Embark on a Unique Study Abroad

The MAC, which opened in 2012 in the heart of Belfast’s city centre, is a space for art, but just as importantly, is a space for people to come together. We attract 250,000 visitors annually, work with hundreds of artists, employ over 40 full-time staff, and are supported by a dedicated team of volunteers.

And we want you to be a part of it!

  • A study abroad trip with a difference

    Bring your students to learn in the unique setting of an award-winning arts centre within post-conflict Northern Ireland.

  • Telling stories that matter

    Students will develop new methods of using the arts as a tool for peacebuilding or social change.

  • Get immersed in Northern Ireland

    Students will delve into the past, present and future of Northern Ireland by gaining knowledge of current issues, politics and community relations.

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Programme Benefits for Students

Be the change maker

Learn from a country that has experienced armed conflict, peace-building and is now looking towards its post-conflict legacy, 25 years on.

Academic and artistic development

Develop methods of using the arts as a tool for peacebuilding and social change by collaborating with local artists, creative practitioners and communities.

Personal growth and values

Develop and define their personal and professional values with visits to important cultural sites, dedicated lecture series, creative assignments and workshops.

Expand understanding

Explore post-conflict Northern Ireland through the lens of equality, discrimination, trauma, recovery, gender, reconciliation, sectarianism and justice, to gain an understanding of current societal issues, community relations and regional politics.

Develop your International network

Expand on global connections, and foster new connections with Irish artists and changemakers to enhance personal growth and future artistic and professional career opportunities.

Get immersed in Northern Ireland

Students can immerse themselves in life here from your base in the heart of Belfast. Northern Ireland is small with breath-taking landscapes just a short journey away from Belfast.

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Experience a study abroad trip, with a difference.


Meet the Study Abroad Team

Your mentors in a study abroad experience like no other.

Hugh Mulholland

Hugh Mulholland

Creative Director of Visual Arts at the MAC, Belfast, a position he has held since 2012.

Elaine Forde

Elaine Forde

Elaine has led impactful arts and cultural projects, tackling social & political inequalities within communities.

Kira Topalian

Kira Topalian

Kira leverages her experience in creative projects fostering social cohesion for arts and peacebuilding charities.

Positive impact on past students

Destination Highlights

How much does a MAC study abroad trip cost?

The MAC study abroad trips are co-designed with each university to meet the learning outcomes of each university/course. Fees start at £30,000 based on a 4-week trip for a group of 12 students with a faculty member. Our programmes are bespoke, based on your students' needs and duration of visit, so please contact us today for your customised quote, or to have a conversation.

What's Included?

  • Tuition
    All elements of tuition during your study abroad stay are included. Students will learn from academics, victims and survivors of the Northern Ireland Conflict, artists, peace-makers, and community activists who are currently promoting an inclusive and progressive Northern Ireland.

  • Accommodation
    Students will reside in student housing accommodation nearby the MAC. Featuring single rooms with private bathrooms, shared kitchen and laundry, these are well-equipped, comfortable spaces. The accommodation also includes a gym and cinema space.

  • Excursions
    Students will enjoy various trips and visits included in their stay. For instance, a day trip to Derry to learn from victims of the conflict who shared their stories through theatre. Transportation to excursions, and other scheduled locations within the programme are included in the fee.

  • Group meals and packed lunches during the day
    Your fee may include some group meals. Students’ accommodation includes kitchen facilities, so the students have the opportunity to prepare their own meals, or purchase them from local outlets.

What's not Included?

  • Travel Insurance
    The university/group/college is responsible for organising travel and health insurance for the cohort of students and faculty staff. The university should also advise the students on any further individual travel insurance.

  • Personal Expenses
    Some money will be required to enjoy the occasional meal out (if not included in your package); shopping, non-scheduled trips, and of course, to sample some Guinness if the mood takes you!

  • Added extras at museums and galleries
    Standard entry fee will be included to any of the places we visit, but if upgrades are an option, you'll need to pay extra for those.

  • Transfers to and from the airport
    Faculty leader or course director should organise transportation to and from the MAC on the first and last day to the airport of choice.

Experience a study abroad trip, with a difference

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Here are some useful tips, ahead of your visit to Belfast.

What is the MAC?

The MAC is an arts venue and cultural hub in Belfast. Since opening in 2012 it has quickly become a beacon for the ongoing regeneration of Belfast, offering an eclectic programme of visual art, theatre, dance, family workshops and lots more. There are 3 art galleries and two theatres, a free playroom and a CaféBar.

What does MAC stand for?

It stands for Metropolitan Arts Centre but we're happy for you to call us the MAC, whichever you prefer.

Who is the MAC for?

The MAC is for everyone. Our programme of events and activities caters for the very young to the old and our creative learning programme ensures that people from all walks of life feel welcome and comfortable here.

How will this programme develop my students' studies?

This programme will challenge your students to put academics into practice. To view arts and social justice in a new context and take on different perspectives that will expand their approach to their studies.

What degrees/majors/minors does this programme complement?

Our programme relates to a wide variety of majors, including but not limited to History, Anthropology, International Relations, Peace Studies and arts-related majors.

Will there be free time to explore Belfast and Northern Ireland?

Yes, weekends are yours to enjoy Belfast and beyond. Check out our Cultural Highlights section for some suggestions. You could even visit Dublin as it’s only 1.5hrs away by train or 2hrs by bus.

What is the currency in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland uses the GBP Pound Sterling.

What kind of plug adapter do I need?

You’ll need a 3-pronged UK adapter.

Can I get a SIM card there?

Yes, multiple providers offer pay-as-you-go SIM cards.

Is there public transportation in Belfast?

Yes, we have a metro bus service and train service to get about in the city. You can pay cash, contactless, or use a bus pass or the m-link app for tickets. We also have the Glider. You pay before you board using the ticket machine at every Glider stop.

What should I tip in restaurants?

Many restaurants include a service fee in your bill. If they do not and you'd like to, you can tip 10-15%, but it’s not required.

Any must-bring items?

Obviously, your passport. You won't need it for crossing between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, just when you initially arrive at the airport. As well as some comfy shoes, (the cobble stones around the MAC are well suited to Dr. Marten's or trainers) be prepared for a little rain. Even in summer we get showers throughout the day!