Transferring from US community college to Ireland

Hi everyone! I am new here, been lurking for quite a good while. I am a first year community college student majoring in music with a focus on classical voice. I want to transfer to a school in Ireland - looking at the National University of Ireland at Cork specifically - after I finish my associates. I am aware that Europe’s system does not accept associates degrees.
But is there a chance some of my credits could transfer?

I also know that European degrees only contain courses in the major. Because of the nature of this program I am taking most of my classes are not gen ed- they are mostly classes in the music program focusing on voice, music theory, chorus etc. Which should fit well with the European focus. Even if some of them did I would be happy.

I did contact University at Cork a few months ago and they responded with an email saying to study the course modules to compare with what I am taking and to see what would be required, and that there is no guarantee of transfer etc. I got overwhelmed because their website with the course modules was difficult for me to understand and I gave up on it.
I also have received a Pell grant which is covering all my costs for community college.

I know this is quite challenging. But this is something I really would like to do. Thanks for any thoughts.

It is very unlikely that you will be able to get a meaningful number of credits applied to your degree at UCC. You might get exempted from as much as a year- but ime, it is more likely to be a class or two, if that (Intro Music Theory seems plausible).

If you are on a Pell grant, it is also very unlikely that you will be able to afford UCC: unless you / your family are tax-resident in Ireland/EU, tuition is €13Kish, plus living expenses (and if you don’t have an Irish/EU passport, you have to prove that you have the money before you can get the student visa).

Your first problem is going to be money. College is cheaper there, but your Pell Grant isn’t going to be applicable to a foreign college.

Why don’t you send you transcript and course descriptions and ask someone in the registrars office or admissions there if any of your course work will be accepted for credit?

If you still want to make this happen, the onus is on you to understand the requirements. Be proactive and reach out to anyone at the college who can help you understand the courses and requirements. Feeling overwhelmed and giving up will not work if you decide to move abroad. There will be very little of the type of support US colleges typically offer to students. It’s sink or swim for the most part. Be sure you are up to the challenge.

They probably won’t do that until you are an accepted student- it’s a lot of time & work for them to do on spec. Remember that transferring is not a normal thing in Ireland- it’s very rare and almost always between the same course at a different university (so, moving from Math at UCC to Math at UCD).

Very true.

Thanks guys for thoughts - I have thought through the money problem and I was under the assumption I could use student loans to cover the costs? I am aware the Pell grant will not apply but I thought I had been told loans should be usable. I am also trying to save up money in the next 2 years and if I play my cards right I am hoping to have close to enough to cover 2 years of schooling, plus the fact that I will be allowed to work 20 hours a week on the student visa. If I really want to study in Ireland - I guess another plan is to to transfer to a four year university in the US and then do a study abroad year in a Ireland? I have no problem doing the legwork to see if the courses are compatible but without some kind of validation from the school it’s not a foolproof plan. I suppose could try to respond to the email I was sent from UCC with a list of the courses I will have completed - and see if I get a response.

You are right that UCC is FAFSA approved- you can borrow a max of ~$5-10k/ year (depending on what year of school).

That assumes that you can get 1 year knocked off based on the courses you have taken. I would be very, very surprised if that happens.

Good point- but remember that you have to show that you don’t need that money- that you have enough to cover your costs for the full year (so €13K + ~€11K living = €24K = ~$28K + long haul flights at current exchange rates)

Always an option- and many schools include study abroad in their tuition/finaid packages.

Let go of the idea that anything is foolproof- or that you can leap tall buildings in a single bound! A project as big as going to school in another country- esp when $/€ are in short supply- takes a lot of steps. I understand feeling overwhelmed but you have to push past that- usually by breaking down the task into bite-size pieces:

Step 1: choose your course. UCC has UG 2 music courses:


Figure out which / either / both you want

The required modules are listed, along with a fair amount of description- look especially at the “Learning Outcomes”. There is a decent chance that some of the same info on the classes you have taken / are taking is available if you look for it.

Line up what you have taken next to the required modules. Figure out the nearest matches (pretty sure Music Theory is one of the easiest to line up). After that, be creative: try to figure out the purpose of a UCC module, then see if you have any classes that have a similar purpose.

If you aren’t willing to try to do the work above for yourself, it is hardly reasonable to ask somebody else to do the work for you- and imo does not bode well for your readiness to head overseas. IF you have done the work above, and have a list of classes that you think pair up, email the chair of the music department, with the UCC module next to the description of the class you think matches it and ask if they agree.

If you can’t find more than one or two classes that seem to line up, then you have your answer.

Curious. Did you transfer? Looking at schools for my son in Ireland.