Students from the United States of America

Summer High School Program

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Updated 13 April, 2020

Due to COVID-19, the High School Summer Programme for 2020 has been suspended. If you have any immediate concerns or need assistance, please contact us at

The UCD High School Summer Program is an enrichment program designed for North American students especially interested in learning more about Irish history, culture and student life. Through taught lectures and field trips, students will become acquainted with Ireland's rich cultural heritage and the vibrant capital city of Dublin. The program will also highlight unique degree programs at UCD, and prepare students for the exciting and rewarding experience of studying in Ireland on a more long-term basis.

Key features include:

  • Taught lectures and field trips to learn about and engage with Irish history and culture
  • Faculty-led workshops in the UCD Colleges of Business, Science, Engineering & Architecture, Social Science & Law, Arts & Humanities and more
  • Application workshop led by UCD North America admission counselors
  • Opportunities to meet one-on-one with UCD degree program representatives to discuss specific courses of study
  • Introduction to UCD’s student supports, clubs and societies
  • Accommodation in UCD’s on-campus student residences

Program dates for 2021 will be confirmed shortly

Practical information

Please check back in fall 2020 for an updated sample outline and timetable.

The cost of the Program is €2,750 (approx USD$3,000). This fee includes:

  • Airport pick-ups and drop offs
  • Academic lectures and workshops
  • On-campus housing
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner every day
  • Field trips

Please note that the fee for the UCD High School Summer Program does not include airfare or spending money for snacks and souvenirs.  


Payment Schedule:

Total Cost of Program = €2,750

€500 due on acceptance to the program


Payment details and procedures will be supplied on a student's acceptance on the program.

Payments can be made by credit card on the program's website or by bank wire transfer.

To be eligible for admission to the UCD High School Summer Program, students must be resident in North America and aged 16 or 17 during the program dates.  Students must also submit the following:

  • Report card or transcript showing a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 or above (unweighted)
  • Counselor/teacher recommendation
  • Essay detailing interest in studying in Ireland/UCD

Check back in Fall 2020 to access the application for the 2021 UCD High School Summer Program


Application Timeline: 

February 14 - Priority Deadline - applications received prior to this date will receive a €250 discount

March 1 - First Intake (students who applied by February 14 will receive a decision by this date)

May 1 - Applications Close

For help or more information on the UCD High School Programme, please contact

“The trip had an amazing impact on me.  I was able to re-evaluate what I wanted to do and grow as a person because of it.  I met new people and made new long-standing friendships.” -James, TX

“Not only has this experience prepared me for college in general, it painted University College Dublin in such a light that it has become a viable option in my mind as a place to continue my education. I have always loved Ireland, but never truly considered moving there. However, the feeling of home that I felt throughout my stay caused my mind to change, as I am now already starting to fill out my University College Dublin application. I also learned much more about myself than I expected to while on this trip. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I am more independent that I previously considered myself to be, and that reassured me that I will survive living on my own once college comes, because I survived this trial run. I went into this program expecting to learn, but the knowledge I gained is far more meaningful than I thought it would be.” -Molly, WA

“During my time at University College Dublin’s High School Summer Program, I learned how to depend on myself and others, find my scholastic interests, and learn more about Irish culture and history. I was able to expand my knowledge and cultivate an idea of what I want to focus on in life. With this program, I was able to make new, lifelong friendships and create an idea of a life outside of the usual.” -Madeleine, NY

I’m 15 but I’ll be going into my junior year – can I still participate in the Program?

Unfortunately, we can only accept student who will be turning 16 before the start date of the program.  However, you will be eligible to attend the program the summer before your senior year and we would love to welcome you then! 

Will I receive college credit?

There is no college credit awarded for the completion of the UCD High School Summer Program, though you will receive a certificate upon completion.

Do the program fees include airfare?  Does UCD arrange flights to Dublin?

The program fees do not include airfare to/from Dublin.  Students will need to arrange and pay for their own flights from the US to Dublin, to arrive in time for the start of the program.

I’m flying into Dublin on my own.  How will I get to UCD on the first day and back to the airport on the last day?

The UCD High School Program staff will be stationed in the Dublin Airport on the first day and will meet you in the Arrivals area just beyond baggage claim.  Our program staff will then escort you directly to UCD’s campus.  We’ll be wearing UCD shirts and carrying a UCD banner, but we’ll also make sure to circulate our photos ahead of time so you know who to look for. 

