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• Clear interest and commitment
• Demonstrated preparedness/maturity
• Minimum 3.0 GPA (flexible depending on specific circumstances)
• Good academic and disciplinary standing
• Completion of at least one semester of college-level study at the time the program begins
• Faculty approval
• Participation in orientation programming
Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.
The Irish Writing Program is a rigorous creative writing program requiring some talent, but most importantly, commitment and discipline. Its goal is to help aspiring writers become better at their craft. University of Iowa students and non-UI students are welcome to apply to the program.
Learn more about the Irish Writing Program from past years through our deep dive videos:
Participants in the Irish Writing Program enroll in two required courses:
This course is taught by University of Iowa faculty. Credit for this course can be applied as a Fiction Writing Workshop for the University of Iowa's English major, and may meet requirements for the UI’s Certificate in Writing in consultation with your academic advisor.
See below for a DRAFT syllabus for the 2023 session of the program. The final syllabus for the 2023 session will be available by mid-spring 2023.
This intensive writing workshop focuses on genre fiction: prose writings that respond to established audience expectations for a particular kind of literary work. We will explore the different ways in which horror, detective, and auto fiction engage questions of voice, style, character, setting, and plot. Our readings will be drawn from modern and contemporary literature. They will serve as the basis for our discussions, help refine our understanding of the art and craft of fiction, and offer inspiration for your own pieces. Because most, if not all, of us are new to Ireland, we will prioritize themes of travel and location while still encouraging the exploration of other issues and topics.
Bridge in Dublin over the River Liffey
This course is made up of three components, each taught by Irish faculty. Credit for this course can be applied to the UI’s Transnational & Post-Colonial area of the English major.
See below for syllabi from previous sessions of the program. Syllabi for the 2023 session will be available by mid-spring 2023.
An appreciation of Irish literature and culture is inextricably bound to a familiarity with Irish history. This interdisciplinary course will examine Irish literature, drama, visual arts, cinema, music, history, and culture. It will introduce students to a variety of Irish writers, ranging from the modernist authors, Joyce and Yeats, to contemporary poetry, prose, and drama.
Sample reading list (from a previous program- this will vary according to the tastes and interests of the instructors):
Kathy Lavezzo is Professor of English at the University of Iowa whose publications examine the intersection of literature and nationhood, cartography, same-sex desire, racism, and antisemitism. A medievalist by training, she is currently analyzing how contemporary Black writers reconceive the past. This recent work includes an essay about J.R.R. Tolkien’s fraught relation to immigrants in Britain during the time he wrote The Lord of the Rings.
At Iowa, she has taught courses on topics that include Critical Race Theory, Arthurian Romance, and the Canterbury Tales. Last fall she taught an honors course that invited creative writing students to revise medieval mystic Margery Kempe’s autobiography, the first of its kind in English. She is offering a similar course this fall on Chaucer’s proto-feminist icon, The Wife of Bath.
An Associate Professor of English at the University of Iowa, Harry Stecopoulos specializes in modern American literature and creative writing. He has published books on such varied topics as masculinity, US imperialism, and US literary diplomacy.
A veteran editor and an award-winning creative writing instructor, Harry ran The Iowa Review for six years, and recently taught nineteen Iowa students as they rewrote The Great Gatsby and then signed a Hollywood film deal. More recently, he directed an Iowa creative writing workshop in Greece.
Participants are awarded a University of Iowa transcript, and are graded using US letter grades.
Each course provides 3 semester hours (s.h.) or credit, for a total of 6 s.h. for the summer session.
Unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course.
If you plan to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, contact your UI study abroad advisor for details on the process.
A welcome meal and farewell dinner will be provided as part of the course fee, and the program allows for a variety of opportunities to get acquainted with Dublin and its environs. Excursions are typically offered as part of the course work.
Students can plan to have 2-3 weekends free to get to know the city and the rest of Ireland. During their free time, participants are free to travel outside of Dublin and its suburbs.
Dublin serves as the perfect hub for travel around Ireland and the rest of Western Europe. Day tour options include: an introductory tour of the capital city focusing on important areas of cultural and historic interest, tours of the James Joyce Museum, the Joyce Tower in nearby Sandycove, and the Book of Kells at the Trinity College Library. Longer weekend trips to Western Ireland, Galway, Belfast, London, Edinburgh, and many other regional cities are possible- or even farther if you’re feeling adventurous!
Program dates vary by session. Dates for future sessions are expected to be similar to previous sessions, and will be finalized be early spring.
Dates for the Summer 2023 session are June 12 - July 25./p>
For more details about this course please contact Faculty Directors Prof. Kathy Lavezzo or Prof. Harry Stecopoulos or Study Abroad Program Coordinator Cory Petersen.
