Ireland is situated in the Atlantic Ocean and separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea. It occupies the entire island except for the six counties that make up Northern Ireland. Ireland resembles a basin—a central plain rimmed with mountains, except in the Dublin region.The Irish economy has transformed since the 1980s from being predominantly agricultural to a modern knowledge economy focused on high technology industries and services.
Ireland is known for its green pastures, fun loving citizens, and for its diverse cultural background. However, this island country located in Europe is one of the best places to study as a higher education student. Located just to the east of Great Britain, with a population of 4.6 million, within the Republic of Ireland, and 1.8 million living in Northern Ireland, the country is not nearly as large as some. However, this still creates the ideal place to study.
Those traveling to Ireland for study for the first time will find mild temperatures. The average temperature here is about 50 degrees F. Rain is normal and happens nearly daily in many areas. This is what creates the lush greenery the country is so well known for having. The driest area is in the southeast, which is also where you will find the most sunny days. High temperatures during the summer months tend to reach towards 70 and 80 degrees F. In the winter months, temperatures drop to about 40 degrees F.
You will find that the Irish are friendly people. Religion plays a very strong roll in everyday life here. However, the area is separated by various cultural differences. Depending on where you study, you will come into contact with a variety of Celtic nations with very strong opinions. The country loves its friendships, sports, and the arts.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Ireland ranges widely. Dublin is the city with the highest prices overall, but you will find virtually everything is affordable here compared to the UK or US. Rents tend to be highest in Dublin, though along the countryside, you will find these are significantly lower.
Study in Ireland
Higher Education in Ireland
Though many people come to Ireland for the scenery and peace it often offers, there are still plenty of reasons to visit if you want to further your education. This English-speaking country has a strong western feel to it. It is modern and just as diverse as the UK or US. It has a stronger cultural identity than that of either country though. If you want to study the arts or you hope to learn about agriculture, this is the area to be.
There are three main study options available to students once they complete their secondary education. This includes attending universities, specialized colleges, and institutes of technology. Specialist colleges are a common option, but they are more like an apprenticeship program. Students enroll in this type of school to learn one subject area. Technology institutes are not just technology related, though. Most of these schools are vocational programs. The main area of student study here includes any of the following areas:
- Marketing and business
These are diverse programs. Some are specialized for a specific field or type of work that the student will do once he or she leaves school. Others are more rounded, offering complimentary programs to students.
Ireland has seven main universities, all of which are public. According to World University Rankings, all seven of these schools have been ranked in the top 700 in the world. The following are the largest and most well established schools in the country. These are also the largest that provide for student travel.
- The University College Cork, a public school
- University College Dublin, a public school
- Trinity College Dublin, a public school
- Burren College of Art, a small private school
- Dublin Business School, a large, private school
What to Expect from Higher Education in Ireland
If you plan to enroll in higher education in Ireland, it is a good idea to plan well in advance. It can take some time to secure a study visa, and schools often are filled for some of the more in-demand courses.
Those who enter Ireland to study in an undergraduate program are likely to spend between €30,000 and €52,000 for education. However, some fields are much less expensive and others are competitively high. The higher range courses include areas of medicine and science, with the least expensive been business, arts, and humanities programs. It may be possible to find grants or reduced costs if the student has exceptional skills. Nevertheless, students should enroll in courses that appeal to their specific needs. Students will need to have exceptional skills and a proven educational background to be eligible to enroll in some of these schools.
Student Visas for Ireland
Individuals who wish to visit Ireland to study will need to apply for a visa to enter the country prior to arriving there. Those coming from a non-EEA country for study must be enrolled as a full time student under a specific degree program. Transitional educational opportunities may be available as well.
It is possible to apply for a visa online through the state department. Those who will be in Ireland for less than three months of study will apply for a C Study Visa. Those who plan to be in the country for a longer period of time will need to apply for a D Study Visa. Students will need to apply with a letter stating they have been accepted into a recognized school, have the academic eligibility to attention, have paid for the course in full, and have enough funds to maintain themselves during the stay.
The high standard of health care here helps any student visitor to feel safe. However, there are long wait times for surgical procedures and many times the state's health insurance protection simply does not provide coverage to international students.
Why Study in Ireland?
If you are ready to explore the countryside and want to do so with music and spirit at the heart of your study, traveling to Ireland is perhaps the ideal place to go. Students will learn in modern classrooms filled with outstanding amenities. There are a variety of opportunities to be found, including schools with outstanding research facilities. Though you may find that getting a job after school is difficult to do in most areas, due to the poor economic climate currently, there is a demand for qualified professionals who are proven in their areas of study.
Student visa for Ireland
If you are a citizen of the EU or EEA (including Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein), you do not need a student visa in order to study in Ireland. There are a number of other countries that do not require Irish student visas or entry visas.
The citizens of non-EEA nations who come to study in Ireland must be enrolled in a full-time course under the Degree Programme (for Higher Education) or the Language and Non-Degree Programme of Ireland.
There are two types of student visas for Ireland:
- C study visa - If you wish to study in Ireland for less than 3 months.
- D study visa - If your course lasts longer than 3 months.
Regardless of whether or not you require a student visa for Ireland, if you are a student from a non-EEA country you must report to an immigration officer upon entry into Ireland to be granted permission to enter. You must do this within the district where you intend to live.
Please note: Ireland is not a member of the Schengen Agreement. You will, therefore, still have to apply for an Irish visa even if you have a visa for a Schengen country.
You must make your visa application online using the AVATS online facility. The online visa application facility is available worldwide and must be used by all applicants.
When you have completed the online application process, you must follow the instructions on the summary application form that is created by the online system. The summary form will contain information on where you are to submit your supporting documentation. The summary form, which you must print, sign and date, must be submitted with your supporting documentation.
You can apply for a study visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to Ireland. You will need to make your student visa application at least a few months before traveling to Ireland.
Bear in mind that an Irish student visa does not automatically allow multiple entries into the country. If you think you will need to leave the country and return during your studies, you will need to apply for a re-entry visa.