We will also accompany you back to Dublin Airport on the last day, leaving UCD’s campus in plenty of time for you to check in and go through security and customs before your flight departs to the United States.

I’m traveling with my family before the program starts.  Can they drop me off at UCD and/or pick me up?

Students may be dropped off at and/or picked up from UCD directly on the first and/or final days of the program. All students must be signed in and out by a parent or designated guardian.  We’ll provide exact times and locations as the program start/end dates approach.

What do the residences look like?  Will I need to bring my own linens?

You will be living in one of our on-campus residences, which are within a 5-10 minute walk of just about everything you’ll be doing on campus.  You will have a private room with a bed and desk (bedclothes and a towel are provided), and you will share kitchen and bathroom facilities with the other students in your apartment. Each student will be allocated to a room on arrival.

What will my daily schedule look like?

A typical day will begin with breakfast in the Main UCD Restaurant at 8.30 followed by a lecture on Irish history or culture. Afternoon activities will include interactive workshops within some of the different departments of UCD and other sporting or cultural activities. There will also be several excursions from UCD to sites of cultural/historical significance.  We’ll send out a more detailed itinerary closer to the program start date, so keep an eye on your inbox in the coming weeks.

Do I need to bring a laptop?

You will be doing a few group projects that will require some outside research, so if you have a laptop please do bring it with you.  However, if you do not have a laptop you are not required to purchase one for this program.

What kind of phone will I need to bring with me?  Can I use my American phone, or will I need to purchase an Irish phone?

Because you will be in Ireland for a short time, there is no need for you to purchase an Irish phone.  However, we do ask that you do bring a working phone with you so that our program staff can contact you in case of emergency.  Please check with your phone provider to ensure that you will have service while in Ireland; many American providers have inexpensive supplemental plans for international travel.

I’m sure my parents will want me to check in with them – what’s the best way for them to reach me?

There is free wireless internet throughout UCD’s campus and in the residences, so if you have a laptop, iPad or smartphone you will be able to message, Skype and FaceTime to your heart’s content!  We will also provide your parents with our Program mobile phone number, in case they need to contact you or the Program staff in case of emergencies.

I have a food allergy/dietary restriction.  Will I still be able to eat the food provided?

Our campus cafeteria can accommodate most food sensitivities (dairy, gluten, nuts, etc) and also provides vegetarian options at every meal.  Please let us know ahead of time if you have an allergy or restriction so we can make provisions for you. 

What happens if I get sick or injured during the program?

While we certainly hope that this won’t happen, there are many services available if you require medical attention while participating in our program.  We ask that you bring any medications (prescription and non-prescription) that you take frequently with you from home; however, if you need to buy over-the-counter medication you can do so at the UCD Pharmacy on campus.  For non-emergency illnesses and injuries, there are two clinics very close to campus that one of our staff members will be glad to accompany you to if needed.  Saint Vincent’s University Hospital is also less than 10 minutes away if an emergency arises.  Please note that all medical expenses are your responsibility to pay for, and that you are required to have insurance that will cover you during your stay in Ireland.

I have friends/family in Ireland.  Am I allowed to visit them?

Students are required to attend ALL program activities throughout the duration of the program, and no student is to leave UCD’s campus unaccompanied at any time.  If you would like to visit a family member or family friend, you may only do so during designated personal time with express written permission by a parent.  Program deviations are limited to 2 instances and require 72 hours notice to be approved by the Program Manager.  Overnight program deviations will not be permitted. 

I saw that UCD’s campus is close to the sea.  Will we be able to go swimming?

Due to health and safety regulations pertaining to students under the age of 18, students WILL NOT permitted to swim in the ocean at any time.  There is a 50 metre, Olympic-sized pool on UCD’s campus which our Program Managers can arrange for you to visit, however.

Will the program be run in English?  I don’t know any Irish, will I need to learn?

The High School Summer Program is run entirely in English.  In Ireland, both Irish and English are the official languages and though you will not need to know Irish to take part in the program or to travel around Ireland, it is a wonderful and fascinating language.  You should take time before the program starts to explore and learn a bit of Irish to get to know Irish culture.

Can my friends or family stay with me on campus during the program?

No visitors are permitted in your UCD Residence, and no individuals that are not a part of the Program can stay overnight in your Residence.