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Studying In Ireland – Everything you need to know

Studying In Ireland – Everything you need to know

Ireland is coming up as a go-to destination for Indian students going to study abroad. There are over 2,000 Indian students in Ireland, and the figures are going up every year”, said Barry O’Driscoll, senior education adviser, Education in Ireland.
If you are planning on taking up a new journey and kick-starting your higher education to study in Ireland as an international destination that offers you affordable yet quality training, precious city life, vibrant cultural values, and beautiful nature, then Ireland is the best place for you.

This country offers everything from some of the highly-ranked universities in the world and easy access to English to mesmerizing views and rich history.

Employers, generally, look for education, skills, and life experiences. Studying abroad demonstrates your hunger to learn and grow. It will help you learn to work with others and open your mind to new ideas. By studying abroad, you can get so many opportunities to meet different people from different countries and cultures to expand your professional network.

The average tuition fee for undergrad and post-grad courses for non-European students range from €8,000- 30,000 while the cost of living varies between €6,000-10,000 per year. 

Further, Indian students in Ireland can work up to 20 hours a week during their courses and 40 hours during vacation. Besides a growing student community, Ireland is also home to a fairly large population of Indian professionals and overseas Indians. “There is an Indian community in Ireland which is over 25,000-strong. Irish qualifications are similar to the UK equivalents; hence your undergraduate/postgraduate qualification carries just as much value when you begin your career.

Ireland is the right place to study- Here's why

  • Irish universities offer the Free Fees option for EU students, helping those who meet the criteria to cut off giving tuition fees
  • opportunity to select from 35,000 other international students who come from about 160 countries
  • The only English speaking country in the European Zone.
  • Irish universities come in the top 1% of research institutions in the category of global research impact
  • Hub for companies like Google, Medtronics, Microsoft, etc

Irish student visa requirements

Indian students have to apply for a visa to enter Ireland before they travel. Students need to have accepted an offer of a reputed course of study in Ireland and to have a payment letter from a university in Ireland before they can start applying for their Visa overseas to study in Ireland. Students from the EU region don’t need a visa to pursue studies in Ireland.

Irish Student Visa Service

In case you need any assistance in applying for an Irish student study visa, our experienced and knowledgeable visa consultants have extensive information about the latest immigration legislation, rules and regulations.

English requirements for studying in Ireland

Any student who wants to study in Ireland must meet the minimum English language requirements. Undergo IELTS preparation before taking admission in an Irish university. Every college and university has specific requirements for admission, so please check before applying to your desired course.

IELTS Preparation Classes

If you need to improve your IELTS score ahead of studying in Ireland, sign up for our IELTS classes today.

Expenses of studying in Ireland

Having known that the cost of living in Ireland is much lesser in comparison with London/New York, Dublin and Cork have become eye-catching options for world-class high quality higher education. The closeness to London also allows students to travel to London on the weekends. Students studying in Ireland have to pay an education fee between 10,000 Euros and 30,000 Euros, depending on the course they choose.

Living cost generally ranges between 600 Euros to 800 Euros per month for international students. It can increase depending on the location you choose to stay in. The average cost of food could be around 200 Euros per month. Transportation cost, health insurance. Travel insurance and other expenses should be considered when calculating the education cost in Ireland.

Scholarships for international students

  • NUI Galway international student scholarship
  • University College Dublin scholarship
  • Trinity College Dublin scholarship

Ireland University Rankings 2020

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • University College Cork
  • Dublin City University
  • University of Limerick
  • Maynooth University
  • Dublin Institute of Technology

Education Setup

Education in Ireland is free for all levels for Irish nationals and inhabitants of the EU. This includes university education also. Although this advantage does not apply to international foreign students.

Getting admission in undergraduate courses, i.e. ordinary and honours degree course is generally carried out through the Central Applications Office (CAO). This way, students apply through the CAO rather than applying to each university individually. The autumn admissions in Ireland starts in September, and the spring admissions begin in February. Some universities have enrollments throughout the year as well.

Admission Procedure

Basic needs

For every course, a minimum academic score of 60% and above in XII standard is needed. Foundations and Diploma programmes are also available for students who have scored around 50%. The student should have finished18 years of age before joining a degree program. It is necessary to know that although entry requirement is lesser at Irish universities, the education standard is not. Therefore, you should enhance your ability to cope with the high standard of education in the course of the next few years in advance.

