During the fall and spring semesters, CWL students take courses online. In the summer, they attend a Residency at the Writing Workshops Abroad. The CWL Residency comprises month-long, intensive classes, excursions, and readings, and it is held every summer in one of several European countries—most recently in Ireland, Scotland, and Italy. It is a chance for the CWL students to meet in person, and it is often the beginning of lifelong writing relationships.
Every CWL student is required to attend enough summer residencies to accrue 18 hours of credit in residence—a total of 6 classes. This is usually done in 2 or 3 summers abroad, depending upon the student's course-load preference.
Two Residencies are available. The Writing Workshops in Cork offers workshops and literature classes in all the genres.
The Writing Workshops at Brunnenberg Castle offers students the opportunity to live and to study in a medieval castle, and to take a poetry workshop and literature classes that focus on the poetry of Ezra Pound.