Outbound Mobility Students

Erasmus and International Student Exchanges and Placements Update 8th October 2020

We regret to inform you that the University has taken the difficult decision, in the context of the continuing challenges of COVID-19, to halt all outgoing mobility for NUI Galway students in Semester 2.

You should know that at every step since the start of the pandemic we have strived to facilitate student mobility wherever possible, carefully balancing our academic mission with student welfare. At this juncture however, in light of long term uncertainty and safety issues surrounding international public health and travel, we must take measures to ensure that we can exercise fully our duty of care to you and all students.

We know that this will come as a great disappointment to many of you, as it does to us. We hope that you will understand the decision is in the best interests of students, and that having this clear information now will make it easier for you and your coordinators to arrange alternative pathways through your degree. These alternatives have been in planning for some time, as you will know, and further information will be provided by the relevant Schools or Programme Directors as appropriate.

See also International Office FAQs here.

If you have further queries, please consult the relevant School administration office for further guidance. College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, please contact your Programme Director; School of Business, cairnesconnect@nuigalway.ie; School of Law, lawstudyabroad@nuigalway.ie; Shannon College, deborah.ohanlon@nuigalway.ie;  College of Science and Engineering claire.mitchell@nuigalway.ie (Science).

Please do not give up your enthusiasm for international experiences, since exciting opportunities will surely open up again at future points in your education and career.

Can I start or continue a programme or work experience abroad remotely from Ireland for Semester 2 (e.g. enrol in a European university online programme)?

Please consult your College/programme coordinator. Please note that Erasmus grants are not awarded for programmes solely undertaken online.

I am doing final year modules now and was planning to go abroad in Semester 2. If this is now not possible, can I progress directly into Semester 2 of final year modules and finish my course?

Please consult your College/programme coordinator.

I am studying or on placement abroad currently for semester 1 and scheduled to continue abroad for Semester 2. Do I need to return to NUI Galway for Semester 2?

If you are already studying or on placement abroad and had planned to be for the academic year, you may continue on your scheduled programme for the rest of the academic year. We emphasise the responsibility you have to familiarise yourself with, and follow at all times, current public health advice for the relevant jurisdiction during this time. 

I am scheduled to complete this full academic year abroad but I wish to return NUI Galway for Semester 2. Can I do so?

Absolutely, your Programme Director will support you in making alternative arrangements to return to your studies at NUI Galway for the remainder of the year. We emphasise the responsibility you have to familiarise yourself with, and follow at all times, current public health advice for the relevant jurisdiction during this time. You should also consult with the Erasmus Office on how this may affect your Erasmus grant (if applicable).

Inbound Mobility Students

What will the student experience look like at NUI Galway in this academic year?

Academic Year 2020-21 at NUI Galway
In the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19, our University is working to ensure that your experience will be the best that we can deliver, whether you are starting a new course this September or returning for another year of study. At all times we will prioritise our university community’s health, safety and wellbeing as we structure the learning experience around the realities of a changed environment and will therefore at all times make decisions that adhere to public health advice.

Our students, staff and alumni are proud of our university and its reputation for excellence. We are determined to deliver a student experience that is as supportive as we can make it, and that enables the building of new relationships and development of talents. Colleagues, both academic and in professional services, are adapting to the changed circumstances, to deliver the best student experience that we can.

Semester Dates
For the vast majority of students, including visiting students, the semester will begin on 28 September. Full dates can be found here: www.nuigalway.ie/media/Semester-Dates-2020-21-rev-Jun-2020.pdf

Undergraduate orientation will take place in the week commencing 21 September and comprise a mix of online and on-campus activities to help you familiarise yourself with the university, understand the structures and demands of student life, learn about the supports available to you and get to know your fellow classmates.

This year, we will structure orientation such that each College will have a different day of on-campus activities. A timetable of these activities will be issued to you prior to arrival. Orientation is a very important rite of passage for new students and we encourage all incoming students to engage fully with the programme of activities to give a solid start to their student journey. For those of you who are not able to attend in person, important orientation information will also be accessible online.

Course Delivery
All taught programmes will be delivered in a blend of online and on-campus classes. Irrespective of the size of the class, we will have on-campus learning built you’re your student experience, typically through on-campus tutorials, seminars, distanced meet-ups and/or laboratories according to the needs of various courses.

Large-scale lectures will be adapted for online delivery, while smaller classes will be delivered on-campus where it is possible and safe to do so. The majority of online lectures will not be timetabled but will instead be made available in advance of any related timetabled classes such as seminars, tutorials, lab work etc. School and Programme Directors will be working with Academic Administration over the summer months to develop teaching timetables, taking into account the continually changing situation and evolving public health advice. Timetables will indicate which classes will be delivered on campus – these classes will be a regular part of your experience and you will need to be on campus to participate. At all times capacity in rooms will conform to public health advice.

