Support Services for International Students

We have many years’ experience welcoming international students to Galway and provide a wide range of support services to help you adjust to your new environment.

Louise Kelly is our dedicated International Student Officer who looks after the welfare of international students. 

The role of the International Student Officer is to ensure that international students are enabled to have the best possible experience while studying at NUI Galway. The ISO represents the interests of international students and provides non-academic support to students who are undergoing difficulties, including an out of hours emergency phone service.

Louise is available on 086 8576152 for out of hours (non academic related) emergencies.

International Affairs Office

The International Affairs Office provides a range of support services specifically for international students and is your first point of contact for many of the support services offered to students at NUI Galway. Services provided by the International Affairs Office include:

·         Orientation programme for new students

·         Advice on international entry requirements and application processes

·         English Language Support Classes

·         Advice on immigration requirements and study visas

Student Support Services

International students can also avail of the full range of Student Support Services available to all NUI Galway students.

Accommodation Offices

The Accommodation Office assists students in finding housing and provides advice on general housing issues.

Disability Support Service

Students who have a disability/specific learning difficulty and who require particular supports should notify the Disability Support Service in advance of admission to the University.

Deans of Chaplaincy Service

The Deans of Chaplaincy Service provides active pastoral care and spiritual leadership for all students and can also assist in making contact with other religious denominations.

Student Counselling

The Student Counselling team of qualified and experienced counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists, offers confidential individual counselling to all NUI Galway students.

Student Health Unit

The Student Health Unit provides on-campus medical, psychiatric and physiotherapy care to registered NUI Galway students in a professional and confidential manner.

Health Promotion Service

The Health Promotion Service aims to assist students to reach their full potential by providing non-judgemental and up-to-date information to help you make informed decisions. Programmes run by the service include The Mind, Body & Soul programme and the Exam De-stress Programme.

Career Development Centre

The Career Development Centre is available to help students manage their career development by providing information on different career options as well as practical support and workshops on all aspects of graduate careers including CV preparation and interview techniques

Students Union

The Students Union (SU) is the independent voice of students representing your interests and solving your problems on campus and beyond. The SU also provides assistance and guidance in the areas of finance, accommodation, academic problems, rights, jobs, personal safety, mental health and wellbeing. There are 16 elected officers of the Union including and Education Officer and Welfare Officer who can offer confidential support and information should you experience academic or personal problems.

Academic Support Services

The University also provides a wide range of academic support services to help international students with their studies.

James Hardiman Library

The James Hardiman Library is the main library on campus and provides study spaces and the key resources you need for your study. Students can access the books, journals and electronic resources by visiting the Library in person or through the Library’s website which provides you with 24/7 access, anytime and anywhere. Library Tours are provided as part of the orientation programme at the beginning of each semester.

Academic Writing Centre

The Academic Writing Centre offers free one-to-one sessions on academic writing tailored to the needs of individual students. In addition to help with grammar, punctuation and spelling, the centre provides assistance with essay structure and the overall writing process.


Blackboard is the online learning system used at NUI Galway, which allows lecturers to post materials such as lecture notes, reading materials, weblinks, videos, quizzes, etc, online. Blackboard is available 24/7 from both on and off campus. There is also a Blackboard App (in iPhone and Android versions) which you can download.

EAP (English for Academic Purposes) Classes

The International Affairs Office also provides free writing support classes for students whose first language is not English. For more information, please email

An Introduction to my Global Journey 

I am very fortunate to have had my own Global Journey that eventually brought me to NUI Galway. I was a slow starter though, as I wasn’t lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to travel or study abroad as an undergraduate student. In fact, I was 25 when I first set foot on a plane. It was a trip to a conference in Vancouver, Canada and involved broken down aircraft, massively delayed flights, no vegetarian food (as usual) and general exhaustion. It was a disheartening journey but then suddenly, none of that mattered because there I was in Canada, meeting new people, soaking up amazing sights, sounds and smells, and giving my first ever research poster presentation.  After my first tentative step, my own global odyssey really took off when I began working, over a period of 17 years, on my own research projects in the Global South.  I looked at working animal welfare in the context of very poor families, often dependant on a single donkey, horse, mule, ox, or camel for their income. It raised questions for me about whether an animal’s welfare can matter in the face of desperate human poverty and suffering. Indeed, it challenged my research skills and objectivity. I hope I learnt humility, and at times, it completely broke my heart.

The reason for the reminiscence is that above all else, my own travels around the world, working in, living in, admiring, and at times feeling immensely frustrated by, a huge diversity of cultures, languages, environments and behaviours, has been a continual education for me; developing  skills, broadening perspectives and laying the foundations for my current job. It is also why I truly believe that NUI Galway’s ambition to continue its own journey to becoming a Global University is important for every single one of us; students, staff and the communities around us alike.

This is what The Global Galway Project is all about. This is our vison and structure for supporting our ongoing institutional journey, which will take us further out into the world through our actions and reputation and make sure we are the flourishing, welcoming place where people from close by and far away want to be to study and work. Internationalisation is a relatively new concept in Higher Education, and its purpose is to support and enhance the educational and research missions of Universities. Internationalisation for its own sake isn’t the goal.  Our vision, through The Global Galway Project is:

“To create a more globally diverse, and culturally rich, learning and working experience. A place where everyone has a sense of belonging. Where we welcome the world in and go out into the world. Where we nurture global citizens. Where everyone has a place to thrive.”

At its best, internationalisation enriches our teaching and learning, enhances the employability and skills of our students and staff and teaches us all tolerance and understanding when it has never been needed more. Being globally connected opens up research and research funding opportunities and broadens our research horizons at a time when we face unprecedented global challenges. We won’t find solutions alone; collaborative, multidisciplinary and multinational research and teaching initiatives are essential. The Global Galway Project is all about creating the environment and structures which can enable this.

 A great example of collaboration in action is ENLIGHT, the European University Network (EUN) in which we are a partner. ENLIGHT is the embodiment of the European Union’s vision that Universities across the union can work together to widen opportunities for students and staff, to collaborate in building future models of Higher Education and to become hubs which bring together researchers to address complex, multidisciplinary challenges, such as global sustainability, that we all face.  ENLIGHT is a network of nine universities spread across all points of the European compass. Between us we share 11 languages, over 350,000 students and serve a community of over 5.5 million people across our regions. We also clock up an impressive amount of time on Zoom. Flippancy aside, I see ENLIGHT as a great example of an international partnership where the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Our shared knowledge, vision and energy are extraordinary and really exemplify what is at the heart of The Global Galway Project. Our future is Global.