Why studying in Ireland is the best decision you’ll ever make
Also known as the Silicon Valley of Europe, Ireland is quickly rising to become one of the top study abroad destinations in the world. It has a world-class education system, a friendly community, and offers tons of opportunities to international students. But these are not the only reasons for studying in Ireland.
A small island located at the western tip of Europe, Ireland is a place full of lush green lands and ancient castles. But that’s not all. Ireland is also an innovative and progressive country. Universities in Ireland are known for their quality of education and cutting-edge research. They consistently rank amongst some of the top institutions in the world. What’s more, Ireland is home to organizations such as Google, Apple, Twitter, GSK, and Pfizer. No wonder thousands of international students fly to Ireland every year. If you’re considering it too, read this blog and find out everything there is to know about studying in Ireland.
Why studying in Ireland is a great idea
A superbly progressive country, Ireland has always relied on creativity and innovation to make its mark in the world. There are a lot of pros to studying in Ireland, be it a great education, a rich culture, or the prospect of an amazing career abroad. Let’s cover these points one by one –
Ireland has a rich heritage. Its festivals are loaded with customs, traditions, and folk music (like St. Patrick’s Day). And yet, the people of Ireland are creative, pioneering, and agile. It’s why you can enjoy the countryside, visit castles, and enjoy the vibrant, urban lifestyle of Ireland.
The education institutes in Ireland offer over 5000 internationally recognized qualifications to students. So, no matter what you’re looking for, be it a regular post-graduate degree, or a specialist qualification, the universities in Ireland will always have a course for you. Citizens of Ireland, EU/EEA countries, and Switzerland can avail undergraduate education for free. Additionally, Irish universities have very cost-effective programs for international students.
Voted by Lonely Planet as one of the friendliest places in the world, Ireland is a socially-progressive country. While you stay in Ireland, you’ll have similar rights as any Irish citizen and live in a society that is always ready to offer help and support.
Headquarters of the world’s greatest tech and pharma companies, Ireland is also a center of international banking. The country is home to over 1000 multinational companies and has produced some of the greatest writers, independent thinkers, and inventors of the century.
What are the top universities in Ireland?
As you would’ve guessed by now, Ireland universities specialize in courses related to natural sciences, technology, economics, and humanities. The country has seven universities, seven colleges of education, and 14 Institutes of technology for you to choose from. Out of these, five institutes rank amongst the top 500 universities in the world.
The top universities in Ireland are-
- Trinity College Dublin
- University College Dublin
- National University of Ireland Galway
- University of Cork
- Dublin City University
- University of Limerick
- Maynooth University
If you choose to study in one of these Ireland universities, you will be amongst 35,000 other international students, who come from over 160 countries. That means one out of ten students in Ireland is an international student!
What’s the cost of studying in Ireland?
As mentioned earlier, universities in Ireland not only provide great education but also charge less for their programs. Consequently, the tuition fee in Ireland is much lower as compared to that in the US, Australia, or Switzerland.
Thanks to the Free Fees Initiative, there is no tuition charge for students from EU/EEA or Switzerland who want to do an undergraduate course in Ireland. All you have to do is pay a registration fee of about €3,000.
However, if you are from EU/EEA or Switzerland and want to pursue a graduate degree, you will have to pay the tuition fee. Students outside of EU/EEA and Switzerland who want to study in Ireland will have to pay the tuition fee, regardless of which course they pick.
- EU/EEA or Swiss nationals for undergraduate studies – €3,000
- Others – €10,000 to €25,000 for usual courses, €50,000 for Medicine
- Living Cost for each student – €800 to €1,100 per month
The tuition fee for studying in Ireland ranges between €10,000 and €25,000. While subjects like Arts, Humanities, and Business cost less, courses in Engineering, Science, and Technology charge more. However, a course related to Medicine can cost as high as €50,000.
Apart from that, you will also have to pay for your accommodation, food, travel, and other living expenses. This comes down to about €800 to €1,100 per month.
To cover these costs, you can get a part-time job and work for 20 hours per week while studying. What’s more, Irish institutions offer a hoard of scholarships and funding programs to incoming international students. You can find some of them here.
Are there any requirements to study in Ireland?
If you’re applying for an undergraduate course, you can apply through the Central Applications Office. For post-graduate courses, you would have to go to the Postgraduate Applications Center. However, not all Irish institutes participate in this centralized application system. So, once you’ve shortlisted the universities you want to apply to, you will have to go through their websites and find out the admission requirements. However, a few of these requirements are common across programs and universities.
For an undergraduate course, you will need to provide-
- A high school diploma
- Proof of language proficiency in English
For students pursuing a postgraduate degree-
- Statement of Purpose
- Letters of Recommendation
- GRE or GMAT scores, depending on your course
- Proof of language proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL)
- Portfolio (for subjects like fine arts, architecture, etc.)
I suggest you start preparing these documents 6 months before you have to apply. After you submit your application, it is time to wait. If shortlisted, you will receive a letter of acceptance, which you can then use to apply for a Student Visa!
What about a Student Visa for Ireland?
If you are from EU/EEA, Switzerland, or belong to one of the countries on this list, you don’t need to apply for a Student Visa. Otherwise, you will need a Student Visa. In case your course duration is less than 90 days, you’ll have to apply for a ‘C Study Visa.’ If it’s more than that, I suggest you go for the ‘D Study Visa.’
Once you know which visa type you have to apply for, you can visit the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website and start your process.
The documents you’ll need for the visa include –
- A letter of acceptance from a recognized school, college or university confirming that you have been accepted onto a full-time course
- Evidence of your academic and English language ability
- Confirmation that course fees have been paid in full
- Proof that you have sufficient funds (usually €7,000) to support yourself during your stay
- Evidence that you or a sponsor have access to at least €7,000 for each subsequent year of your studies
- Verification of private medical insurance or EHIC possession
- An explanation of any gaps in your educational history
- Evidence of academic ability to pursue your chosen course
- Confirmation of your intent to return to your home country after leaving Ireland
- Two recent passport-sized photographs
- A passport which is valid for at least six months after the course will end
- As a mandatory condition, your passport needs to be valid for 12 months i.e., after your proposed date of arrival in Ireland
The cost of applying for a Student Visa for Ireland is €60. Make sure you apply for it well in advance because it will take at least 8 weeks to process. Once you have your visa, you can book your flight tickets and arrange accommodation. Don’t forget to register at the Garda National Immigration Bureau once you get there.
Will I get a job after graduation?
Ireland has so many opportunities for international graduate students. Be it engineering and technology, medicine and healthcare, or arts and humanities, Ireland’s doors are open. The country hosts more than a thousand multinational companies, which include 9 of the top 10 global ICT companies and 8 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies! It is home to companies like Google, Airbnb, Dell, and several other well-known corporations.
What’s more, if you are a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Medicine) graduate, you can apply for Permanent Residency only two years after working in Ireland.
Is Ireland the right fit for me?
Okay, let’s go over this again. Ireland is a progressive and beautiful country. Industries like technology, finance, science, pharmaceuticals, and arts are soaring in the country. The community of Ireland is warm and welcoming (and you can always have Irish beer). The education system is top-notch. And the costs of studying in Ireland are lesser as compared to other countries. Give me one reason why you shouldn’t go for it.