We will work to accommodate the small number of you who cannot come to campus for health, access or other reasons, so as not to disadvantage your academic journey. We are working hard to ensure that all learning will be made available online, or accessible through some alternative means, to allow for those who may face delays in arriving in Ireland, allow for limits to student numbers in teaching spaces, accommodate those who cannot attend for health reasons, and to provide a backup in case of a rise in COVID-19 transmissions.

A final decision on the structure of Semester 2 will follow later when the COVID-19 scenario is clearer.

We encourage all of you on taught programmes to be in Galway from September, to be available for on-campus learning, and to experience the fullest student learning experience possible, given the COVID-19 restrictions. You should book accommodation and expect to be present in Galway throughout the semester. We will continue to abide by public health guidelines to ensure a safe living and study environment and, where possible, we will plan allocations to ensure you are in apartments with other students studying the same programmes to support peer-to-peer learning and laboratory/group project work.

See below under Accommodation for more information on booking on-campus accommodation. In addition, there is a wide choice of private off-campus accommodation available and all of the details are listed on NUI Galway Accommodation Office.

Student Supports
Our staff in Student Services are working to ensure that your time at NUI Galway is a rewarding academic, personal and professional experience. We will continue to provide a range of services and initiatives to support and encourage you both on-campus and online. We will address your concerns in targeted ways to ensure that we are supporting you effectively and appropriately.

 Please also continue to refer to our alerts and FAQs webpages for relevant updates:

I am a study abroad or exchange student hoping to come to Galway in September or later in the academic year 2020/21. Can I still apply? 

Yes, like many partner institutions we are continuing to receive nominations for our exchange and study abroad programmes for the academic year 2020/2021 through the normal channels on our website: 

In the case of study abroad students applying to NUI Galway, tuition fees are collected after the semester starts so there will be no financial implications if a student enrols and then with withdraws from the study abroad programme up to the start of Semester 1, September 2020.

We encourage students to contact us with any concerns or plans you might have at this stage about study abroad participation for the academic year ahead (for example what opportunities might exist to move a planned semester 1 visit to semester 2).

Where can I find information and advice?

On-Campus Accommodation

Are all on-campus rooms single occupancy?

 Twin rooms are available for students who are willing to share.

What happens if I am unable to start my course in NUI Galway due to Covid-19 travel restrictions?

If you are unable to start University due to a Government-imposed travel ban in place in either your home country or here in Ireland and you have already booked accommodation with us, Campus Living will refund any deposit less an administration charge and refund any rent paid.

What happens if NUI Galway’s academic year dates change due to Covid-19 restrictions?

If the NUI Galway’s academic year dates change as a result of Covid-19, Campus Living will be flexible. Licence agreement dates will be changed to reflect any changes in 2020/2021 academic year and rent will only be charged on a pro rata basis for the revised dates.

Following your stay, for students who have not pre-booked accommodation, there is a wide choice of private off-campus accommodation available and all of the details are listed on NUI Galway Accommodation Office.

Travelling to NUI Galway

What do I need to do before I travel?

  • Government Guidlines: Familiarise yourself with all travel-specific public health guidelines related to your journey.  Full details available at https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/75d92-covid-19-travel-advice/  
  • Port of Entry Letter: Immigration officials at your port of arrival may request documentary evidence from you that you are required to physically attend the NUI Galway campus. You will need to have this in your possession on arrival in the event of an immigration official requesting it.  You should have received this letter in August from the university. If you did not receive this letter please contact internationalmarketingrecruitment@nuigalway.ie straight away and a letter will be issued to you.
  • COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form: You must complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form and present it to an immigration officer at your point of entry.  This form is available here.
  • NUI Galway Travel & Accommodation Form: Students must complete this mandatory form for NUI Galway to confirm their travel and accommodation arrangements. See more detail below on transport and accommodation options available.
  • Health & Symptom Questionnaire: All incoming students are required to complete an online symptom tracker for 14 days before departure for Ireland. Students who have symptoms or who have tested positive for COVID-19 should not travel to Ireland until they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days prior to departure. You will begin to receive this daily symptom tracker 14 days before you travel, based on the planned arrival date you have given us in the above-mentioned travel and accommodation form.
  • Sim Cards: You should order an Irish Sim card for your mobile phone and arrange for it to be waiting for you in the accommodation where you will spend the restricted movement period.
  • Please make sure to read the NUI Galway Complying with COVID-19 Public Health Measures Guide 

Arriving in Ireland & Galway: What facilities are in place for me?

Passengers travelling into Ireland from countries that are not on the green list will be required to restrict their movements for a period of 14 days. Learn more about what the restricted movement period means for you.