Dublin is a vibrant, European capital city of historical and cultural importance. From its many theaters to its beautiful parks to its friendly, cozy pubs, Dublin is an excellent place to be educated and entertained.
Dublin Street Scene
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean. The country of Ireland (properly referred to as the Republic of Ireland) shares the island with Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is an independent country that is a member of the European Union. Northern Ireland is the name of the other country on Ireland, and is a member of the United Kingdom along with Scotland, Wales, and England.
Ireland is a nation of about 4.5 million people. Ireland’s friendly population, gorgeous natural environment, unique culture, and rich history make it a fantastic place to study. Ireland’s contribution to literature written in English and indeed other languages is immense, and so the country is an ideal destination for students who want to make the exploration of literature and language the focus of their time abroad.
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts
Historical Walking Tours of Dublin
The 1916 Rebellion
Irish Culture & Customs
The Irish Language
The Irish Traditional Music Archive
Lonely Planet: Ireland
Rick Steves' Ireland
Street Sign in Dublin
The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.
Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.
Student accommodation lobby
Accommodations are arranged by our partners in Dublin prior to departure. Amenities vary by session, but typically include a fully furnished apartment with private bedrooms, and a shared kitchen and living area. The accommodations include wireless internet service and paid washing machines. Students are expected to keep their apartments clean and in the order they were during move-in. Any damage will be assessed at the end of the program.
Accommodations are provided for the duration of the program only. It is not possible to get into the apartments before the official start of the program.
All students need a valid passport to participate in this program. If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:
US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.
Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.
Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.
Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.
Student accommodation kitchen
UI Study Abroad will designate a suggested group flight by early spring. Participants will make their own travel arrangements to Dublin with guidance from UI Study Abroad and are advised to take part in this suggested itinerary.
The cost of travel is not included in the course fee.
Students who participate in the suggested flight will be met at the Dublin airport by program staff and transported by shuttle to the program site. Alternative arrangements for transportation from the airport to the program site for students who do not participate in the suggested flight can be made with guidance from UI Study Abroad.
Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from UI Study Abroad.
If you need advice on making travel arrangements, contact your UI study abroad advisor.
Dublin has an excellent public transportation system comprised of buses and a light rail. A transportation pass for each student is included in the program fee. Dublin's modern, international airport provides a hub to all major European capital cities.
For courses traveling abroad, participating students and faculty will be required to follow host country laws and procedures regarding COVID-19. Requirements of each host country are subject to change with little notice. Requirements may include COVID-19 testing, proof of vaccination, or quarantine/isolation to enter the country or to access certain facilitates and services.
To review current entry requirements, please refer to the U.S. Embassy COVID-19 Country-specific Information page for your destination.
The Irish Writing Program is open to students attending US institutions, and who fulfill the following requirements:
In addition to the requirements above, preference is given to applicants who:
Students who attend institutions other than the University of Iowa must also contact their home school study abroad office to review any additional study abroad requirements.
Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.
The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.
Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.
The following cost sheets apply to the Summer 2023 session.
Cost Sheet- Irish Writing Program- Summer 2023- UI Students
Cost Sheet- Irish Writing Program- Summer 2023- Non-UI Students
A cost sheet for the Summer 2024 session will be available in early spring 2024.
The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:
Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:
Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.
The cost of personal travel depends entirely on each student’s individual travel plans and spending habits. Estimates for personal travel costs provided by past students on this program vary significantly from $800 to as much as $6,000 or more per session.
You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc., on UI Study Abroad’s Finances page.
The University of Iowa’s English department also offers scholarships that English majors can apply to this program. You can find more information about these options on the UI’s Scholarship Portal website.
If you are accepted to the program, you will be asked to commit to participating in your program by submitting the University of Iowa Confirmation of Participation form by mid-March.
After you have formally confirmed your plans to participate, you will work both with UI Study Abroad and our partner institution abroad. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI study abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.
The application deadline for the Summer 2023 program has been extended to March 3, 2023.
Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information
All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in your host country. UI Study Abroad and your program provider/host institution abroad will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.
Note that permission to enter and study in your host country is provided exclusively by the host country’s government based on that country's immigration requirements. Your host country’s immigration requirements may include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to receive permission to enter the country in some cases. Contact your UI study abroad advisor for more information.
It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration materials are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration materials contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact your UI study abroad advisor immediately to discuss your options.
Do not take steps to complete your host country’s immigration requirements until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.
Review the UI Study Abroad Travel Documentation website for further guidance on the immigration/visa process.
In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.
You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This orientation will be facilitated by your UI study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.