. You can find a lot of information in the Factsheets on this website.

What is the credit system in the US, Australia and Asia?

USA, Australia and Japan Credit system are the same: 1 credits = 2 ECTs approx.  You are recommended to take between 12 and 15 US credits. 

How many ECTS credits do I need to take for one semester of study abroad?

You are required to take a minimum of 20 ECTS but we recommend 25 in case of failure/repeats. If you have an extra module you will safeguard against having to return to the host university for repeat exams.

How do I access my University of Galway email, campus accounts while abroad?

Install and configure the Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile device before you leave Ireland. 

If you are currently using the SMS or Phone Call options to verify your identity, you will receive a verification code via SMS or a Phone Call to your Irish SIM card, which may not work or may incur extra charges depending on your location and network provider.

To avoid any inconvenience or delay in accessing University IT Services when abroad please follow the instructions to update your MFA to use the Microsoft Authenticator app on the following web pages.

For support, you can contact the ISS Service Desk using the following channels:

USA Pre-departure: Visa and DS160 

US Visa and Immigration Information‌‌

Cheatsheet - How to Apply for DS160

How do I apply for a visa for J‌apan? 

If you are going to study in Japan for a semester or longer, you will need to obtain a visa to enter the country. Here is some useful information on the process of obtaining a visa. For every immigration document you receive, make sure to check that the spelling of your name and your date of birth are exactly the same as listed on your passport. 

1.         Receiving your Certificate of Eligibility

After you have enrolled in your host university in Japan, the international office there will apply to the relevant immigration office on your behalf for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for residence status. This is proof that you meet the conditions for entry into the country. Once the university has obtained the COE, they will send it to you along with your Certificate of Acceptance to the university. Please note the Certificate of Eligibility is only valid for three months and you must enter Japan during this period or it will become void.

2. Obtaining a Student Visa at the Japanese Embassy
Once you have received your COE, you will need to visit the Japanese Embassy in Dublin to obtain an entry visa. The COE alone is not enough to gain you entry to Japan. The Embassy is located in Dublin 4 and while it is not necessary to make an appointment, you should check in advance to ensure that it is open on the day that you plan to go there. Information on how to get to the embassy and its opening hours can be found by visiting Please bring your COE, Certificate of Eligibility and passport with you to this appointment.

3. Procedures for Entering Japan
When you arrive in Japan, you will be subject to an immigration inspection at your port of arrival. Your passport, and the valid visa contained inside it, will be inspected along with your COE and your Embarkation and Disembarkation card (which is normally distributed in the plane during the flight). You will submit these to the immigration officer and will have your fingerprints and a facial photograph taken. The immigration officer may ask you about the duration of your stay and what you plan to do in Japan. Answer all the questions calmly and truthfully. Once you are deemed to conform to the entry conditions, you will receive a seal of verification on your passport and a Resident Card. If your port of entry is unable to issue a Resident Card, you will receive a stamp in your passport stating that the Card will be issued by post, once you provide details of your address at the local city, town, ward or village government office.

4. Resident Registration
Within 14 days of moving into your accommodation, you must bring your Resident Card (or your passport if you were not issued with a Resident Card at entry) to the government office nearest where you live. There, you will have to fill in a form providing notification of where you are living under the Basic Resident Registration System.

of 60% overall in 1st year exams and be currently in your second year of studies. A Transfer Advisory Session will be held by the Study Abroad Officers in Semester I of second year where you will receive information on transferring, destinations and the application form.

Do I need Travel and Health Insurance?

Students travelling outside the EU need to obtain adequate travel and health insurance. Before purchasing health insurance, check the requirements on your host university’s website.

Finally, a check list for travel

Tick each item as you complete it to ensure you are fully prepared for departure: 

  • Check your passport is valid for 6 months after you return and determine if you need a visa. 
  • Complete and return all required documentation to your host university/organisation. 
  • Learn about your destination (see resources section in toolkit). 
  • Research, complete and submit the Mobility Assessment. Use it as a prompt to help you consider and plan your experience abroad. Update it if circumstances change before you depart. 
  • Review, understand and submit the Student Declaration. 
  • Attend a minimum of one University of Galway pre-departure preparation sessions. 
  • Confirm arrangements for any medical needs, including prescription supply and immunisations, PCR testing or quarantines. 
  • Understand your health insurance coverage and bring and the emergency number of your provider. 
  • Know your financial needs (check your budget and that your banking will work in your destination). 
  • Share a copy of your itinerary with family or a friend. 
  • Research how you will get from the airport to your accommodation. 
  • Bring copies / photographs of important documents (including spare passport pics). 
  • Look into mobile phones and communicating (do you need a local sim?). 
  • Consider security on your laptop, smartphone (e.g. create secure wireless connections, remove unnecessary confidential data). 
  • Consider personal property insurance and what belongings are covered. 
  • Be aware that University of Galway standards of conduct apply while you are abroad. 

For Erasmus Students (EU) please also note: 

  • Complete and submit your Outgoing Erasmus Grant Application Form. 
  • Complete and sign the Grant Agreement and return them promptly before you go on Erasmus. 
  • Bring your European Health Insurance Card. 
  • Join the University of Galway Erasmus Facebook group for your year. 
  • Complete your Online Learning Agreement. 
  • Return the Grant Acknowledgement Form for each grant instalment that you receive to the Erasmus Office.  

