About Us

The Institute of Study Abroad Ireland was founded in 1996

Our mission was to create a space in Ireland for overseas students to learn about all aspects of Ireland, and use this cultural and social experience to grow academically, culturally and personally. We have grown into an off-campus campus for hundreds of colleges, providing study travel, professional development, virtual and online internationalization for high school, community colleges, educational organizations, colleges and universities in the United States.

We developed short educational study abroad and faculty-led programs  intentionally designed to provide specific academic, service, and cultural encounters for participants. These programs are developed in partnership with U.S. institutions, and we deliver the study abroad programs in Ireland, as components of taught courses on campus in the U.S. The directors of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland are Dr. Niamh (Neeve) Hamill and Mr. John O’Connell. Niamh holds a Ph.D. in History and an MA in American Studies and founded the ISAI in 1996. John O’Connell is a graduate of Shannon College, and is co-director of ISAI. Both Niamh and John are passionate about cultural education and facilitating sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships between Irish and U.S. schools, colleges, universities and educational and cultural organizations. 

The campus of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland is in Bundoran, County Donegal, and we also work with educational partners, including Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) , St. Angela’s College Sligo, The Clinton Institute of American Studies at University College Dublin, Magee College Derry at University of Ulster, among others. We have, over the years, created a network of colleagues as guest speakers and contributors to our programs, including President Michael D. Higgins, former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, former Professor of Poetry Ireland Paula Meehan, Senator Bruce Morrison, Martin McGuinness MLA, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou MacDonald TD and Ireland Ambassador to the United States, Daniel Mulhall.

We work with over 150 partner institutions in the U.S. These include high schools, community colleges, state colleges, private colleges and universities. We are partners with CCID, UNC Worldview, AFS USA among others, and we continue to develop and expand our relationships with educational institutions, not only in the USA, but world-wide. Our mission remains simple – to help students become more culturally competent and internationalized, by using Ireland- Irish culture, history, literature, business and industry, technology, politics and government, its relationship with the USA and other global partners, – sustainability and environmental practices, and narratives of social justice and civil rights -as a platform for developing comparative and critical thinking. We aim to provide this through two main pathways – through affordable and authentic short structured programs in Ireland (including professional development programs for faculty, and faculty-led programs for students), and virtual engagement through online content and collaborative teaching with US faculty in K-12, college & university. 

Our core values are embedded in every aspect of our programs. These are:

Safety, Security and Well-Being of each participant

Meaningful & Intentionally Directed Education

Authenticity, Empathy and Equality

Affordability, Access & Diversity

Environmental Care & Sustainability

Get In Touch

The Institute of Study Abroad
Bundoran, Donegal, Ireland

Call our Irish office:
+353 87 294 1232 (9-5 GMT)

Email: info@isaireland.com
Skype: irelandstudyabroad