Study in Ireland


Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital is Dublin, located in the eastern part of the island.
Capital:                     Dublin


Dialling code:             353



Government: Constitutional republic, Unitary republic, Parliamentary system

The Climate in Ireland is unique and is a perennial subject of conversation. There is an old saying, “You don’t go to Ireland for the weather”.

Ireland enjoys a temperate maritime climate, due mainly to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the presence of the Gulf Stream. Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is so green because it receives a lot of precipitation.

Typical winter weather in Ireland is clouds and rain with the occasional sunny spell. The mountains may have snow on them for many weeks in winter, but falls on the lower ground on only a few days a year, and is generally not a feature of the Irish climate. Temperatures hover around a January average of 5ºC. Overnight temperatures often drop below freezing point, and ice and frosts are common. Each winter there are a few weeks when the temperature does not rise above freezing point all day, and rivers and lakes can partially freeze over.

Typically, summers in Ireland have warm, sunny weather and a sky dotted with gentle fluffy clouds. Light rain occasionally occurs on days like these, but summer rain is usually restricted to a few wet days. In July and August, the conditions can bcome very humid and thunder storms can occur with lightning. The average July temperature is around 15ºC, although temperatures in excess of 30ºC are not unheard of.

Areas close to the coast rarely have a large difference between summer and winter conditions, and Ireland is no exception. With an average 10ºC difference between January and July, the weather is much more consistent than continental areas of the world. This consistency is due to the moderating effect of the Atlantic Ocean, which absorbs heat in summer and gives it out in winter.

Across Ireland, the local climate differs from place to place. The wettest weather always occurs in mountains and those areas to the east of the mountains – the direction of the prevailing wind. The classic examples are Kerry, Galway and Donegal. The dryest weather occurs east of areas where there are few mountains, such as the east coast. Counties Dublin and Kildare enjoy the driest weather. It must be borne in mind, however, that the difference in rainfall does not have a great effect on the type of vegetation, as it is the frequency of the rain that is more important than the total quantity.

In terms of temperature, it is again the south that enjoys the warmest weather. While the north coast is cooler than the south, the coolest areas are the inland areas which are away from the warm waters of the ocean.

Required clothing:
Light- to Medium clothing in the summer, Medium weight is necessary in the winter. No matter when you come, a light raincoat or windbreaker is needed, and a wool sweater, a jacket or coat, especially at night.

The Republic of Ireland lies in the north Atlantic Ocean and is separated from Britain by the Irish Sea to the west. The northeastern part of the island (Northern Ireland) is part of the United Kingdom.

There are four provinces: Leinster, which covers the eastern portion of the country around Dublin; Munster, which covers the south; Connacht, which covers the west of Ireland; and Ulster, which is predominantly in Northern Ireland but also covers the northern tip of the Republic.

Ireland has a central plain surrounded by a rim of mountains and hills offering some of the most varied and unspoilt scenery in Europe. Inland you’ll find bogs, moors, forests, lakes, mountains and wetlands. Quiet sandy beaches, semi-tropical bays warmed by the Gulf Stream, and rugged cliffs make up the 5,600km (3,500 miles) of coastline.

For those who really want to make the most of the coastal scenery (and are keen to see a bit of Northern Ireland too), a full loop of the island – sticking close to the sea at all times – can be done with ease in a couple of weeks.  

Together, the landscape and the offshore waters provide a good habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Seals and dolphins are spotted regularly, while the Cork coast even offers the chance to whale-watch over the summer months.

There are numerous rivers in Ireland, the longest of which – the River Shannon, at 360 km (224 miles) in length – is also seen as one of the country’s most picturesque. Other notable waterways include the River Liffey, which flows from the Wicklow Mountains to the Irish Sea, through the centre of Dublin. 


  • Numbers: 3,883,159 (July 2002 est.)

Age Structure: 0-14 years:

  • 21.3% (male 425,366; female 403,268)
  • 15-64 years: 67.3% (male 1,307,469; female 1,305,038)
  • 65 years and over: 11.4% (male 191,927; female 250,091) (2002 est.)

Population Rates of Change

  • Growth Rate: 1.07% (2002 est.)
  • Birth rate: 14.62 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
  • Death rate: 8.01 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
  • Net migration rate: 8.01 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex Ratio

  • at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

  • total population: 77.17 years
  • female: 80.12 years (2002 est.)
  • male: 74.41 years


  • noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
  • adjective: Irish
  • Ethnic groups: Celtic, English