Michael Tiernan |   B.Comm Global Experience (University of Wisconsin)

This week marks the start of a new journey for myself and my fellow class mates as we commence with our study abroad semester at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the United States of America. This experience will give us a broader perspective on how business is done in the United States, as well as opening new opportunities for us in the future. We also hope to bring valuable skills back to the University of Galway where we will complete our final year studying Commerce (Global Experience) next semester. Thank you to University of Galway - J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics for giving us such an incredible opportunity to study abroad!

Kerry Tynan |   B.Comm Global Experience Student (Aarhus, Denmark)

The semester I spent in Aarhus- Denmark was an experience I will treasure forever. Aarhus business school was the college I studied in for my four months in Denmark it had its own campus near the city centre. It was amazing to get to witness another countries education system first hand. The class sizes were significantly smaller, and in class discussions were built into most lectures, which meant you were focused and got the chance to share your own viewpoint. There was so much to do as a student on Erasmus, with Friday bars open every week on campus, the beautiful side streets to explore, and free winter bathing on Saturday and Sunday morning. The friends I made while living abroad were from all over the world, from Germany to Australia, and I am forever grateful that Erasmus gave me the opportunity to meet people I will have for a lifetime. I would urge anyone to go to Aarhus for their study abroad and experience what I was lucky enough to.

Paul Conneely |   B.Comm Global Experience Student

Studying abroad in Montréal at Concordia University was an experience of a lifetime. Taking in the beauty of Montréal as well as the stunning lakes and mountains in Northern Quebec, I got to visit Toronto, Boston, Miami, NYC, and Washington DC. Many of those trips involved visiting students who were studying at these destinations as well as travelling with other international students who we met in Montréal. Although there was a culture shock initially, it wasn’t long before we settled right in. Everybody was very friendly. As well as advancing our personal and professional skills and knowledge in the high-rise campus of the John Molson School of Business, we learned so much from other students with whom we lived with on the 13th floor in EVO. On our floor alone there was Spanish, Mexican, Italian, French, Egyptian and Canadian students. Luckily the Montréal GAA Shamrocks club also allowed us to have a little taste of home while we were over there. The entire study abroad experience has left a positive impact on me, it has changed my perspective of the world. I will always be grateful for the opportunities that it gave me and I can now say that I have friends across the globe.

Katie Fox |   B.Comm Global Experience Student (Excelia La Rochelle)

I recently completed my Erasmus experience in La Rochelle, France where my host university, Excelia, welcomed all international students with open arms. The inclusive communal atmosphere I experienced while studying here is unmatched. I would also like to express my gratitude towards the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics. By granting me the opportunity to study in an international environment, I have gained a plethora of knowledge and new skills. This venture has deeply benefited my personal development. It has improved my intercultural competence, enhanced my communication skills, and has enabled me to form strong connections with various nationalities. All of which I consider to be an asset in future jobs and positions. I am delighted to be able to say that I have many happy memories of my Erasmus experience in La Rochelle!

Aoife Rabbette |   B.Comm Global Experience Student

Studying abroad in NYC at Fordham University was the opportunity of a lifetime and I took advantage of every single second of it. I also visited Boston and Washington D.C. during my time in the states, both beautiful cities that I am so thankful I was able to visit. I made friends from all over Europe and the US during my time at Fordham, who I am forever grateful to for making my time in NY so special. I was also able to witness Katie Taylor make history in Madison Square Garden in April. I feel extremely thankful for the opportunity to study abroad in New York and I hope to return to this city again very soon. As always, thank you to all the global team in National University of Ireland, Galway for their guidance and support throughout the study abroad process.

Nicole Griffin |   B.Comm Global Experience Student (KU Leuven, Belgium

Getting to study abroad for a semester in KU Leuven in Belgium was an experience that I will never forget. The moment I came out of the train station in Leuven I knew instantly that I would love it, with the friendly people and the safe atmosphere. The city was buzzing with students, taking up 50% of the population, along with hundreds of restaurants and the Oude Markt, which was a great outlet for socialising and getting to meet fellow internationals. Erasmus is a great way of immersing yourself into new cultures and making new friends around the globe, as I have met people from Spain, Italy and even as far as Australia. I also got the opportunity to play Gaelic football with the Earls of Leuven, and it was fun to see people from other countries enjoying the sport as much as us Irish do! Being only 20 minutes from Brussels airport by train gave me great opportunities to travel, as I got to explore Venice, Budapest, Amsterdam, and Barcelona just to name a few. I have made friends for life, both from other countries and with my fellow peers from the University of Galway. It is an experience I would recommend anyone to do as it has only changed me for the better.

Oisin Salmon |   B.Comm Global Experience Student

From the moment I landed in Groningen, there was a feel-good atmosphere. From the first time I entered my accommodation, attended a class, and met up with my classmates, I was surprised at how open and friendly everyone was. Even walking around the college and the accommodation, students were always interested in a chat to get to know your name and where you were from. Although initially being immersed in new perspectives was daunting, I grew into them. You get used to the different perspectives on day-day topics as well as topics encountered in a classroom setting. As you begin to interact with these perspectives, your own judgement and view is molded by this cross border, multinational experience. As part of my study abroad period I became more confident, more self-assured, and more open and inclusive of other foreign cultural norms. It was a hugely positive experience.