Campus Life

Burren College of Art Time, Space & Inspiration

Campus Life

As an international College we believe that studying abroad is an incomparable experience. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to live the life of another country, learn the customs of another culture and adapt to new surroundings. The success of a student’s experience depends to a large extent upon their own efforts to acclimatise to living and studying in a foreign country.

Life here for students is unlike that of city college campuses. At BCA students fully integrate with village life, becoming recognised members of the local community and often forging strong bonds and friendships that last beyond graduation. Students coming from large cities may be struck by the stillness and unhurried pace of the area. It can be amazing how much of our lives is taken up in traffic, noise and bustle. At BCA it takes 5 minutes to get from housing to your studio - allowing for an undisturbed creative environment.

BCA has a maximum enrolment of 55 students at any one time and because of our small scale students quickly become acquainted with each other. Undergraduate and graduate students work together to programme social events such as film screenings, daytrips or overnight trips to other parts of Ireland and the Activity Fee supports these events. Doing without the distractions and therefore some of the amenities of a large city is part of the experience at BCA.

Those who thrive here learn to be resourceful. Most appreciate this and are thankful for the break from the materialistic nature of modern living. The Food of the Arts Cafe is at the heart of the campus. Home-made, largely vegetarian lunches, using local ingredients are freshly cooked each day. As all student housing is on a self-catering basis, most students prepare dinner for themselves and we provide a regular bus service to larger towns and cities to access larger supermarkets there.


The college is situated a little over a mile from Ballyvaughan, a quiet rural harbour village with a population of 400, which increases considerably during the summer months. This small village boasts some wonderful pubs and restaurants and visitors to Ballyvaughan will be impressed at the continuous calendar of events the village hosts, from music and walking festivals to conferences and guided tours of the Burren. Drama, choral, walking and cycling clubs provide activities throughout the year and the wonderful farmers market showcases the best of local produce in season. Rock-climbing, horse-riding, swimming and surfing are all available locally with some of the finest beaches in Co. Clare located close to the college.

Independent Travel

Students are encouraged to use Ireland as a gateway to Europe, and the growth of low-cost airlines has made this ever more possible. If you do intend to travel, it would be difficult to over-emphasise the value of the ISIC card (International Student Identity Card) To assist students in getting to know Ireland, the College organises a number of optional trips at weekends. The Student Liaison Officer will discuss this at the beginning of the Semester - popular options include Belfast, Cork, The Aran Islands, Dingle etc