The documents that will be needed

  • Academic Transcripts, i.e. Mark Sheets of Standard X, XII, and the bachelor’s degree, if applicable
  • Internet generated TOEFL/IELTS test scores
  • If you have work experience, then at least two letters of recommendation (LOR) from the employer/manager who know you well and can recommend your professional skills.
  • Statement of Purpose, i.e. SOP
  • Resume
  • Portfolio, if students are applying for art and design courses or architecture programs
  • Others- like Certificates or achievements at the state and national level and extracurriculars.
  • Proof of finances
  • Health insurance
  • Copy of passport

Photocopies of the documents stated above should be translated in English and certified by the educational institute or by a notary.

Admission Procedure

For UG programs, the Irish universities accept applications via the Central Applications Office (CAO) an online enrolment system. You will be expected to make an account on the CAO website and provide your basic information, submit the scanned copies of your documents, The score of TOEFL/IELTS and pay the application fees. You will be told about the application process and its various stages via this account.

Application Fee cost

All universities will need you to pay the application fee while applying, the amount of which will vary depending on the college and program that you have applied to, so check with each of the colleges about their application fee costs.

Statement of Purpose

A Statement of Purpose is your way of highlighting your characteristics and personality traits to the college and admission officers. The SOP is to be written in the first person and elaborates the reason for applying to a specific college. It needs to highlight why you are the right fit for the college and why the college should accept your application. The style of writing could vary from formal to casual, but you must remember that it should reflect your personality as well.

Essay

College essays are also needed to be submitted by a prospective student. Essays are an important document for the university admissions process. Students will be required to write one or two essays, along with a few optional essays as well. The important topics include career aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, skills, experiences, and reasons for selecting a specific college.

LOR

A Letter of Recommendation, i.e. LOR is a reference letter written by a third person describing the qualities, personality, and capabilities of the student applying to a university to recommend him/her with respect to that individual’s ability to perform a particular task. The person writing this could be a professor, direct manager, or someone on these lines.

Intake Season in Ireland

Irish universities have a major enrolment season, which is the autumn intake in September. Some universities take in students in January as well.

Examinations

Language Exams

The International English Language Testing System which is IELTS and Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL is the standard language tests, which are required to be taken for getting admission in universities. Both tests have different formats, structures, and cutoffs. These tests are different in many ways, but many of them ask for the score of any one of these two tests. So, it is the student’s choice to choose which exam to give. IELTS can be taken any number of times. TOEFL can be rewritten as many times as you want, but it can’t be taken more than once in 12 days.

Exam Fee

The cost of these exams is 12,650 Rupees for IELTS and 17,469 Rupees for TOEFL.

Cost of Living

The cost of living is dependent mostly on the location of Ireland you choose to live in along with the factor of how outgoing you are. The currency of Ireland is Euro.
Some of the basic requirements for living as an international student in Ireland are:

  • Accommodation rent (on-campus or off-campus)
  • Groceries and food
  • Utilities like power, water, internet, etc.
  • Phone bill expenses
  • Text and reference books
  • Airfare for travelling back to India
  • Other things which may differ from person to person would be:
  • Food expenses
  • Travel and vacation
  • Car rental and car insurance
  • Cable TV connection
  • School Expenses

Living Expenses

On average, an international student will need approximately 600Euros to 1000Euros per month in Ireland. Costs vary a lot in the major cities and small towns all around Ireland, with Dublin being one of the most expensive city to live in.

Popular Student Destinations

The top renowned university institutions in Ireland are :
The Trinity College, The National College of Ireland, The University College Dublin, Griffith College, The National University of Ireland Galway, The Waterford Institute of Technology, The IBAT College Dublin, Maynooth University, Cork Institute of Technology, and Dublin City University. The best colleges are located in cities like Dublin, Limerick ‎ and Galway. The approximate number of Indian students in Ireland currently is around 5000.

Safety in Ireland

Travelling in Ireland is not dangerous. The biggest danger you will face would-be pickpockets, which is a risk almost everywhere in the world. Overall the country is safe for Indians as “racist-hate” crimes are not common.

Weather

Ireland’s climate is majorly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, so the warm ocean currents keep temperatures moderate. In the spring and summer, i.e. May to July the average temperature is between 64°F and 68°F that is 17°C and 20°C. In the autumn season, i.e. August to October, the temperature varies from 57°F and 64°F, i.e. 13°C and 17°C, with September being a moderate month with sunny and hot temperature. During winters, i.e. November to March beginning), the temperature goes up to 46°F (7.78°C). January and February are the months that witness the coldest weather. Snow is almost not there in Ireland.

