If you're interested in studying here, contact your university to find out if it has a partnership program in Ireland. To get basic info on whether or not you need a student visa and how to get one, get in touch with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Visa Section, Hainault House, 69-71 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin (tel. 01/478-0822). U.S. firms offering educational travel programs to Ireland include Academic Travel Abroad (tel. 800/523-4293; www.academictravel.com) and North American Institute for Study Abroad (tel. 570/275-5099).
If you do spend a semester or two in Ireland, contact the Union of Students in Ireland Travel (tel. 01/602-1906; www.usit.ie). It's great for arranging travel from and around Ireland at the cheapest rates. Its notice boards are filled with flat shares, language classes, jobs, and cheap flights.
If you're looking for less structured knowledge, try spending a week in Glencolmcille, County Donegal, studying the Irish (Gaelic) language, dancing, archaeology, Celtic pottery, or tapestry weaving at Oideas Gael (tel. 074/973-0248; www.oideas-gael.com).
If you're traveling internationally, you'd be wise to arm yourself with an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which offers substantial savings on rail passes, plane tickets, and entrance fees. It also provides you with basic health and life insurance and a 24-hour help line. The card is available from STA Travel (tel. 800/781-4040 in North America; www.sta.com or www.statravel.com, or www.statravel.co.uk in the U.K.), the biggest student travel agency in the world. If you're no longer a student but are still age 25 or under, you can get an International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) from the same people, which entitles you to some discounts (but not on museum admissions). Travel CUTS (tel. 800/592-2887 in the U.S. or 1866/246-9762 in Canada; www.travelcuts.com) offers similar services for both Canadians and U.S. residents. Irish students may prefer to turn to USIT (tel. 01/602-1906; www.usit.ie), an Ireland-based specialist in student, youth, and independent travel.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.