Transport to Galway: 

  • Please note that students arriving in Ireland from overseas countries must not use public transport for their 14 days of restricted movement. 
  • Transport will be provided to bring students from Dublin Airport to Galway.  In order to avail of this, you must complete this mandatory form, which includes details of your travel to Ireland and your subsequent accommodation plans for the restricted movement period. NUI Galway will communicate with you in advance your travels to confirm details of your transportation arrangement.
  • Arrangements will be made for students arriving at other ports: please provide your travel details on the mandatory form and we will contact you.


  • To facilitate your compliance with these public health guidelines, the University requires you to use accommodation, which has been specifically selected to ensure that it meets the requirements for restricted movement.
  • Students are permitted to source alternative accommodation for the restricted movement period.

Please note that our Campus accommodation has now closed for bookings for the restricted movement period.

You will need to source alternative accommodation in which to spend the restricted movement period. You must have this accommodation booked in advance of your travels, and are required to provide this information in both the COVID-19 Passenger Declaration form, and at the mandatory form for NUI Galway’s reference. 

If you do not have accommodation already arranged for the academic year that is suitable for restricted movement, you will need to make alternative arrangements.

NUI Galway has been in touch with a number of alternative accommodation providers that you may like to book with if you don’t have accommodation sourced for this period already.

Click here NUI Galway - Agreed Hotel Offers for Restricted Movement for more information including contact information, price, meals available, booking process, and the proximity of each hotel to the NUI Galway campus. 

Accommodation for the academic year

If you haven’t booked accommodation for the restricted movement period or the full academic year, our Accommodation Office will be able to assist you:


  • If you have already booked accommodation and catering in Goldcrest Village or Corrib Village for your restricted movement period and have queries, please contact tricia.walsh@nuigalway.ie
  • For transportation queries, please contact lorraine.m.harte@nuigalway.ie
  • For queries on student accommodation for the academic year, please contact corribstudents@campusliving.ie or visit https://www.nuigalway.ie/student-life/accommodation/finding-accommodation/
  • For all other queries, please visit the International Office Contact Us Page for more information on who to direct your query towards.

Arrived in Ireland and Feeling Unwell – What to do

In the event that you should become ill while in restricted movement or thereafter, you should contact the local health unit on campus or out of hours doctor services. Please ensure you isolate your movement. If experiencing breathing difficulties, or seriously ill, you should call an ambulance immediately (dial 911). 

The Student Health Unit ((091) 492604) is providing a service to all full-time registered students as normal, though with the majority of consultations at present still being undertaken remotely, as per public health/ICGP infection prevention & control practice management recommendations.  The Student Health Unit does not provide housecall visits as part of its service.  The current 'outside term-time' opening hours are: 09.30-16.30, Monday to Friday.

Outside of these hours, please continue to contact the Student Health Unit ((091) 492604) and you will receive more information on the appropriate point of contact.

Contact numbers for both are below as well as some additional emergency numbers.

Local Medical Service Contact Information



University Health Unit

(091) 492604

University Hospital Galway

091 524222


091 747710

Other Contact Numbers:


Reception, Residences

091 527112

Millstreet Garda Station (Police station)

091 538000

University Late Night Pharmacy

091 520115

Click here for more information on Health and Travel.

Mobile Sim Cards

Sim Cards: You should order an Irish Sim Card for your mobile phone and arrange for it to be waiting for you in the accommodation where you will spend the restricted movement period. You will require an Irish number to be contactable by Irish Health Services should you begin to experience COVID-19 symptoms and require a COVID-19 test. Please see information in the point above about what to do if you begin to feel unwell.

If you wish to use your existing phone, please ensure that it is unlocked and is compatible to accept an international SIM card. Your current network provider can provide you with your unlocking code. Your phone may be unlocked already; you can check this by putting in a different SIM card to your current network to see if it works.

Several mobile phone service providers in Ireland offer a range of monthly plans. Sim cards can be ordered online and will be sent in the post. By topping up mobile credit each month, students can avail of unlimited data and texts with certain mobile phone companies. See the links below for current promotions and call allowances. 

3 Mobile


Tesco Mobile

 For more information, you can also visit NUI Galway Alert.

Covid 19

NUI Galway Complying with COVID-19 Public Health Measures Guide

MANDATORY: All students must review the NUI Galway Complying with COVID-19 Public Health Measures Guide. 

National report: Irish University Help Fight the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ireland's universities are playing a vital role in our country's response to the COVID-19 emergency. Through targeted research, volunteering and redeployment, and the sharing of expertise, data and facilities, our universities are delivering life-changing impacts at home and abroad.

Our Research & Innovation Office at NUI Galway has developed a website highlighting the wide range of positive impacts our university is having.

The Irish Universities Association has published a report highlighting the wide range of positive impacts our universities are having.


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