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1st Dec 2022

Top Reasons to Study in Ireland for International Students

Have you ever dreamed to pursue your study in Ireland? Are you worried about scholarships and job opportunities? Are you confused about the visa process? Get more clarity about international student life in Ireland and discover the top universities with the help of our experts in this comprehensive guide.

Known for its lush greenery and rich history, the Emerald Isle, Ireland, has become one of the most popular study destinations for international students in recent times. The world-class education system and generous scholarship opportunities are only some of the reasons which makes it the ideal place for studying.

Why choose Ireland as your study destination?

Here are some of the reasons why Ireland would be the perfect choice for your overseas education -

  • The Irish Education system is one of the best in Europe and is characterized by creativity, flexibility, and pragmatism.
  • Ireland offers programs in a variety of areas like medicine, science, technology, engineering, business, law, history, arts, philosophy, psychology, making sure that there is something for almost every student.
  • Ireland is an English speaking country which makes it easy for the students to cope up with the course and the place.
  • Students have the option to work up to 20 hours during semester months and 40 hours during holidays.
  • Ireland is one of the most exciting places to be as a student as 40% of the population is under the age of 25.
  • Ireland has been highly ranked for safety, which makes it a perfect destination for studying.
  • Ireland attracts many students every year because of the richness in culture, breathtaking scenery, and friendly people, which makes it an ideal study destination.

Most of the educational institutes in Ireland are internationally ranked and have over 5000 strong programs to choose from. The state funds the university sector, colleges of education, and technological sector. There are autonomous and self-governing universities which offer degree programs at bachelors, masters, and doctorate level.

A typical undergraduate degree is around three to four years long for a full-time student. The degree programs offered are different for each institution, whereas a master’s degree is two years long.

Seven public universities in Ireland are ranked within the world’s top 700 in the QS World University Rankings 2019. Here are some of the top universities in Ireland:

Application Process

The entry into undergraduate courses is generally done through the Central Applications Office.

You will need a minimum score of 60% or above for each course, but diploma programs are available for students who have scored around 50% as well.

Some of the documents required to apply for a program -

  1. Marksheets of 10th, 12th and undergraduate (if applicable)
  2. TOEFL or IELTS scores
  3. Two letters of recommendation if you have work experience.
  4. Statement of Purpose
  5. Academic Resume
  6. Proof of funds
  7. Health Insurance

You will need a student visa to study in Ireland for which you need to show funds of at least €7000 before you apply.

To apply for a student visa, you should provide the following documents -

  • Passport sized photograph
  • Letter of acceptance from the university.
  • IELTS or TOEFL scores.
  • Proof of payment of tuition fees.
  • Bank statement as proof of funds.
  • Private medical insurance papers.

The fee for applying for a student visa is around €300.

The third level graduate scheme permission allows the students to remain in Ireland for up to 24 months to seek employment. You will be eligible for the scheme if you have a bachelor, master, or Ph.D. degree.

As a general rule, non-EU students are not allowed to bring their families with them. However, spouses and children of international students can apply to live in Ireland separately.

Cost of Studying

Studying in Ireland is not as expensive as it is in other European countries, which is why Ireland has become a favorite study destination for students. The fee structure varies from course to course as you might have to spend more for an MBA degree than other courses.

The undergraduate students are expected to pay €45,000 to €55,000 for medicine-related subjects whereas you have to pay around €9,950 to €25,000 for engineering, science, and technology. The tuition fee for business, arts, and humanities will be around €9,750 to €22,000.

Financial Aid

The Irish government provides a variety of scholarships for international students in Ireland. The different types of funding available for international students are as follows:

Government funding

It is always best to check if your home country provides overseas education funding opportunities. But if that’s not the case, the Irish government offers several scholarships for international students.

Non-governmental scholarships

There are any international organizations which offer financial aid for your overseas education in Ireland. Several institutes like Limerick and Trinity Dublin provide scholarships for Indian students. While the Master’s scholarships program offers financial aid to Brazilian students, who have already studied in Ireland.

University scholarships

The Irish universities also offer scholarships for international students such as the Dublin city university which has a 4-year law Ph.D. scholarship. It is quite an advantage that almost every Irish university provides a diverse range of scholarships and funding for international students.

Some of the scholarships are -

  • Irish Aid funded Fellowship Training Program
  • DIT CEntenary Scholarship program
  • Galway Mayo Institute of Technology scholarship
  • Claddagh Scholarship Program
  • Fulbright Scholarships
  • The Walsh Fellowships
  • NUI Galway International Student Scholarships
  • DCU International Student Scholarships
  • Maynooth University Scholarships
  • UCC Excellence Scholarships
Accommodation and Living Expenses

There are many options for student accommodation in Ireland.

The four main types of student accommodations are -

  • On-campus
  • Off-campus
  • Private Accommodation
  • Homestay

On average, you might have to spend around €4,000 per year on rent and accommodation. However, it depends on the type of accommodation you choose as the rent can be low for hostels and homestays comparing to private housing.

An international student might have to spend around €600 to €1000 per month in Ireland, but the prices differ a lot if you are staying in a small town.

The average living expenses for an international student can be as follows -

  • Daily utilities – €28 to €252
  • Food and Beverages – €167 to €1,503
  • Travel – €135 to €1215
  • Books and class materials – €70 to €630
  • Clothes and Medical Expense – €41 to €369
  • Mobile Charges – €31 to €279
  • Social life and miscellaneous – €75 to €675
Health Insurance

Healthcare in Ireland depends on whether your EU or not. If you are from the EU, you are entitled to free healthcare while studying in Ireland. However, if you are not from the EU, you won’t be entitled to the healthcare benefits. So it is best advised to get private health insurance to take care of your medical expenses.

Job Outlook

It’s not a surprise that Ireland’s growing economy, range of international companies, and excess of opportunities has been attracting many graduates to the country. Even though Ireland was hit significantly by the economic downturn, the Irish economy grew three times faster than any other European country. It is safe to say that the service sector dominates the job market.

However, the growth in the technology sector has raised the demand for IT workers as well.

Some of the popular graduate jobs are -

  • Beverages and brewing
  • Chemicals
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Food products
  • Medical devices and pharmaceuticals

Some of the major companies in Ireland are:

  • Dell
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Boston Scientific
  • GSK
  • IBM
  • Intel Ireland
  • Microsoft
  • Oracle
  • Pfizer
  • Ryanair
  • Twitter

It will be easy for you to find jobs in major cities and towns like Dublin, Cork, and Galway. The country has a skills shortage in specific industries as well, which can help you choose your program wisely. Some of the sectors are:

  • Business and Finance
  • Engineering
  • IT
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Transport and Logistics

As an employee in Ireland, your working hours should not exceed 48 hours in a week, and the national minimum wage for an experienced adult is €9.55 per hour.

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