MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. Programs, Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

Stranmillis University College Student Teaching Internships

About Stranmillis University College Student Teaching Internships

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: April 1 for fall (Oct-Dec)
  • Program advisor: Kendall Hook
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Program Snapshot

The Stranmillis University College Student Teaching Internship program is an Instant Response program
What is this?

The Stranmillis University College Student Teaching Internship is an ideal way to undertake student teaching while gaining valuable intercultural experience. The program is based at Stranmillis University College, a renowned teacher education college in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

What the Stranmillis University College Teacher Education program has to offer

teaching internship
  • Focus on student teaching for your entire time abroad
  • Student teaching placements available in Belfast-area preschools and elementary, middle and high schools
  • A series of lectures, workshops, seminars, activities and visits to local schools complement the student teaching placement
  • Based at Stranmillis University College, an acclaimed teacher education institution that attracts students from throughout Ireland, the U.K. and worldwide
  • Click here to read Stranmillis news article about IFSA-Butler students and their experiences in Northern Ireland schools
  • Dedicated faculty and outstanding curriculum give students the skills, knowledge and values necessary to excel as teachers
  • IFSA-Butler provides additional support from an on-site Student Services Coordinator (SSC)


  • Students live in single study-bedrooms with shared living facilitiesAll housing is on campus and within a reasonable commute to student teaching placements. Taxis are arranged by Stranmillis and are included in the program fee.
  • The program fee includes seven breakfasts and dinners per week during term time; students can pack their lunches or purchase them in the cafeteria at their placements or on campus.
  • All housing is equipped with Internet access.


  • Students can choose placements in elementary schools, secondary schools or preschools
  • Open to any education major
  • A holistic education curriculum perfect for student teachers in their fourth or fifth year. Please note that applicants must be qualified for student teaching on their home campus.
  • Students spend half their time gaining practical teaching experience in local schools and half learning through related lectures, workshops and classroom observations.

We look forward to working with you! You can learn more about Stranmillis University College by visiting their website.


Academic Structure

IFSA-Butler's student teaching internship program at Stranmillis University College offers education majors an unparalleled opportunity to undertake student teaching abroad. As one of the only international programs available to pre-service teachers, the Stranmillis structure gives students the skills necessary to manage the increasingly culturally diverse North American classrooms they will encounter in their professional careers.

School-based service is at the heart of the Stranmillis teaching and learning philosophy, so each student will be able to actively apply classroom and theoretical knowledge with practical experience at a school in Belfast. Students spend approximately 50 percent of their time working directly with local pupils. The other half of the program will incorporate learning through related lectures, workshops and classroom observations. Supervision is provided by Stranmillis teacher education faculty.

IFSA-Butler will assist students with the process of verifying that the program meets degree program approval and state requirements for teacher education licensure. IFSA-Butler will also advise applicants about the process for obtaining a police clearance for Northern Ireland before departure.

Additional documentation
Students must apply for and receive a PBS Tier 4 visa in order to undertake classroom teaching abroad. IFSA-Butler will guide students through the visa process; however the student is responsible for the cost of the visa. The visa fee is approximately $500. Students must also receive police clearance for Northern Ireland before departure. IFSA-Butler will give further guidance regarding this process once a student is accepted into the program.


This program focuses exclusively on student teaching, rather than classroom-based instruction. If you are interested in combining student teaching or other practical classroom experiences with education courses, we recommend our Stranmillis University College Teacher Education program.

Grades and Credits

How will I be graded for this program?
Each participant in this program will have a Stranmillis-based supervisor, as well as a teaching supervisor at their student teaching internship. After observing the student teacher in the classroom and meeting with them, the supervisors will review the student teacher's interactions with pupils, classroom management, teaching style and knowledge of subject matter using rubrics and forms. These are used to formulate a final grade for the internship.

How many credits will I earn on this program?
Please consult with your academic advisor at your home university to determine how your credit will transfer and count toward your degree program and state licensure requirements. IFSA-Butler will assist students with the process of verifying that the program meets degree program approval and state requirements for teacher education licensure, but you are responsible for obtaining pre-approval for the program.


Because of this program's structure, you will not take exams abroad. Your grade will be based solely on the evaluation of your student teaching internship.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit and grades you earned for your student teaching internship. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.


Housing Options

What are my housing options?
All students will live on-campus at the Stranmillis University College halls of residence. Students will live in single-bedroom dorms with private bathroom facilities. Accommodations feature in-room wireless internet connections, shared common rooms, coin-operated laundry and 24 hour security. IFSA-Butler students will be fully integrated with local students and all accommodations are within easy walking distance of university buildings.


