Deciding which university and subject you wish to pursue is just the first step for international students to take when applying to study in Ireland. Here are some general processes which all international students have to take in order to gain entry onto an Irish university course.
Before applying to a course you must ensure you are qualified and stand a good chance of acceptance. Most courses state their entry criteria online or in their prospectus, but international students often have qualifications which are different to those specified. Contact the university or use IEC Abroad to help determine the value of your international qualifications and which courses you are eligible for.
The Irish university system requires that Non-EU students apply directly to their chosen institutions via each university’s individual admissions office or international office. Each university has their own different admissions dates and process of application, but it is advised to contact your chosen institution and course faculty a year in advance.
It is also worth noting that EU students have a deadline of February 1st to apply to Irish universities, and whilst many institutions accept submissions from international students throughout the year, you stand a better chance of acceptance if you apply early.
Irish student visa applications can take two months to process and the type of visa you require depends on your course and study length. There are different visas available for undergraduate courses in Ireland, non-degree students, and those taking a course shorter than six months. When applying for your visa make sure you have as much documentation about yourself as possible, as the requirements to study in Ireland mostly concern your financial stability, educational history, and English language proficiency.
Once you arrive in Ireland you must collect a GNIB card by registering with your nearest Garda National Immigration Bureau. To receive a card you must bring a passport, course acceptance letter, student ID card, medical insurance policy, a €300 fee, and a bank statement demonstrating that you have €3,000 in your account.
Many courses have minimum requirements regarding English language proficiency for international students, and the simplest way to prove this is by taking either the IELTS or TOEFL tests. Take these tests well in advance of your university application, as upon completion each test will give you a registration number which you can provide to your university enabling them to verify your abilities.
Ireland requires a minimum of 5.0 on the IELTS test and 500 (paper-based), 61 (internet-based) or 173 (computer-based) for the TOEFL score. Those studying English language courses require a minimum of 4.0 for IELTS, and TOEFL scores of 457 (paper-based), 47 (internet-based) or 137 (computer-based).
If you have any questions about the process or requirements to study in Ireland for international students, contact IEC Abroad today for expertly tailored advice.