Gaiety students in Dublin
Study Abroad
Dublin Direct Enrollment - National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Acting Add to favorites
  • Dublin, Ireland
Students at St. Paddy's day parade
Dublin students playing with animals
Smiling student in Dublin
Dublin student having acting practice
Walking on a rainy day
Enjoying acting class in Dublin
Standing beneath architecture
Enjoying acting class in Dublin
Acting class group photo in Dublin
Happy student in Dublin
Students next to City Hall in Dublin

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Why Dublin?

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).

What You'll Study

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. 

Daily Life

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.

Click to launch the virtual tour.

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.


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 Acting
By 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 is a fully-integrated program, and students participate with local students. It 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. Courses at the NTSI-GSA then being when the IES Abroad course ends in early October. The NTSI-GSA courses conclude in mid-December.

The Spring semester is a partially-integrated program. Some modules are shared with local students and others are not integrated and tailored to to IES Abroad students. It 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 & Spring - 4 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 - 5 credits)

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.

Advising & Support

In a direct enrollment program, you are enrolled as a full-time student at one of our international partner institutions. Even though your local host institution is where you’ll take your classes, we’re still here to fully support you.

Choosing 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.

The 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 why our staff will be there for you.

On-Site Staff
As an IES Abroad student directly enrolled at a local university in Dublin, you have access to on-site IES Abroad staff who are specifically dedicated to your needs. Our on-site staff work with you and your local institution to answer any questions about academic requirements, housing, or well-being and safety.

Field Trips & Events

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 only
Visit the historic West End Theatre District and attend three to four plays.

Northern Ireland
3 days | Spring only
Take a guided tour of Belfast, visit the Giant's Causeway (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and explore the countryside on a Game of Thrones experience tour.

Causey Farm
1 Day | Fall and Spring
Visit an open farm where you will have the chance to try Irish dancing, bake traditional Irish bread, learn to play an Irish drum called the bodhrán, and jump in a bog.

Celtic Origins of Halloween 
1 Day | Fall only
Join a guided tour of historic sites around County Meath where the festival of Samhain (more commonly known today as Halloween) originated more than 2,000 years ago.

Following in the Footsteps of St. Brigid
1 Day | Spring only
Go off the beaten track to the ruins of Faughart and the town of Kildare to explore St. Brigid’s birthplace and learn the legends surrounding her as a Celtic Goddess and Christian saint.

Note: Field trip destinations and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Daily Life

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.


The program begins with a two-day 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.

You also take guided tours around the Center and areas of Dublin as part of your orientation.

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. You will also take guided tours around the Center and areas of interest in Dublin as part of your orientation.

IES Abroad and The National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Acting also hold a joint orientation session.


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.

Private Student Residence -You will live in Binary Hub, a private student residence in Dublin. You will live in a private fully-furnished single bedroom and bathroom, and will share a kitchen and common area with up to four other flat-mates which may be of mixed gender. However, you will be able to indicate on your IES Abroad Housing Form if you have any accommodation request in relation to this. The private student residence also has WiFi Internet access along with other amenities. No meals are included.


Get to Know Your New City

Take a Day Trip

Just a short train ride away are the towns of Howth, Dun Laoghaire and more. Let the explorer in you roam, and hike along the coast.

Catch a Live Performance

From traditional folk music to cutting-edge theatre, Dublin has it all. Venture to the theatre, or enjoy live music at your local pub.

Taste the Local Food

Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, boxty, and more—sink your teeth into the various fresh and delicious foods of Dublin.

Visit the Book of Kells

See this lavishly illustrated manuscript, located in the beautiful Trinity College Library.

Explore the Neighborhoods

Walk along the River Liffey, and meander through the city. Be sure to stop at Fitzwilliam Square and Merrion Square for the famous colorful painted doors.

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Fall 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2018 $13,935 $4,185 $230 $18,350

Term: Spring 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2018 $13,575 $4,185 $230 $17,990

Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Our 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.

Features include:

  • High-speed Internet, printer, photocopier and scanner access
  • A student lounge with study desks
  • 4 laptops and 2 desktops
  • Classrooms
  • A small library and travel planning area

Take a virtual tour of what it’s like to be in Dublin and what the IES Abroad Dublin Center is like!

Our Staff

Megan Markey

Center Director

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 Staff

IES Abroad Dublin Staff

Shane Fitzgerald
Internship Coordinator

Jackie Knowles
Student Affairs Coordinator

Stephen McMahon
Writers Program and Moodle Coordinator

Caitlin Myron
Interim Academic and Customized Programs Coordinator

Mairéad White
Accountant Assistant