Ireland has one of the best higher education systems in the world, which dates back to the medieval period. Though largely based on the British educational system, recent statistics show that Ireland has the highest satisfaction level of international students in all of the Europe, including the UK. This is reflected by Ireland winning the Studyportals International Student Satisfaction Awards in 2015. To further raise the standard of higher education, the Irish government is investing hundreds of millions of Euros annually in research. Furthermore, Ireland is an English speaking country, which makes it an ideal choice for international English speakers who want to earn a degree abroad.
The Island of Ireland consists of 32 counties of which 26 counties are a part of the Republic of Ireland and the remaining six are in Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom. Ireland is a beautiful country with a total area just slightly larger than the state of West Virginia, which means that every part of the country is easily accessible from any other part of the country. Ireland’s long coasts further add to its immense, sprawling beauty.
Ireland’s capital of Dublin is the largest city in the country. It is listed as a global city with an alpha ranking by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, putting it among the top thirty cities in the world. Dublin is a major educational centre of Ireland, and the base of three important universities in the country.
Other top locations to earn a degree in Ireland include Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Maynooth. All of these cities are quite popular among international students because of their esteemed educational institutions and great tourism opportunities.
Degree Programs in Ireland
Ireland has a number of well-known academic institutions; some of the most prestigious of which include: Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork, and Dublin City University (DCU). These institutions welcome thousands of students every year, and reserve many enrollments for international students. Some of the other top institutions in Ireland include: the University of Limerick, National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), and the Royal College of Surgeons.
To make the process of earning a degree abroad in Ireland easier for international students, many Irish universities partner with various third party providers which assist students throughout the entire application and degree selection process, and sometimes even assist with accommodation and visa arrangements. These organizations simply the whole process of earning a degree in Ireland, making it possible for even more international students every year.
Ireland offers around 5,000 internationally recognized degree programs. Some of the most popular fields of study among international students include: business, humanities, the arts, technology, and medicine. Regardless of what you choose to study, undergraduate degrees in Ireland usually take three to four years to complete, while graduate programs tend to be only one or two years, depending on your course of study.
Scholarships & Costs
Those who decide to earn a degree in Ireland will find that tuition fees largely depend on the specific course and institution. However, undergraduate degrees in Ireland range between 10,000 to 50,000 Euros and post-graduate degree programs range between 4,000 to 21,000 Euros per year.
The good news is, a number of academic institutions offer scholarships and funding opportunities to international students. To learn more about scholarship opportunities for degree programs in Ireland, students should contact the international office at their host institution or browse GoAbroad’s scholarship directory.
Ireland is part of what’s called the Eurozone, meaning the currency used locally is the Euro, which tends to be fairly equal to the U.S. dollar. The cost of living in Ireland varies, as living in cities like Dublin, Cork, and Galway can be more expensive than living in Limerick, Dundalk, and Maynooth.
Accommodation & Visas
Most international students will live in the on-campus accommodations, but they can also opt to live in off-campus accommodation or share a rented apartment. The type of accommodation you choose will be largely influenced by the availability of accommodation in and around your selected institution.
Students from the EU are not required to obtain a visa to complete a full degree program in Ireland; however, students from any other country will likely be required to apply for a student visa. The university you enrolled in, as well as any third party providers that assist you, will help you through the visa process and assist you in obtaining all the necessary documentation.
Benefits & Challenges
Degree programs in Ireland provide international students with one of the best higher education systems in the world, as well as access to excellent research opportunities in leading fields.
Ireland welcomes a large number of international students each year, hailing from more than 160 countries, so you will not be the only foreigner in a field of Irish red-heads.
Ireland is also one of the safest and friendliest countries in the world; not to mention it is jam-packed with cultural wonder and natural beauty, and traveling to different parts of Europe will be very convenient and economical too!
On top of all of the above, Ireland is Europe’s most entrepreneurial country and the base of some of the world’s leading companies, offering you the opportunity to work with them and advance your career after you finish your degree in Ireland!