Are meals provided?
The housing fee for Stranmillis University College includes a meal plan that provides breakfast and dinner daily to students. Students can pack their lunches to bring with them to their placements or purchase them in the school cafeteria. On days when they are on campus, students can purchase lunches at the cafeteria on campus or make their own lunches in the housing facilities.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. Some university housing requires students to move out during winter and spring breaks. If you wish to remain in residence during the vacation period(s), you must notify the university housing office upon arrival to make necessary arrangements. Staying in residence during university breaks may incur additional costs not covered by the IFSA-Butler program fee.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment two weeks before your departure. However, you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Belfast for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info

About Belfast:
Population: 500,000
Location: County Antrim, in the East

City features

  • Offers a vibrant social and cultural life in a location with spectacular natural views
  • Voted the fourth favorite city in the U.K. by the Guardian/Observer travel awards
  • A thriving café culture
  • Great restaurants, bars and dance clubs offer terrific nightlife
  • Has a compact layout and numerous retail districts
  • Victorian and Edwardian buildings lend the city a dignified air, but the large student population gives Belfast a youthful atmosphere

Do more!

  • Explore Belfast on foot to discover its theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries and parks
  • Enjoy great clubs, live music and pubs along Belfast’s riverfront and the bohemian feel and inexpensive restaurants in the southern part of the city
  • Explore the glorious scenery of Northern Ireland
  • Ride a train from Belfast to Dublin, just three hours away
  • Take one of the ferries that regularly leave Belfast for Scotland

Go to Belfast
City of Belfast
Discover Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

Stranmillis University College Student Teaching Internships

  • Fall 2017
  • Mandatory arrival in Belfast: October 8
  • Program starts: October 8
  • IFSA-Butler orientation: October 8
  • Move into housing: October 8
  • University orientation: October 9
  • Classes begin: October 9
  • Reading week: October 30-November 3
  • Classes end: December 15
  • Program ends: December 16

Students must have a round trip ticket to enter the country. Please use the program end date when initially booking your return.

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Program housing is available only until the program end date.

Program Fees

Stranmillis University College Student Teaching Internship

  • Fall 2017
  • Tuition/Services: $11,425
  • Housing: $2,550
  • Supplemental Charges: none

What's included in our Northern Ireland program fees
Expense calculator

Payment Due: July 1

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

**The housing component of our program fee includes daily breakfast and dinner.

Personal Cost Estimates

  • Fall 2017
  • Travel to Northern Ireland: $1,000
  • Student Visa: $750
  • Commuting:$150
  • Books: $75
  • Meals (self catered): $900
  • Personal Misc.: $600

Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. Rates are current as of 12/9/2016.

They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one or two meals out.  If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate.  If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

Student visa: Students must obtain a PBS Tier 4 student visa from the U.K. in order to teach in a local classroom. Detailed instructions regarding U.K. visas will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

**Meals: The program fee includes daily breakfast and dinner.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.


Due to the shorter duration of this program, Stranmillis Student Teaching Internships participants have a different schedule of excursions than other Northern Ireland students. Program excursions, events and support activities include:

  • Check-in meeting after orientation
  • Cultural excursion. Past examples have included the Ulster American Folk Park, Black Cab Taxi Tour and Crumlin Road Gaol (jail)
  • Academic drop-in sessions throughout the semester
  • Thanksgiving event (in fall semester only)
  • Ready for Take Off Workshop, which focuses on exam preparation, re-entry culture shock and how study abroad can be used for professional development)
  • Farewell event

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Northern Ireland:

kendallProgram Advisor Kendall Hook assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Kendall studied abroad twice during her undergraduate career, in Florence, Italy for a summer term, and London, England for a semester internship program. In addition, she has personally traveled all over Europe and the U.K. She graduated from Baylor University and completed a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University, specifically concentrating on International Education Policy Management. She is very excited to help students find their fit, plan their own study abroad adventures and help them step outside of their comfort zone. She can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4205.

altStudent Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.




donnettaStudent & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office in Dublin. Click here to read more about Resident Director Maria Keane.

abbyAcademic Records Coordinator Abby Miller graduated from Butler University where she worked as a guide for international students from all over the world. From that experience and combined with her own world travels, she knows the amazing experiences that studying abroad can provide. Abby is excited to work with IFSA-Butler students and to help answer any questions about their academic records. Abby can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4217.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:


Several Stranmillis students created blogs to share their stories about life and student teaching in Northern Ireland. Click on the links below to read more about these students' unique educational and cultural experiences:

The Curry Blog

Borrowing Belfast

The People We Meet

Stranmillis news article about an IFSA-Butler participant frrom Virginia:
From Virginia to Belfast to Beijing!

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.