Study in Ireland
Ireland may be a small country, but it looms large in the minds of many around the world. As a result of unique cultural traditions, postcard-perfect scenery, and some of the region’s highest regarded universities, students from around the world have been coming to Ireland for years to study abroad.
Although you might need to train your ear to get used to the lyrical cadence of the Irish brogue, classes are taught in English. This means you’ll have access to more courses of study in English than you would in many other countries.
Likely, what will impress you even more than the ancient castles, impossibly green landscapes, and timeless natural features will be the Irish people themselves. Spend just a little bit of time in this island nation and you’ll make friends to last a lifetime.
As the capital and largest city in Ireland, Dublin is a great location to go for your study abroad. In addition to its many world-renowned universities, such as Trinity College and the University College Dublin, this hip cosmopolitan centre is full of sights and activities to keep you busy while outside of the lecture hall.
In Dublin you can knock back a pint of fresh Guinness after class while experiencing the authentic Irish student experience. With Ireland’s largest airport nearby, Dublin also makes it easy to explore other parts of Europe.
As Ireland’s second city and the cultural capital of the country, Cork is another excellent place to study abroad. Even though it’s one of the biggest cities in the country, Cork has retained a small-town feeling with just enough urban energy to keep it exciting. While in Cork, you’ll have easy access to the rugged and stunning Irish countryside for weekend trips and cozy pubs for meeting friends after class. You can study abroad in Cork with providers like API and USAC.
Not far from the dramatic Cliffs of Moher and Connemara National Park lies the small city of Galway, Ireland. While walking through the twisting alleyways lined with centuries-old houses and pubs, you may feel like you’ve been transported back to an earlier age. Indeed, in Galway, you’ll likely hear as much Gaelic as English. That’s not to say that Galway’s universities have been left in the past. Innovative programs at the arts-focused National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway provide unique and dynamic educations for anyone looking to study abroad in Ireland.
Best known as the grim and gritty setting of the memoir Angela’s Ashes, Limerick demands to be experienced in a new light. Charming yet understated, Limerick is fast developing while retaining a strong connection with its heritage. You’ll see new art galleries located in the shadow of the imposing 13th-century castle that dominates the city. While here, you can receive an outstanding education in the Liberal Arts from Mary Immaculate College or study the cutting age of technology at the Limerick Institute of Technology, one of NASA’s research partners and Silicon Valley’s industry partners.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
With different types of housing available, visa requirements, and dynamic student culture, there’s a lot to keep in mind when planning your time in Ireland.
How To Choose A Study Abroad Program In Ireland
For such a small country, Ireland certainly offers a lot to choose from when considering a program. Don’t worry! There’s the right program for you here. To make it count, look for a school and program that will help you fulfil the course requirements of your home university.
You can choose to enrol directly in an Irish school or through a study abroad program. If you choose direct enrolment, you’ll find yourself studying side-by-side with your Irish peers for the authentic Irish student experience. Conversely, you can enrol in a study abroad program through either your home university or a third-party which will help guide you through the complexities of finding and arranging your placement. It all comes down to the level of independence you’re searching for.
While studying abroad in Ireland, you’ll have a number of options available for housing. Staying in your university’s residence hall is a popular choice. This is often included as part of university exchange programs and will provide instant access to a community of students like you.
Alternately, you can opt to live in off-campus housing. There are usually simple, but comfortable student apartments located near schools. Another option is to find a placement with an Irish family as part of a homestay. While at a homestay you’ll experience first-hand the true meaning of Irish hospitality.
You’ll need a student visa if you plan to study in Ireland for more than three months. To get this very important paper, you must provide several pieces of supporting documents including a signed letter of acceptance from an Irish institution of higher learning and proof that you’ve paid your course fees. You’ll also need proof of private medical insurance, which some colleges may arrange on your behalf.
Fortunately, the visa application process is pretty straight forward. Once you have the required documents, you can apply online up to three months before your arrival in the country through the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
Social Life & Student Culture
It won’t take you long to realize that friendliness and hospitality are central traits of Irish culture. Don’t be surprised if curious but well-intentioned strangers strike up a conversation with you. They’re likely just eager to make sure you’re enjoying their country.
