Culture Corner

City Overview
Points of Interest
Cultural Highlights
Money Matters


The Euro is the official currency of Ireland, and of most European Union member states, excluding the UK and the Czech Republic, among others. The Euro, symbolized by a "€," has been in public circulation since January, 2002. The Irish pound, the former official currency of Ireland, is no longer accepted, however, you may see that some price tags in Ireland give the price both in Euro and in Irish pounds, to help those who still think in terms of pounds.

There are 8 different Euro coin denominations and 7 different Euro bill denominations in circulation. Coins are denominated in 2 and 1 Euro, then 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. Each member state decorated their own coins, but all coins are interchangeable within the countries. Bills are denominated in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and they vary in color and size.

Conversion Rates

What is the Euro worth compared to the dollar? With the Euro in constant flux, please see for up-to-date exchange rates. While traveling, it may be helpful to carry a portable currency converter (found at travel stores). Sometimes in the form of a key-chain, this is a handy gadget (like a calculator) into which you enter the exchange rate (depending on the exchange rate at the time and the country in which you are located) save, and then simply enter prices and the device converts the amounts into dollars.

Cost of Living

While Galway can be expensive to the untrained traveler, there are many ways to live comfortably on a budget, if you pay attention to what you spend and look out for different deals and events offered throughout the city. The ISA Galway office also has several books and other resources (including locals, themselves!) that can help you get by living in Galway while still taking advantage of what the great city has to offer.

Due to the change in exchange rates and vast differences in individual spending habits, we can only give you estimated figures for how much the typical student spends in Ireland. However, most students seem to spend around $200 per week. This figure does not include extra traveling, heavy shopping, or frequent restaurant dining. Please keep in mind that some students spend less and others spend more.

When budgeting, keep in mind that it is always better to overestimate than to underestimate. To give you an idea of common approximate expenses and commodities a typical student will incur, please see the brief list below:

• Coffee: 1.5-2 €
• Coca-Cola: 1.5-2 €
• Sandwich/Fish and Chips: 5 €
• Entertainment: 20-40 €/week (varies greatly per student)
• Souvenirs: 5-20€ per item
• Restaurant/café: 10-15€ (moderately priced restaurant)

Additional Estimated Expenses

The ISA program cost includes items such as tuition and fees, housing, insurance, and more. To view what is included in your program price, please visit the "What's Included" section of the ISA Galway program page.

The "Additional Estimated Expenses" sheet in the "Accepted Students" section of the ISA website has the following estimated expenses listed:
• Airfare
• Books & Supplies
• Meals (if applicable)
• Visas/Passports
• Passport (new/renewal)
• Student Visa (if applicable)
• Personal Travel


The ISIC card is an internationally recognized student ID card that gives students thousands of discounts worldwide from travel to cinema, meals and more. ISA students traveling to any region worldwide, who purchases a flight through STA, are eligible to receive an ISIC card.