The Emerald Isle is full of unimaginable beauty; rolling green hills, a rugged coastline, historic sites, and some of the most gregarious people on the planet. There is something otherworldly and mythic about Ireland. Pursuing your studies here will give you the unique opportunity to explore lush valleys, historic castles and monasteries, and beautiful cities. You’ll get the chance to live in a place steeped in history, a rich culture, and longstanding traditions.

Ireland is also an educational hub and is a country dedicated to social, political, and economic progress. For any student looking to study in abroad, Ireland holds a lot of promise.

Why Study in Ireland?

Here are a few reasons why Ireland is a fantastic place to study abroad:

  • Excellent higher education system
  • One of Europe’s most entrepreneurial country
  • Language is not a barrier – Ireland is the only English speaking country within the Euro Zone
  • You can enroll in one of 5000 different internationally recognized qualifications
  • Ireland has invested heavily in its education system
  • There are incredible research programs and opportunities available in Ireland – universities here rank among the top 1% of research institutes in the world with respect to research impact. This is true for over 19 different fields of study including social sciences and natural sciences. This makes Ireland a breeding ground for innovation
  •  Expand your career prospects and opportunities – some of the biggest and most prolific companies in the world have facilities here
  • Join a thriving community of international students from over 161 countries across the world
  • Live in a safe and friendly country

Studying in Ireland

Ireland is a very popular choice for international students, and when you think about it, it’s really no surprise, why? Here, you’ll find a number of universities which rank very well on the international level and a wide selection of options when it comes to disciplines to pursue.

Not only does Ireland offer international students exceptional higher education choices and opportunities, it’s also a beautiful country rich with history, culture, and traditions. Many students are drawn to the prospect of being able to earn a degree while getting the chance to experience life in an exciting new country.

In Ireland, higher education can be pursued at:

  • Universities – At universities you can pursue a degree at the Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate levels
  • Specialist Colleges – These offer courses in specific subject areas
  • Institutes of Technology – These offer vocational programs in wide range of subjects such as marketing, hospitality, pharmacy, textiles, healthcare, media, etc

There are seven public universities in the country, all of which are highly ranked globally. There are also several institutes of technology, as well as private-sector colleges such as the Dublin Business School.

The top two universities in Ireland include:

Trinity College Dublin

This is Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious university having been founded in 1592. It was modeled after the renowned colleges of Oxford and Cambridge and is ranked 78th in the world. Here, students can enroll in programs in one of the school’s three faculties:

  • Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences
  • Health Sciences

University College Dublin

Located in the capital of Ireland, UCD is a large research university which boasts the largest body of international students in the country. It is also the second most highly ranked Irish university in the world coming in at 154 on the QS World University Rankings 2015/16.

All About Ireland


While attending university in Ireland, students have a few choices when it comes to accommodation. These include:

  • On campus housing – This includes dorms and halls of residence
  • Living with a host family – You can get in touch with families offering this option prior to leaving for Ireland and determine if this is something you’d be okay with
  • Renting private accommodation – This includes apartments and flats
  • Student hostels – Here, you can live with other students and enjoy a shared communal area and kitchen. Sometimes meals and utility bills are included in the cost of rent


The climate in Ireland is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, there aren’t any extreme temperatures here, especially not those which are experienced by countries at a similar latitude as Ireland.

The North Atlantic Drift current is a warm water current which also affects Ireland; it keeps sea temperatures around the island mild. Furthermore, the high cliffs, mountains, and hills around coast shield the mainland from strong winds coming from the ocean.

Spring and summer are very pleasant, with July and August being the warmest months. During this time, there is about 18 hours of sunlight and it typically gets dark after 11pm. Autumn is also pleasant. In winter, temperatures may occasionally dip below freezing but not frequently. It also barely snows here.


There are many ways to get around in Ireland including buses, trains, cars, and airplanes. In addition, many private companies offer bus and coach services throughout the country. You can make use of:

  • Bus Éireann – This is a comprehensive coach and bus operator which provides services all across Ireland with the exception of Dublin
  • Dublin Bus – Coach and bus services in the Dublin region
  • Irish Rail – Trains which stop in many cities around the island
  • DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) – A suburban train system
  • LUAS – Trams that provide service in multiple cities
  • Rent-a-Car – If you have an international or EU driver’s license, you can drive around yourself
  • Airplanes – There are many low-cost flight options to different places
  • Ferry’s – These connect you to many places in Europe

As a student in Ireland, you can purchase a Student Travelcard. This is a nation-wide student ID and discount card. On many of the major transportation services, students with this card get up to 40% off.


