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International Students In Ireland

International students in IrelandThe Republic of Ireland is a unique and special place to live and study.

Despite a turbulent history, Ireland has become a modern European nation with an identity that is steeped in thousands of years of culture. Ireland offers a robust, well-established and respected postgraduate education that is mostly taught in English, although Irish is spoken throughout the country. Yes, there are educational opportunities in Irish, but English continues to be the language used at a high academic level.

The warm and welcoming nature of the Irish people and culture that pervades all Irish institutions and organisations is one of the key attractions for international students choosing to study in Ireland, so let’s take a look at what this beautiful country has to offer postgraduates.

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Reasons to study in Ireland

It’s no secret that Ireland is a beautiful country with stunning scenery and cosmopolitan cities, meaning there are plenty of great reasons why international and home students choose Ireland for their postgraduate studies. Here we outline some more reasons to study your postgrad program in Ireland.

English language – if improving your English is one of your objectives, choosing to do a masters program in Ireland is a great idea. Although Ireland has two official languages – Irish and English – people mostly speak English and it is, in most areas, the language of business and learning.

Friendly culture – Irish people are known the world over for their friendly and open manner. If you walk into a lecture or tutorial with a smile on your face and looking forward to a chat, then you'll not be disappointed. Go into any pub in Ireland and you'll find yourself making new friends with a host of new tales to tell.

Excellent educational reputation – the Republic of Ireland boasts seven universities, five technological universities and two institutes of technology, as well as a selection of colleges of education that offer postgraduate courses.

Here are the top five universities in Ireland according to Times Higher Education, and they all feature in the World University Rankings 2022.




Trinity College Dublin

= 2

University of Medicine and Health Sciences

= 2

University College Dublin


University College Cork


National University of Ireland, Galway



Well-regarded qualifications – access to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Ireland is competitive. If you've gained entry onto one of the courses, then you'll know you'll have an excellent well-respected qualification at the end of your studies. Courses tend to be directly translatable into the UK education system and often, in the case of professional qualifications, they may also qualify you for both UK and Irish professional bodies.

Easy transportation links – Dublin and Cork airports in Ireland both offer access to the majority of international destinations, so if you are an overseas student getting home shouldn’t pose a problem. There are easy links to the UK and Europe, so getting to other travel hubs, such as London, is straightforward.

Teaching at Irish universities

The majority of Irish universities are based on similar institutions in the UK and have facilities and systems that would be familiar to British students.

However, there is an increasing number of Irish universities that are choosing other countries' university systems as a template – for example, the University of Limerick is based on the American university system and has a Grade Point Average marking system, eight-month work placements as part of all undergraduate degrees and searches for private funding in a similar way to universities in the United States.

Meanwhile, the Technology University Dublin is based on the Technology University Systems found in countries like the Netherlands and Germany. This is similar to the system that institutions like TU Delft in the Netherlands use, with a strong emphasis on subjects like engineering.

Cost of living at university in Ireland

This table illustrates the cost of living Technological University Dublin. Every year, TU Dublin produces an annual Cost of Living Guide for students to help them prepare financially for college. Here are their projected costs for 2022/23 – please note these costs do not include the tuition fees.


Per month in Euros

Annual (9 months) in Euros













Books & classroom materials



Clothes & medical supplies



Mobile phone



Social life/miscellaneous



Student charge








Student unions and associations in Ireland

The Union of Students in Ireland represents almost all the students studying at third level institutions and it collaborates with the Nation Union of Students in the UK. This means that it can offer support and discounts to the many students in the UK that study in Ireland and to those Irish students who study in the UK get similar support when they travel home. Most universities have sports clubs and societies that will be familiar to UK students and international students can participate in any of them. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is a huge sporting association in Ireland and many universities have their own teams associated with it, like the University of Limerick's Wolves GAA Club.

Student case study

IStudent case studytalian student, Cristina Miceli, studied an MA in Journalism at the University of Limerick. She has this to say about the benefits of choosing to study in Ireland. “Never in my life had I had such a great first impact with a foreign country. Ireland welcomed me like an old grandma, with warm tasty food and gifts.”

Cristina continues, “On the bus to Limerick, a stranger who overheard my conversation and insisted that he would give me a lift to my Airbnb. He made sure I was in the right place and drove off with a smile on his face. Patricia, my first host, welcomed me with a warm and tasty dinner during which I happened to say that I needed a bike. In less than an hour, we were driving to one of her friends who gave me his old bike for free. Patricia even accompanied me to the UL to show me the way. It was my first day in Ireland, I was already in love with its people, and the feeling seemed to be reciprocated!”

Socialising in Ireland

Ireland has a warm and welcoming culture that prizes socialising and having fun very highly. Pub culture is a big part of the socialising and the pubs in Ireland welcome everyone – drinks and non-drinkers alike! And often they will have live music playing, even during the daytime.

Most local people would consider the pub to be the centre of the local community, so expect to meet up with people and make friends there and relax. Prepare to socialise when you come to Ireland and get used to talking with people you've just met!

Irish climate

If you’re an international student from warmer climes, it’s important to be prepared for chillier weather than you might previously be used to. Although it’s not quite as cold as the north of the UK, the Emerald Isle is so called for a reason!

Those famous green fields are green because they receive plenty of water – in short it rains a great deal. Ireland’s climate is influenced by the warmer weather from the continent of Europe heading northwards and the colder climate from the Artic heading south. This means that the north of Ireland is much cooler than the south of Ireland. In fact, the south coast is a popular holiday destination within Ireland as well as with other Europeans.

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