Medical Insurance

The Irish immigration services that international students can avail basic policies such as emergency medical expenses. Proof of insurance is needed when applying for a study visa. Medical insurance must meet the requirements stated by the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS) will most likely be available through your college. Many colleges have group medical insurance scheme, which costs much lesser. The premium for this policy will cost between 500 Euros and 1000 Euros annually.

Education Loan In Ireland

The first thing is to know whether you are eligible to apply for the loan or not. The eligibility criteria that are common for all the banks are:

  • You should be an Indian Citizen.
  • You need to have a good academic background.
  • You should be applying for admission to a professional, technical, or other courses of study, that are job oriented
  • You should have received admission in an international university/institution
  • You must be 18 or above 18 years of age to avail the loan; else your parents can b benefit from the loan and not you in person.

Course Eligibility Criteria

Not every course offered abroad are eligible for an educational loan.

Graduation

Post-Graduation

MCA, MBA, MS and even Diplomas
These courses will be offered by foreign universities/institutes approved by the state and the central government.

Loan Amount

If your inclusive total fee is INR 10 lakh, the bank will be able to provide a loan of 80%, and you need to pay the balance of 20%. This is called the margin cost. The maximum loan provided for studies abroad is mostly 20 lakh INR by the bank. If your tuition fees amount accumulates to INR 30 lakh, you will have to take care of the rest of the funds by yourself.

Documents Required

You will be required to give the acceptance letter sent by the university that you have been selected for the course and the fee structure. You would also need to present before them the mark sheet of the last qualifying examination to show your academic record. All banks have different requirements for documents, so you need to confirm with the bank first.

Student Visa

Requirements

You will need a study visa study in Ireland.Before applying that you need to have funds of at least 7000 Euros in your bank account when applying for the study visa. This amount is equal to the cost of living in Ireland for an international student for one academic year.

Process

To apply for a study visa:

  • Pay your initial tuition fee instalment to the college
  • Keep your documents and their copies.
  • Submit the application online
  • Pay the application fee of 300 Euros.

You will require the below-listed documents for the student study Visa:

  • A recently clicked passport-sized photograph
  • Letter of acceptance from a reputed Irish university confirming that you have been selected in a full-time course.
  • Scores of either IELTS/TOEFL
  • Proof for payment of tuition fees
  • Bank statement as proof of sufficient 7000 Euros required to cover up the expenses for the first year of stay in Ireland.
  • Proof that you or your parents/sponsor have access to at least 7000 Euros for the coming years of education.
  • Private medical insurance documents
  • Work permits

Students who are taking up full-time courses and are in possession of the GNIB, i.e. Garda National Immigration Bureau registration card can take up work for about 20 hours part-time per week. There are two standard periods when international students are allowed to work full-time, which is comprised of up to 40 hours per week. The periods are between 15th December to 15th January and 1st May to 31st August. These dates correspond to the general summer and winter holidays. You must know that these dates are fixed for all international students, irrespective of the actual teaching calendar for their course.

Checklist

  • Booking your airline tickets
  • purchasing a travel and health insurance
  • Looking out for accommodation in Ireland
  • Lookout and arrange for transportation to travel to or from the airport to your house in Ireland
  • Keep a check on the baggage and customs limits
  • complete all the paperwork associated with your country educational institution
  • Passport
  • Airline tickets
  • Travel insurance certificate
  • Letter of Acceptance by the educational institution
  • Key addresses and phone numbers
  • A bank statement showing proof of funds
  • Prescriptions for any medication you are carrying
  • Traveller’s cheques—if applicable
  • Medical and immunization records
  • Academic history and university transcripts

Transportation

Public transport is expensive in big cities like Dublin. On average, one-month student pass for the public buses costs around €105. This is why most people travel via cycles that includes senior professors as well. A good enough bike will cost €120-160, or you can choose to rent one on a monthly basis.

After Studies options

Ireland Placements

Many universities have career counselling and workshops to improve your soft skills and help in your job search. Irish universities don’t follow the same concept of ‘campus placements’ as it is perceived in India. Students find jobs individually. The college only guides you through preparing for the job. Most Irish study programs include a training program or an internship.

Work-related Visa

An individual who passes the ‘Third Level Graduate Scheme’ scheme, i.e. level 8 or upwards qualification will be given a 12-month extension, from the day the exam results are declared.

After this, you will have to apply for a work visa under the ‘Work Permit Scheme’. This scheme is for non-EU citizens in cases where there may be labour shortages. A work visa is issued for up to two years initially and is renewable after that.

-Dhairya Gangwani

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