You’ll find that much of the Irish social scene revolves around the pubs. Ask around and find out which pubs are popular with students in your area. These are wonderful places to meet new people and make lasting friendships. What may start out as just small talk early in the evening could end as a deep and meaningful conversation with a new friend by night’s end.
Health & Safety
Overall, Ireland is a very safe place to study overseas. Violent crime is nearly unheard of in rural areas. In cities, such as Dublin, most acts of what the Irish call “criminal mischief” occur in the wee hours when the pubs close and are typically linked to excessive drinking. Ask your local classmates which neighbourhoods to avoid and practice common sense when in unfamiliar settings.
In the unlikely event that you should need medical treatment, rest assured that Ireland has well equipped and modern hospitals. Keep in mind, that your foreign medical insurance will not be accepted and you will have to pay all costs up-front. However, many study abroad programs offer medical insurance, which it’s better to have and not need than the other way around
LIVE, WORK AND STUDY IN IRELAND
HOW TO WORK AND STUDY IN IRELAND
We explain how to work and study in Ireland and what needs to be done to plan your trip!
1. Applying For Your Visa
At present under the current system, Non-EEA students can apply for a one-year visa to study in Ireland. In order to qualify for this visa, you must enrol on an English language course for a minimum 6 months in duration with minimum 15 hours of class per week. This would allow you to study for 6 months and then stay in Ireland for an additional 6 months to work legally or to travel in Ireland or the EU. This program has become known as ‘One Year Academic’ or ‘Work and Study in Ireland’.
New regulations now state that 8-month visas will now replace the one year visa. This means that when you enrol on a 6-month / 25 week course you will only be permitted to remain in Ireland on completion of the course for an additional 2 months. You will still be entitled to three permissions but the minimum requirement of a 6-month course will still be in place..
2. Make Sure Your Course Is On The Interim List Of Eligible Program (ILEP)
At present, Irish language schools are included on an international register. This will now be replaced by the more restrictive ‘Interim List of Eligible Programmes’ (ILEP). Only those schools which demonstrate that they have reached an acceptable quality standard will be permitted to appear on the list following the introduction of the new regulations. Schools which are not on this list will no longer be able to accept non-EEA students and will no doubt close. In addition to this Further education and vocational education and training programmes will no longer feature on the list. English language schools which offer business and tourism diplomas will no longer be able to offer these to non-EEA students.
3. Accreditation Of Courses
At present many schools advertise accreditation on their websites from such UK bodies as LCCI, NCFE and EDI. These will no longer be recognized by immigration authorities and visas will not be issued to students wishing to study in these colleges unless they also have accreditation from Irish awarding bodies such as ACELS.
End of course exam
It is compulsory for you to sit an externally assessed end-of-course examination at the end of their 25 weeks of English language classes.
4. Learner Protection
Several schools at present offer learner protection with no real policy in place. In the past, students have paid fees to these schools and have been left out of pocket when the school closes. New regulations will request that schools will need to have a transparent policy in place and provide written details of this policy alongside Irish accreditation. We recommend that you should consider looking for schools which are part of MEI (Marketing English in Ireland) and at a minimum have accreditation from Irish awarding body ACELS.
We would also advise you to be careful when choosing a college and to be cautious of;
Colleges with no Irish accreditation. Accreditation from such UK bodies as LCCI, NCFE and EDI will no longer be accepted.
5. Colleges Offering Cheap 1-Yearprograms.
Many colleges are aware that they will close and are using lower prices to attract students and to generate as much money as possible before closing.
Colleges which delay or defer start dates, or expel students with no real reason. Colleges which are destined to close have now filled their classes with students who paid for cheap courses with no remaining places left. In order to recruit more students, they are still accepting money and delaying or deferring start dates. We recommend students carry out as much research as possible, contact students presently in these colleges and find out if these practices are taking place.
Colleges with no information of who the management is. In some cases, management and marketing teams from some colleges which closed are now involved in several colleges still in operation.
6. Colleges With A High Level Of Non-EAA.
As with some colleges, their business model has been based on the recruitment of non-EAA students due to the ease of generating a large amount of money in one transaction as opposed to recruiting European students for short, two-week courses. Once the new regulations come into place, this business model will result in some schools losing a large majority of their target market and will ultimately close, leaving the student out of pocket.
If you would like help finding out how to work and study in Ireland please visit us.
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