If you’re looking to further your education abroad, consider studying in Ireland! This picturesque island nation is among the top destinations for international students. Renowned for having great hospitality and rich cultural heritage, Irish culture will make students and foreigners feel very welcomed and find plenty of activities to explore.
Whether you’re just traveling or are interested in educational opportunities overseas, Ireland has long and short-term course options for both students and young professionals. In this complete guide, you will learn about all of the benefits, costs, and requirements to study in Ireland. Additionally, we will provide some tips and resources to help you plan.
After reading this, you will be more than ready to book your trip to Ireland! Let’s get started!
5 Reasons to Study in Ireland
Since Ireland has a relatively low crime rate, living in Ireland is an attractive country for students. Nicknamed Emerald Isle, the scenic green pastures of Ireland create the perfect photo backdrop for travelers and tourists. Yet, aside from safety and the irresistible lush countrysides, there are more reasons why you should study in Ireland:
1. Quality Life and Education System
Ireland has an excellent education system. Irish universities offer a wide range of degree programs and receive praise for having research capabilities. Studying in Ireland also increases the likelihood of your credentials receiving international recognition. Universities in Ireland are known for having connections with other universities around the world.
2. Personal & Professional Development
Did you know that you canstrong>gain professional experience while studying abroad? According to an IIE study, working overseas looks attractive to future employers. Language skills and cross-cultural experiences can make your resume or CV stand out on a job position. If you work while studying in Ireland, be sure to highlight those qualities! As for personal development, you’ll become more open-minded and adaptable to new social situations.
3. Immersion in a New Culture & Language
In addition to being hospitable, the Irish have a strong sense of community and celebration. Most people in Ireland enjoy socializing and drinking with one another, so it’s easy to make friends there. Studying in Ireland allows you to immerse yourself in the culture and get exposed to the lifestyle.
One major challenge that non-native English speakers face is finding an environment to practice speaking the language. If English is your second language, and you want to exercise your conversational skills outside of the classroom, studying in Ireland is ideal. Since English is one of the official languages of Ireland, you can put your knowledge to the test.
4. Job Opportunities for Students
Ireland is progressing economically, which is beneficial if you want to work to make money while studying in Ireland. Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, is a fast-growing tech hub. Nicknamed the Silicon Valley of Europe, Dublin is home to several major tech companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook, and Intel. With so many startups and international corporations, Dublin is an ideal place for international students looking to jumpstart their careers, especially in tech.
5. Unique Experiences
Last but not least, traveling to a new country alone is a unique and unforgettable experience. When you study abroad, you inevitably learn about the customs and culture of a different country, thus being exposed to traditions and lifestyles outside of your own country. These types of experiences generally come once in a lifetime!
Requirements to Study in Ireland
While Ireland has general travel requirements for international students, additional requirements depend on the course or program of choice. Below are the top five requirements you must meet to study in Ireland:
Obtain a Visa
Whether or not you are a citizen of certain countries is a determining factor of needing a visa for Ireland. If you are a student from one of the countries within the European Union, such as Spain, you do not need a visa. To study in Ireland, you will only need proof of identification, such as a valid passport. International students who plan to stay there long term and already have an Irish Residential Permit (IRP) will not need a visa.
Several countries outside of the European Union are also exempt from needing a visa for Ireland. To find out if you need a visa, you can check using the Ireland Department of Justice website. If you are required to have a visa, be sure to apply for it at least three months in advance to ensure enough processing time.
Enrollment in an Accredited School Course
As with other countries, you will go through the immigration department upon arrival in Ireland. The officer may request additional documentation, such as a Letter of Acceptance from your educational institution. The letter from the university should indicate what you will study in Ireland. Remember, it is helpful to check the Interim List of Eligible Programs (ILEP) for courses available under your type of visa.
Since English is one of the official languages of Ireland and the language used in Irish higher education, it is important to have proficiency in English. Most educational institutions in Ireland require a certificate of proficiency in English, such as through TOEFL and IELTS. Nevertheless, if you’re studying in Ireland to learn English, we have language course options available there through our GrowPro program. We will discuss this more in-depth in a later section.
Proof of Financial Solvency
The immigration department of Ireland may require proof of sufficient funds to cover your courses and entire stay while in the country. Generally, students will need at least 3,000 euros per month if staying long term, and 500 euros per week if only staying temporarily. Opening a bank account in Ireland, although not an obligation, can help make the process easier. We recommend that you consider the Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.
Acquire Medical Insurance
If you enter Ireland on a Student Visa, you must have international health insurance. This type of insurance covers your entire stay in the event of an emergency. Some colleges may arrange insurance coverage on your behalf. If so, you must specify this in your Letter of Acceptance.
You can find this explanation more in-depth, as well as additional information about supporting documentation, directly on the Irish Department of Justice website.
Visas to Study in Ireland
Having a visa for Ireland is essential for entry. Remember, if you are from a country within the European Union or on the visa-exempt list, you do not need a visa. If you are not exempt, you can study in Ireland on one of two visa options: the Tourist Visa or Student Visa.
The Tourist Visa is one of the short stay “C” visas for Ireland that allows you to travel there for a maximum of 90 days. If you want to study in Ireland within that time frame, you can take a short-term course. Students who desire to work while studying in Ireland, however, cannot under this visa since it is for short term stays. <
Aside from a passport and photo I.D., you may need certain documents with your tourist visa application. Necessary documents include an application letter, your vacation or study plans outlining your college, accommodation, and insurance coverage, and proof of financial self-sufficiency.
