You won’t need the luck of the Irish to have an unforgettable study abroad experience in Dublin. By directly enrolling at the National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Acting (NTSI-GSA), you’ll have the joy of befriending the Irish, who are known for their hospitality. You’ll feel more at home knowing that Dublin has a young population (more than half of the city is under 25).
The National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Acting specializes in conservatory acting. This program appeals primarily to those students who are ready for the challenge of adapting to an entirely new academic culture that requires significant independent work.
Dublin will also be your classroom. Take in an Irish play at Abbey Theatre, the country’s national theatre. Learn about Dublin’s history by exploring Dublin Castle which was built in 1204. Visit Trinity College Dublin to see The 7th Century Book of Kells, a masterful example of an illuminated manuscript, that is housed in its own climate controlled archive in the university’s old library. Welcome to study abroad!
Enrolling directly in an Irish institution through IES Abroad provides you with a chance to sample the local academic culture while still benefiting from the support of IES Abroad housing and staff.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
IES Abroad’s mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with the the Gaiety School of Acting-The National Theatre School of Ireland.
The National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Actingwww.gaietyschool.comBy attending NTSI-GSA, you are in good acting company: famous supporters of the school include Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Stuart Townsend, Rosaleen Linehan, Milo O’Shea, and Brenda Fricker.
Watch a short clip of IES Abroad Dublin students sharing what they love about attending NTSI-GSA.
The National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Acting (NTSI-GSA) is Dublin’s premier acting school. The policy of NTSI-GSA is to train you for the theatre, film, and television industries by providing you with conservatory-like professional training taught by local acting instructors.
Joseph Dowling, the internationally recognized theatre director, founded the school in 1986. In addition to earning 3 credits through the required IES Abroad course, you earn an additional 12-16 credits by completing a set curriculum at NTSI-GSA, where you may participate in other courses with Irish and international students.
The Fall semester begins with a three-week intensive IES Abroad theatre course (TH352 Soundings from the Fringes - 3 credits, see "Courses" below) that combines performance workshops with the critical study of plays. This course, which takes place before NTSI-GSA courses begin, integrates your classroom work with Dublin’s annual Fringe Festival in September. You attend several performances at the festival and participate as a volunteer. After the festival, you fully enroll in a set of courses at NTSI-GSA.
The Spring semester begins in early January with courses at the NTSI-GSA, and an IES Abroad theatre course (TH362 Northern Exposure - 3 credits, see "Courses" below) that focuses on the theatre of Northern Ireland, running consecutively. NTSI-GSA coursework ends in late March. The IES Abroad course then continues on until mid-April, culminating in a performance project.
The academic experience at the NTSI-GSA is unique because you follow a set curriculum, which all first-year students at the school complete. However, as the standard program at the NTSI-GSA is comprised of only two years, the courses in the first-year track are equivalent to intermediate courses. A variety of topics are explored in each discipline.
You enroll in the following courses at NTSI-GSA:
Voice for the Stage (Fall - 4 credits; Spring - 2 credits) - (voice, singing)Concentrate on boosting awareness of habits that are hampering the free and full expression of your voice.
Acting (Fall - 4 credits; Spring - 2 credits) - (acting, improvisation, manifesto)Performance techniques are developed both as an individual and as part of an ensemble through the exploration of characterization and text, utilizing the emotions, imagination, and physical skills of the student.
Movement for the Stage (Fall - 4 credits; Spring - 2 credits) - (movement, stage combat, tai chi, dance, mime, tap)This course introduces core training in physical movement skills, enabling you to gain flexibility, strength, and coordination.
Theatre History, Text Analysis, Stagecraft, and Theatre Visits (Fall - 4 credits; Spring - 6 credits, including an acting performance research project)
Please see the brief module descriptions for the spring term for more details. - NTSI-GSA - Spring Term Module Descriptions
NTSI-GSA Faculty Profiles You are taught by dedicated GSA Faculty who hold impressive credentials.