English is predominantly spoken in Ireland. However, Irish (the Gaelic language or Gaelige) and Ullans (Ulster-Scots) are still regionally spoken throughout the country. Both languages are culturally significant, and, as you’ll see, still play a major role in Ireland.

When you go out to the pub, attend festivals, visit shops, walk down the streets and see street or road signs, you’ll see both English and Irish being used.

One unique thing you may notice is the use of Hiberno-English, a unique dialect which is a blend of Irish grammatical styling and the English language.

Some of the phrases you might hear include:

  • ‘God love ya’ – A sarcastic expression of pity
  • ‘C’mere till I tell you’ – Requesting your attention to tell you something really interesting
  • ‘You never asked if I’d a mouth on me’ – You didn’t ask me if I was hungry or not

Cost of Living

It is estimated that students living in Ireland will need an average of €7,000 and €11,000 per year. Your living costs are determined by your individual lifestyle, where you choose to live, the type of accommodation you stay in, etc.

Some of the additional costs you should factor in include:

  • Health insurance
  • Amenities
  • A car (if you choose to rent one)
  • Mobile phone and coverage plan
  • Accommodation deposit
  • Travel insurance
  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • Clothing


While in Ireland, be sure to sample some of the following foods:

  • Irish stew – Every household in Ireland has their own version of this classic dish. Typically, this hearty meal consists of meat, rosemary, carrots, onions, parsnips, celery, and various other herbs
  • Traditional Irish Breakfast – The Irish are serious about breakfast; depending on where you are, this meal consists of fried eggs, bacon, pork sausages, white pudding, black pudding, toast and fried tomatoes
  • Soda bread – This quick bread is made with baking soda as opposed to yeast
  • Coddle – This is a dish made from layers of sliced pork sausages, bacon, potatoes and onions
  • Barmbrack – A type of cake made with bits of dried fruit
  • Smoked Salmon  
  • Bacon and cabbage – A traditional Irish dish which features bacon, cabbage, potatoes and sometimes other vegetables boiled together
  • Boxty – This popular dish is made from finely grated potatoes. The potatoes are then mixed together with buttermilk, flour, egg, and baking soda and cooked like a pancake on a griddle pan
  • White Pudding – This is similar to black pudding (sausage made from pork fat and blood, and suet) except that it doesn’t contain any blood

Health Insurance

If you’re planning to stay in Ireland, you should get yourself health insurance. In the event that you need medical care, having health insurance will be very beneficial. Without it, the cost of hospitalization and treatment will be tremendous. Health insurance is also a prerequisite when you go to register for your residency in Ireland at the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

You must arrange your health insurance with an Irish Health Insurance Provider when you are living in Ireland. You can look into the following companies for health insurance:

  • GloHealth Insurance
  • Aviva Health Insurance
  • Quinn Healthcare
  • VHI Healthcare

Things to Do in Ireland

During your stay in Ireland, you’ll get the chance to explore this beautiful country and all of its wonders. Don’t be fooled by its size; Ireland may seem like just a small island, but contained within its borders are some pretty incredible things.

Here are some of the things you can do while living in Ireland:

  • Spend a night in one of the many castles in the country
  • Watch surfers score big waves at Mullaghmore
  • Cycle across the famous Mayo Greenway in Western Ireland
  • Go kayaking at night in the marine nature reserve of Lough Hyne
  • Go whale watching in West Cork
  • Visit the Blackrock Observatory
  • Visit the last place Titanic stopped (Cobh) before making its way out to the Atlantic
  • See the dramatic Cliffs Of Moher
  • Take the Dursey Island cable car
  • Experience the winter solstice at Newgrange Megalithic Passage Tomb

Visa and Immigration

For students who wish to study in Ireland, having a passport is an absolute necessity.

If you are an American or Canadian citizen, you do not need a student visa in order to study in Ireland. For non EU nationals, who are going to be staying in Ireland for more than 90 days, you do need to register with the local Garda National Immigration Bureau. This student residency registration needs to be done within a week of your arrival to Ireland.

Here’s what you’ll need to bring with you at the time of registration:

  • A valid passport
  • Your student identification card
  • The acceptance letter from the university you’ll be studying at in Ireland
  • Proof of where you’ll be living in Ireland
  • Proof that you can financially support yourself
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • Processing fee of €300  – This must be paid with either a debit or credit card

Studying Abroad in Ireland is guaranteed to be a rewarding experience. You can enroll in world class programs and get an education in one of the most progressive countries in the world. What’s more, while studying in Ireland, you’ll have the unique opportunity to explore the country and all that it has to offer. Although Ireland may seem like a small island, there is enough to do here to keep you busy and engaged for a long time. If the luck of the Irish is on your side, your study abroad experience in Ireland will be nothing short of fantastic.