Study in Ireland in 2024: Benefits, How to Apply, Visa Requirements and Scholarships Available



Study in Ireland in 2024: Benefits, How to Apply, Visa Requirements and Scholarships Available

Ireland is a great country for international higher education because it offers high quality education, relatively low tuition fees, and good prospects for further development. In addition, students can legally work in the country while studying. Find out all about the rules and conditions for international students in Ireland in 2024

Vibrant cities, rich culture, fascinating nature, friendly local population and a first-class level of education - all this is about Ireland. The country is the best place to get an international education and turn this experience into an interesting adventure. Why so? Everything you would like to know about studying for foreigners in Ireland, we have collected in this guide. 

Why choose Ireland for education abroad? Top 7 reasons

1. English is the main language of the country, so it is much easier for foreigners to learn here.

2. High quality of education – Ireland has institutions of higher learning that are known for their high academic standards and emphasis on research and innovation. 

3. Geographical position – the country's strategic location makes it a convenient base for studying other European states.

4. International career prospects – Ireland has a thriving economy, particularly in industries such as technology, pharmaceuticals and finance. After graduation, you will be able to look for a job in a favorable labor market. Most of the titans of the industry are headquartered in Ireland: Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Dropbox. After finishing university, you can apply for a visa that allows you to look for a job in the chosen field for 1-2 years. 

5. Employment opportunities during studies – the student has the right to work in Ireland while studying.

6. The cost of education is 20-25% lower than in Great Britain. 

7. High standard of living in the country. 

The best universities in Ireland for international students 

Ireland's education system includes public universities, technical colleges, colleges and private business schools. Most international students in Ireland study at one of the following institutions: Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University of Galway, University College Cork, University of Limerick, Dublin City University, University of Maynooth, University of Technology Dublin, University of Maynooth, Munster University of Technology etc.

In addition to the state-funded universities, Ireland also has some well-known private colleges and technical universities where you can continue your studies. Irish college admissions are less competitive and more cost-effective than university admissions: Dublin Business School, Griffith College Dublin, National College of Ireland, IBAT College, Dundalk Institute of Technology and National College of Art and Design.

In order to travel safely, study or work in a new country, you will need health insurance. You can apply for an extended policy on our website here.

Who needs a visa to study in Ireland? 

If you are a citizen of the EU or EEA (including Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein), you do not need a student visa to Ireland. 

Non-EEA nationals must obtain a visa before moving to Ireland. 

Also, all categories of expats must report to an immigration officer after entering Ireland to obtain an entry permit. You must do this in the area where you are going to live.

Please note: Ireland is not a member of the Schengen Agreement. Therefore, you will still need to apply for an Irish visa even if you have a Schengen visa.

Types of visas for studying in Ireland

Depending on the duration of studies, foreign students can apply for one of the following visas to move to Ireland:

- Category C study visa - if you wish to study in Ireland for less than 3 months.

- Study visa D – if your course lasts more than 3 months.

List of documents for obtaining a student visa in Ireland

- Completed visa application form;

- Foreign passport (valid for 6 months after graduation);

- Old foreign passports (if available);

- 2 color photos 3.5x4.5 cm;

- Certificate from the place of study;

- Reference from the place of work;

- Sponsorship letter, bank account statement, employment certificate and sponsor's passport (if the applicant does not pay for the trip on his own);

- Invitation from an Irish university;

- Confirmation of tuition payment;

- Confirmation of residence in Ireland;

- Insurance for the entire period of stay in Ireland.

The cost of studying in Ireland for international students

The cost of education depends on the university's rating and the location of the educational institution, on average from 9,000 to 30,000 euros per year. 

Estimated cost depending on the degree obtained by a foreigner: 

- Level 7 and 8 NFQ (Regular Bachelor and Bachelor with Honours) – from €9,850 to €39,000.

- NFQ level 9 (Masters) - from 9,950 EUR to 32,000 EUR

- NFQ level 10 (PhD) - from 6,000 EUR to 9,000 EUR. 

How to enter a higher education institution in Ireland?

After completing secondary education in the country of origin, the applicant can enter most higher education institutions in Ireland. It is important that your grades in English and maths over the last few years have been excellent. You will also need an IELTS (preferred) or TOEFL certificate. 

- Depending on the university, applicants from outside the EU may need a preparatory program in their own country or a year of study at a college abroad, which is rather an exception. 

Applicants from third countries can apply to any university in Ireland, so the conditions must be clarified with the admissions office of each university or college. The policy of admission of foreigners may differ in each university. 

- Applicants from the EU and the UK submit their entry document through the Central Application Office.

Scholarships for international students in Ireland

Top international students can apply for one of the following scholarships in Ireland

- International educational scholarship from the government of Ireland - every year the initiative provides 60 scholarships for full-time master's or doctoral studies. It includes tuition fee compensation and a stipend of €10,000 in the first year of study.

- TCD Global Excellence Scholarships – applicants from countries outside the EU can receive a scholarship in the amount of €2,000 to €5,000, depending on your academic achievements.

- UCD Global Excellence Scholarships – another annual competition also for applicants from outside the EU who have received a place in the qualification program of University College Dublin. You may be eligible for a scholarship that will cover 100% or 50% of your tuition fees. 

- Student scholarships for South Asian nationals - applicants from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka who are enrolled at the University of Galway will receive a grant of €1,000 or a 50% tuition discount.

- UL Scholarships – An applicant from anywhere in the world who is seeking a Master's degree at the University of Limerick can receive up to a 50% discount on tuition fees.

How many international students are there in Ireland and where do they study? 

According to the latest statistics, there are currently 30,437 international students in higher education in Ireland

Most are citizens of the United States of America, and in the country you can meet students from China, India, Canada, Great Britain, Malaysia, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Italy. 

International students are mainly educated in the fields of business, administration and law.

Ireland can be a good place to study abroad, so we advise you to pay attention to this country when choosing a country for international education.

Igor Usyk - Head of Legal Department at Visit World

To understand the specifics of moving to Ireland to study, consult a migration lawyer. A specialist will help you find out the intricacies of Irish legislation, find out about the list of necessary permits and prepare a package of documents for moving and entering.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in the Ireland;

Legal advice on immigration to the Ireland;

Travel insurance for foreigners in the Ireland;

Medical insurance all over the world.

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