Northern Ireland

Every year College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University welcomes a student from a Northern Ireland University with the Business Education Initiative (BEI).

By participating in the BEI program, we have the opportunity to nominate CSB/SJU students for the Irish American Scholar Program (IAS).

The Irish-American Scholars Program provides the opportunity for one or two qualified students per year the opportunity to study during a spring semester at a participating university in Northern Ireland. The University choices are below. This is our only operating exchange program.

The University Choices:

This program is sponsored by the Catholic, Presbyterian, and United Methodist Churches, in cooperation with The Business Education Initiative and the government of Northern Ireland.

Program Highlights

  • Northern Ireland is an exchange program for a student who really wants an independent experience where a student can choose from a big selection of classes, and it offers a program schedule that allows for a long study break in April for independent travel.
  • Northern Ireland Universities offer all the services of a full comprehensive University with great library, many computer labs, plenty of classrooms, and athletic facilities.
  • The program allows for a student who was thinking of an External Program to have this great individual experience while keeping all financial aid for that semester.


This program requires students to have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher to participate on this program. Once selected on this program, CSB/SJU students will attend one of the five Northern Ireland Universities located in Belfast. Our students will be taking all of their classes with students from that university. Many students find that the academic structure in Northern Ireland much more independent. Instructors will lecture and assign readings just as they do at CSB/SJU but it is up to the individual student how much time and work they put into the class and when they complete the work. Most of the studying is done outside of the classroom so students need to be self-motivated. Evaluation is most often based on a final exam at the end of the semester or the year: it is not based on class participation, attendance, quizzes and tests throughout the semester.

Exact course selections at Northern Ireland are only available a few months before the semester begins, however courses tend to be repeated from year to year. Students will most likely be able to choose courses in their major or minor for that semester.

For more details on courses and credits please refer to page 2 of the Northern Ireland brochure.


Students live in accommodations similar to Residence Halls or Apartments depending on University placement. Housing will be determined after acceptance into the IAS program. Students will live with other international students or students from the home university.

Program Dates

Late January to early June

Financial Considerations

On this exchange program, CSB/SJU students pay the same tuition as if they would on campus. Instead of paying a Room and Board fee, all CSB/SJU students on study abroad pay an Education Abroad Fee. A great resource is the Financing your Experience brochure. This brochure includes estimates of what past participants spent on this program, along with information regarding scholarships and financial aid for study abroad.

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