Location & Commute Time
The NTSI-GSA operates out of the newly renovated 17th century Smock Alley Theater. Classes are held at Smock Alley, which is on the site of the oldest theatre in Dublin. The theatre is located in the heart of Temple Bar, the city’s arts and entertainment district. The area’s rejuvenation in the 1980s preserved the narrow cobbled streets and historic storefronts for galleries, small theatres, and centers for applied arts, photography, and film.
Intensive IES Abroad theatre course:
GSA-NTSI theatre courses (fall & spring):
Even though you’re directly enrolling in one of our partner universities, we’re there for you whenever you need us. AdvisingChoosing and directly enrolling in courses abroad can be confusing and overwhelming. This is why we offer you predeparture advising that’s specific to your needs. Our goal is to provide support and guidance throughout your application and enrollment process. But our advising services don’t stop there. While you’re in Dublin, our local staff is available to help you transition into your new home. SupportThe support services we offer IES Abroad direct enrollment students are specifically designed to help you achieve your study abroad goals as effectively and smoothly as possible. We know studying abroad is an adventure, and, at times, you may need help or just someone to talk to—that’s when our staff will be there for you. On-Site StaffWhether you have questions about academic requirements, housing, or well-being and safety, our Dublin-based IES Abroad staff is available to fully support you. Because of our close relationship with the universities in Dublin, IES Abroad is also able to offer unique academic, social, and cultural opportunities to you. Our staff in Dublin will accompany you throughout orientation, as well as the IES Abroad field trips and cultural events.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Dublin, it will feel like home.
Apartments - Stay in an apartment located in one of central Dublin’s residential areas. Three to five students share an apartment that consists of a kitchen, two or three bedrooms, and a common area. The apartments are completely furnished and include wireless Internet access. The program fee includes all utilities except for phone service. Meal plans are not included.
Part of making you feel at home in Dublin is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
When you arrive in Dublin, you participate in an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Dublin staff, your fellow students, and the city of Dublin. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during this time.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
IES Abroad and The National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Acting also hold a joint orientation session.
Although your adventure begins in Dublin, our field trips to great locations in Ireland, and for Theatre Performance students, to London, provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Dublin. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Past destinations are listed below.
3 days | Fall & Spring
Take a famous “Black Cab Tour” of Belfast and visit Dunluce Castle, Bushmills Distillery, and the Giant’s Causeway, a World Heritage site.
1 day | Fall & Spring
Visit an open farm where you will have the chance to try out Irish dancing, bake traditional Irish bread, play hurling (Ireland’s national sport), and visit a bog.
1 day | Fall & SpringHike in Howth Head, a lovely seaside fishing village in North County Dublin.
Experience Gaelic Games
1 day | Fall and/or Spring
Take a few hours to learn about Ireland's national sports, Gaelic football, hurling, and handball.
3 Days | Fall onlyVisit the historic West End Theatre District and attend three to four plays.
About the Center
The IES Abroad Dublin Center occupies a red-brick Victorian building that was originally a post office and has been completely renovated. The Center is walking distance from St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College.
Megan Markey earned an MBA in Education Management from the Institute of Education, University of London and a Masters in Sociology from University College Dublin. Employed by IES Abroad since 2004, Megan teaches our service learning seminar, Service Learning: Youth Engagement and Education in Ireland. She has also taught qualitative research for the Sociology Department at University College Dublin. Megan was the Assistant Director of the Dublin Center from 2010-2014 and became the Center Director in 2015.
IES Abroad Dublin Staff
Chris Corcoran Internship Coordinator
Regina Fitzpatrick Academic Coordinator
Jackie KnowlesStudent Affairs Coordinator
Stephen McMahon Center Moodle Administrator and Writer's Program Coordinator
Mairéad WhiteAccountant Assistant
What is it really like to live in Dublin? Check out our virtual tour of all the places you’ll come to know and love when you study abroad there—GO!