You can apply for the Student Visa if you plan to study in Ireland for longer than 90 days. Under the student visa, you can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the school semester and 40 hours (full-time) during the holiday break. The student visa is valid for eight months and eligible for renewal for up to two years.
Just like for a tourist visa, the student visa has requirements for supporting documentation. Documents include a letter of acceptance from your university, health insurance coverage, and proof of financial solvency that covers tuition costs.
Remember, having an approved visa is only the first step, as it does not permit you to enter the country. The Department of Immigration decides on your entry depending on other factors, such as documentation and meeting additional requirements.
For this reason, it is best to apply for your visa at least three months in advance before traveling. The advantage of having a visa for Ireland is that it is also valid in the United Kingdom, so you can easily visit Scotland and England during your stay! For more information about visa options and requirements, check out our Visa for Ireland article.
Work while Studying in Ireland
Are you considering working while you study in Ireland? We strongly recommend it, as working and studying abroad is a great opportunity for career development! Fortunately, you can work in Ireland under a Student Visa and an Employment Visa.
The Employment Visa, along with a valid employment permit from the Irish Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation (DJEI) allows you to work and stay in Ireland long term. Work hours per week have no restrictions under the employment visa, so as long as you only perform the job in which you are approved.
Keep in mind that every type of occupation is not eligible under an employment permit. You can verify the list of ineligible jobs on the DJEI website.
Courses to Study in Ireland
Now that you know the requirements to study in Ireland, let’s explore course options from which you can choose. We have the following courses available through our GrowPro program in Galway, Cork, and Dublin, the capital and largest city of Ireland:
The rich history, hospitality, and multiculturalism of Ireland are a few of many reasons that make this Emerald Isle a popular destination for studying English. Here, you can immerse yourself in the language and improve your comprehension in no time!
If you are looking to improve your English proficiency gradually, our General English courses are ideal. The General English classes last for at least three months, giving you time to practice conversational skills outside the classroom.
For shorter, more thorough English classes, you can take our Intensive English courses. The Intensive English program spans from two weeks to three months, ideal for anyone on a Tourist Visa planning to study in Ireland.
After taking a short term course, you’re not ready to leave Ireland just yet! We completely understand! You can take advantage of our extension programs that give you time to renew your visa, choose a different course, and study in Ireland longer!
Cost of Studying in Ireland
The cost of studying in Ireland depends on several factors. To estimate the cost, take into account the university, your course fees, the city in which you choose to live, and your living expenses.
Suppose you choose to live and study in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. Due to its economic growth and popularity of tech startups, the cost of living in Dublin will most likely be much higher than in other Irish cities. Here is a list of basic monthly expenses in this city:
- Rent: 350 – 450 euros (in a shared apartment)
- Food: 150 – 300 euros
- Transportation: 150 euros
- Utilities (including internet): 200 euros
Bear in mind these estimates do not account for tuition fees. For universities in Ireland, you can expect to pay up to 34,000 euros per year for undergraduate studies. Tuition fees are higher for students from outside of Ireland and the European Union and vary depending on the courses.
Fortunately, when you choose a course through our GrowPro program and complete the form, you can create a personalized quote of the course and living fees. Also, take advantage of our article Living in Ireland to learn more about general living expenses.
Steps to Study in Ireland
By now, you may be more than ready to pack your bags for Ireland! Before you start, you need to have all of the necessary information and resources available. Let’s walk you through the process of studying in Ireland, step by step:
Choose a City
First, determine which city you would like to live in and study. This step will help you calculate your living expenses and create a budget before your arrival. The main cities in Ireland are Dublin, Cork, and Galway. Take time to compare the costs, pros, and cons of each beforehand to help you decide which is the best for you.
Enroll in a Course or Program
Next, choose a course or program that best aligns with your educational goals and career aspirations. Contact the university or educational institution to learn the admission requirements and, once accepted, to pay the tuition fees. Here at GrowPro, our Student Advisors can help you with all of the necessary enrollment paperwork if needed!
Apply for a Visa
Once you are enrolled, you can choose the visa that allows you to study in Ireland based on the course length. Remember, if the course is less than three months, you can study under the Tourist Visa. If the course extends beyond three months, a Student Visa is ideal. You can apply for a visa directly online via the Irish government website.
Purchase Plane Tickets & Plan Your Trip
After you obtain a visa, you can start planning your trip! Remember, our Student Advisors are ready and willing to answer any questions you may have. To buy plane tickets, we recommend that you use websites like Booking.com and Skyscanner to search for flights, compare prices, and purchase tickets.Keep in mind, flight prices fluctuate by the season, so these websites can help you compare multiple airlines and find a good deal.
Study in Ireland with GrowPro Experience
Studying in Ireland is a transformative experience and opportunity of a lifetime. We are sure you will enjoy every moment! At GrowPro Experience, we advise and assist hundreds of young, adventurous travelers like you!
To start, choose and complete the form of one of our experiences in Ireland. Afterward, one of our Student Advisors will contact you, ready to assist and answer any concerns and doubts. Once you arrive in Ireland, we offer Welcome Sessions, where you will receive tips and resources to help with your transition to the new country. In these sessions, you will learn how to choose the best accommodation in your area, carry out bank procedures, transportation options around the city, and more.
As always, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to learn more about Ireland and what to expect. There is no better way to plan a trip and study in Ireland than with GrowPro! Our mission is simple: for travelers like you to have an unforgettable experience.