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  • A Guide to Moving to Ireland as a Student

    A Guide to Moving to Ireland as a Student
    Monday, March 04, 2019

    Famous for many things, including the building the Titanic and St Patrick’s Day – Ireland is much more than the home of Guinness. Steeped in history, stunning sites, and the beautiful literature of authors such as Oscar Wilde and C.S. Lewis – we can see why you’ve picked to study in Ireland. Here’s the go-to guide to studying in Ireland with everything you need to know: from applying to university, right down to how much a coffee is.


    The Application Process

    Unless stated by the university, all applications to an Irish university are submitted via the Central Applications Office. Don’t worry, a handbook is provided and will give you a step-by-step guide on how to apply to each course and university.

    Some important dates to know about the application timeline are stated below:

    • Early July: Offers for deferred applicants, mature students, applicants who have completed an access course, some graduate pathways, and applicants who may need to apply for a visa.
    • Early August: Offers for applicants who are not competing with school leaving exam results (medicine applicants and deferred and access applicants).
    • Late August: The main body of offers will be released in the week following the Irish Leaving Certificate Exam results.
    • Early September: More offers are issued on a weekly basis until mid-October when university vacancies are filled.

    It is important to always check your chosen university’s website for entry requirements and any other important deadline dates. Postgraduate applications are submitted directly to the university.


    Tuition Fees

    Your tuition fees will depend on your current residency. To receive the free fees scheme you must adhere to the following:

    • You must have lived in an EU country for at least 3 of the 5 past years
    • It will be the first time you are undertaking an undergraduate course and the course you are applying to will last for at least 2 years on a full-time study basis

    There are also various nationality requirements to apply for free tuition – view Student Finance Ireland for more details.

    The EU Fees Rate is set by individual universities, so it is vital you check your chosen institution’s website. If you are repeating a year you failed or have already been to university you will be exempt from this scheme.

    Non-EU Fees Rate is set by each individual university and will have to be paid upfront for the academic year.

    Have you heard of the Student Contribution Fee? This fee covers university services such as libraries, societies, computing, and exam entry fees. The maximum this fee can cost is €3,000.


    Visas, Immigration, and Health Services

    If you’re a student from the EU and Switzerland you do not need a visa to study in Ireland. However, bring your proof of acceptance letter from your university and register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

    Any other student will have to apply for a visa in order to receive permission to study in Ireland. To apply for a visa you need the following:

    • University acceptance letter
    • Evidence that your tuition fees have been paid
    • Evidence of medical insurance to cover any health costs
    • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses (a minimum of €3,000 per year)
    • A valid passport which will be valid for at least six months after your course end date

    If you’re from the EU you are entitled to free healthcare whilst in the Republic of Ireland. You must bring your E.109 form with you to receive free medical care.

    If you’re not from the EU, you must buy health insurance as you will not be entitled to any free medical care. You will be asked to show proof of this when applying for your student visa.


    Living in Ireland

    Now to the fun stuff! Ireland is a country renowned for its friendliness and charm. Dublin boasts nightlife like no other and ancient pubs, whiskey bars pints of Guinness are around every corner. Don’t forget your dancing shoes because the Irish offer up live music like no one else and really know how to create a party atmosphere.

    With some of the world’s most beautiful countryside, your Instagram profile will be full of stunning landscapes and we guarantee that the likes will come flooding in for rugged coastlines and rolling hills. Perfect for strolls at any time of day, Ireland has the most perfect spots for escaping university stresses.

    Whether you’re coming from Europe or from all the way down under, the weather in Ireland might not be what you expect. The average summer temperature is 16°C and the average rainfall for the year is 1,250mm – so, make sure you pack an umbrella!


    The Costs of Things

    Prices across Ireland can vary, but here’s the average price of a few things to give you an idea of budgeting in Ireland:

    Cappuccino: €2.93

    Budget meal out: €15.00

    Milk: €0.98

    Local beer: €2.04

    Cinema ticket: €10.00

    Loaf of bread: €1.42

    One-way local transport ticket: €2.50

    When it comes to accommodation, Ireland may differ greatly from what you’re used to. For example, unlike universities in the UK, rooms in halls of residence are not guaranteed to first year students. With this in mind, the majority of Irish students actually use private student accommodation.

    You can use the help of the accommodation teams in your chosen university to help you find a private room in the nearby student campuses. Many major cities have hubs of private rented student accommodations, so it’s always worth doing a little bit of research of what’s on offer.

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