Study a degree in Ireland, Eire, Dublin, Cork, Galway, undergraduate, EU

Universities in Ireland and study in Ireland - International Student Country Guide

Find universities in Ireland and study in Ireland, our guide for international students to study abroad. Ireland is in many ways the perfect study abroad destination. It’s famous for friendliness, great craic and Guinness, has some brilliant cities to live in but also has plenty of open, green spaces. What more could an international student want?Study a degree in Ireland

How about some highly-ranked universities, a continental feel but lessons in the English language and some of the world’s most innovative courses?

Come study a degree in Ireland and get an excellent education.

How can I study a degree in Ireland?

The majority of universities in Ireland are focused around three main cities – Cork, Galway and Dublin, so make your choices from here.
There are several different types of higher education institutions in Ireland, from technical colleges to universities and private institutions.

The types of institution that you can study at include:

  • Universities – Ireland is home to seven universities, with a further two in Northern Ireland
  • Institutes of technology – Offer higher certificates, Masters and Doctoral degrees in technical industries
  • Colleges of education – Teacher training institutions
  • Private colleges – Vocational degrees for industries such as catering, law and art

One popular reason for international students to study a degree in Ireland is that tuition fees are generally cheaper here than in other European countries.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees in Ireland vary depending on where you study, but are in general cheaper than continental Europe. EU students can benefit from the Free Fees Scheme, which allows you to study in Ireland as an undergraduate for free. Your chosen institution should be able to advise if you qualify.

Immigration and visas

EU students are able to come and study a degree in Ireland providing you are studying at an approved institution for more than three months and have sufficient income to support yourself. Non-EU students will need to apply for a visa dependent on their nationality.

You will generally need to show the following, regardless of your nationality:

  • You have a confirmed place on a course at a recognised education institution
  • You are not already in the country on a tourist or business visa
  • You have paid all relevant visa fees
  • You have sufficient funds to support yourself
  • You have comprehensive health insurance cover

Accommodation and living costs

Students taking undergraduate degrees in Ireland have options when it comes to choosing somewhere to live, with the three main types of accommodation being:

  • University accommodation – such as halls of residence
  • Private accommodation – such as house and flat rentals
  • Homestays – living with an Irish family

The majority of international students in Ireland will choose to live in university accommodation, particularly in their first year of study. This is the easiest way to get to know fellow students, settle into university life and avoid the stress of having to find your own accommodation.

Living costs: Living in Ireland can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it, but in general you will pay more if you live in Dublin than anywhere else in the country. Estimates suggest the average student needs between €8,000 - €12,100 to live on each year – excluding tuition fees.

Rent: You can expect to pay the following in Ireland on rent each month:

  • One bedroom apartment in city centre - €700
  • One bedroom apartment outside city centre - €600
  • Three bedroom apartment in city centre - €1,200
  • Three bedroom apartment outside city centre - €1,000

For Parents

How safe is Ireland?

Ireland is in general a safe place to be an international student, with the most serious crimes likely to be petty theft and pickpocketing. In fact, Ireland was voted the friendliest country in the world by Lonely Planet and regularly ranks in the top 15 of safest countries in the world.

Despite this, students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:

  • Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money
  • Staying in groups, especially at night, and never walking alone
  • Not making valuables obvious
  • Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis
  • Being wary of strangers
  • Being careful of traffic

Staying in touch

Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:

  • Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection
  • Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date
  • Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

What to do next

If you really want to learn outside your home country, but you’re not positive about where, take a look at our country guidelines. In addition, if you would like more information on studying in Ireland, fill out our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with you promptly.