Many international students choose to study in Ireland due to its history of welcoming international students and recent investment in education. At IEC Abroad we help many international students relocate to study in Irish universities, and in doing so we’ve discovered the most important things you need to know about studying in Ireland.
Irish culture is steeped in history and for literature lovers there couldn’t be a more fulfilling place to study. Much of Ireland is covered in lush countryside and beautiful architecture, so there is always somewhere beautiful to visit when taking a break from the books. The Irish also love music and sports, and the nation’s Gaelic influences can be seen everywhere from a hurling match to its traditional Irish folk performances.
The Irish are a friendly people and welcoming to those from foreign shores. With a strong Roman Catholic influence the country is socially conservative in some areas, but many of its urban hotspots demonstrate more liberal attitudes. Irish people are respectful of those from other cultures, and will often use humour to diffuse difficult situations.
When people think of Irish cuisine the first thing which comes to mind is the potato, but their food is far more diverse than this. There are plenty of pastry and seafood dishes on offer throughout Ireland, whose hearty food fills up even the hungriest belly. A traditional Irish stew of lamb, potatoes, carrots and onions is a great way to banish those cold winter nights, and you’ll find plenty of soda bread and colcannon to accompany it.
The majority of universities offer on-campus housing, with first-year students often prioritised for rooms. These are dormitory style dwellings which may come with shared kitchens or bathrooms.
Additionally there are private rental accommodations and long-term student hostels which are found throughout the country. The final option is to live as a paying guest with an Irish family, which is a popular option for those learning English.
Students in Ireland spent €600-€700 per month on living costs, which includes €250 for food, €100 on travel, €30 on utility bills, and the remainder on miscellaneous costs. Accommodation prices vary from €600 per month for an un-catered campus room to €1000 per month for a catered campus room. Student life in Ireland is also relatively cheap, with typical restaurant meals costing €15 and a cinema ticket €10.
To work and study in Ireland you do not require a work permit if engaged in at least one year of full-time study at a recognised institution. You are permitted to work 40 hours per week between May and August and also between the 15th of December and the 15th of January. During the rest of the year you may work no more than 20 hours a week.
Before working you must obtain a PPS number by registering with the Irish Tax Office – which is called Revenue – but only when you have an offer of employment, not when you are simply looking for work.
If you would like more specific details on what living in Ireland is like for an international student, contact IEC Abroad today for expert, tailored advice.