Gaiety students in Dublin
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  • 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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Dublin Direct Enrollment - National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Acting

Why Dublin?

You'll be part of the thriving theatre scene in Dublin when you directly enrolling at the National Theatre School of Ireland (Gaiety School of Acting). By attending NTSI (GSA), you are in good acting company: famous faces of the school include patron Liam Neeson and alumni Colin Farrell, Stuart Townsend, Olivia Wilde, Aidan Turner, and Brenda Fricker.

What You'll Study

Designed for theatre students seeking an intensive, practical approach to performance, this is an immersive, conservatory-style acting program. At the National Theatre School of Ireland (Gaiety School of Acting) you participate in courses with other Irish and international students.

A core value espoused by NTSI (GSA) is ensemble. This program is physically and emotionally demanding, and students participate fully in all aspects of the training process. If you are ready for the challenge of adapting to an entirely new academic culture that requires significant independent work, this study abroad acting program is for you.

Daily Life

We want you to feel at home in Dublin, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.

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$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 The National Theatre School of Ireland (Gaiety School of Acting).


Fall Semester:
This is a fully-integrated program, and students participate with local students. The fall semester begins with a three-week intensive IES Abroad theatre course (TH352 Soundings from the Fringes - 3 credits) that combines performance workshops with the critical study of plays, and integrates your classroom work with Dublin’s annual Fringe Festival in September. Courses at the NTSI (GSA) then begin when the IES Abroad course ends in early October. The NTSI (GSA) courses conclude in mid-December.

Spring Semester:
This is a partially-integrated program as some modules are shared with local students and others are not integrated and are tailored to IES Abroad students. The spring semester begins in early January with courses at the NTSI (GSA), and an IES Abroad theatre course (TH362 Northern Exposure - 3 credits) 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.

The following courses are offered each term at NTSI (GSA) with variations in credit by term:
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


Theatre Arts
Course Name Term Language Credits
TH 352 - Soundings From the Fringes Fall English 3
TH 362 - Northern Exposure Spring English 3

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, Olivia Wilde, Aidan Turner, 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) 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. 

NTSI-GSA Faculty Profiles 
You are taught by dedicated GSA Faculty who hold impressive credentials.

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.

On-Site Staff
As an IES Abroad student directly enrolled at local Irish universities, you have access to the IES Abroad Dublin Center and 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.

Our support services for direct enrollment students are specifically designed to help you achieve your study abroad goals. 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 is there for you.

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Dublin, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations.

Northern Ireland
3 days | Fall and Spring
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.

IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, 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.


The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Dublin staff, your fellow students, and the city of Dublin. 

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™) begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

You 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 live in a private student residence with your own bedroom and bathroom within a five-bedroom apartment. You live with up to four other IES Abroad students and share a fully-equipped kitchen and living area. Mixed-gender and single-gender apartments are available. The private student residence is completely furnished and has WiFi 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 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2019 $14,350 $4,240 $230 $18,820

Term: Spring 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2019 $13,980 $4,240 $230 $18,450

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

Regina Fitzpatrick
Assistant Director 

Shane Fitzgerald
Internship Coordinator

Andrew Diviney
Student Affairs Coordinator

Stephen McMahon
Senior Faculty and Writers Program Coordinator

Cristin O'Gorman
Internship Coordinator

Mairéad White
Accountant Assistant