  • Roman Catholic 91.6%
  • Church of Ireland 2.5%
  • other 5.9% (1998)
Population 321,729,000 (3rd)
Density 84.54 people/sq mi (180th)
32.54 people/km2
Growth rate  0.77% (143rd)
Birth rate 13.42 births/1,000 population (147th)
Death rate 8.15/1,000 population (100th)
Life expectancy 79.56 years (36th)
 • male 77.11 years
 • female 81.94 years
Fertility rate 1.86 children/woman (123rd)
Infant mortality rate 6.17 deaths/1,000 live births
Net migration rate 2.45 migrants/1,000 population
Age structure
0–14 years 19.4%
15–64 years 66.2%
65 and over 14.5%
Nationality American
Official None at the federal level
Spoken English 80%, Spanish 12.4%, other Indo-European 3.7%, Asian and Pacific island languages 3%, other languages 0.9%
  • Higher Education in Ireland is provided mainly by 7 Universities, 14 Institutes of Technology, including the Dublin Institute of Technology and 7 Colleges of Education. In addition, a number of other third level institutions provide specialist education in such fields as art and design, medicine, business studies, rural development, theology, music and law.Click here for a full list of these institutions.
  • Applications for entry to undergraduate courses in universities, colleges of education, institutes of technology and some other institutes of higher education, are processed by theCentral Applications Office (CAO).  The aim of the system is to process applications centrally and to deal with them in an efficient and fair manner. The participating institutions retain the function of making decisions on admissions.
  • TheHigher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory planning and development body for higher education and research in Ireland. The HEA has wide advisory powers throughout the whole of the third-level education sector. In addition it is the funding authority for the universities, institutes of technology and other designated higher education institutions.

The Universities Act, 1997 sets out the objects and functions of a university, the structure and role of governing bodies, staffing arrangements, composition and role of academic councils and sections relating to property, finance and reporting. The governing authorities are required to see that strategic development plans are in place, and that procedures for evaluating teaching and research are in place. The HEA has an overseeing role on such plans and quality assurance procedures. The legislative framework preserves the academic freedom of the universities and respects the diverse traditions and institutional autonomy of each university.

The Institutes of Technology Act, 2006, creates a similar relationship between the institutes and the HEA as that between the HEA and the universities. It provides for greater institutional autonomy, improved governance and a statutory guarantee of academic freedom for the Institutes of Technology.

The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, which was launched in 2011, will see the transformation of Ireland’s higher education sector over the next two decades.  Endorsed by Government as the future blueprint for the sector, the Strategy sets out changes for the sector that are aimed at providing for:

  • a more flexible system, with a greater choice of provision and modes of learning for an increasingly diverse cohort of students;
  • improvements in the quality of the student experience, the quality of teaching and learning and the relevance of learning outcomes;
  • Fully complete the online application form,
  • submit your signed summary application form, photographs and fee.
  • You must provide full details of your previous education on the application form.
  • In addition to the signed summary application form, please also submit a signed letter of application
  • outlining your reason for coming to Ireland, giving details of any members of your family who are currently in Ireland, or any other EU State.
  • If your employment history or educational background have no obvious connection to the course you now wish to pursue, you must give a full explanation of why you are now embarking on a change of career
  • Passport, valid for 12 months, and copy of previous passport if applicable.


If you have been refused a visa for any other country, details of this must be given.

  • Submit the original letter issued to you by the authorities of that country. Concealment of visa refusals will result in your Irish visa application being refused – You must provide full details of all visa applications you have made for any country, including Ireland. If you have ever been in Ireland before, whether legally or illegally, you must
    • give details of your time here. Failure to disclose any of these details will result in your current application being refused.
      Evidence that you have private medical insurance cover – Private medical insurance cover is required. Your college may arrange this on your behalf. If so, details of this must be included in your Letter of Acceptance from the college. If it is not arranged by the college, you must organise this yourself and provide evidence with your application.
    • Finances
    • Where evidence of finances is not provided, your application will be refused.
    • All bank statements should include the name and address of the account holder, and the account number.
    • Handwritten entries or details on bank statements will not be accepted.
    • Any documents not in English must be translated.
    • You must show you have sufficient funds to support your stay in Ireland without recourse to public funds, or the reliance on casual employment, including:
      • A detailed statement of your and/or your sponsors’ bank account(s) covering a six-month period immediately prior to your visa application, and showing sufficient funds to cover your costs.
      • Evidence that you have immediate access to at least €7,000. This is the estimated cost of living in Ireland for a student for one academic year.
      • You must also demonstrate that you or your sponsor has ready access to an amount of at least €7,000 for each subsequent year of your studies, in addition to the course fees for each of those years.
      • Note: Where NON-EEA Students are studying for a period of less than 6 months the non-EEA Student must have access to €500 per month of the stay or €3000 whichever is the lesser.
      • If you are being sponsored by another person or persons, you must submit a six-month statement of their bank account covering the six-month period immediately prior to your application, and showing all transactions that have taken place during this time.
      • You must list each person sponsoring you, and give clear details of their relationship to you. All evidence provided must be clearly identifiable as to whom it relates.
      • Give clear details of the financial support they will be giving you for the duration of your stay in Ireland. Their bank account must show a good credit record for a minimum of six months immediately prior to making your application.
      • Your sponsor (s) will need to show that the amount of financial support they will be giving you is available AND that they have enough funds to maintain themselves and other family members.
      • Any lump sum lodgements made during the immediate three months prior to your application must be fully explained, with supporting evidence provided – for example, if such a lump sum lodgement has come from the proceeds of a sale of property or encashment of Savings Certificates, Fixed Rate Deposit accounts, or any similar type sources, then clear evidence of this must be provided.
        • You must also demonstrate that you or your sponsor will have ready access to an amount of at least €7,000 for each subsequent year of your studies, in addition to the course fees for each of those years.
        • Evidence accepted will include a letter from your sponsor’s employer confirming employment details, plus 4 recent payslips. This letter should include contact details for the employer, including name, address, and phone number (landline, not mobile).
        • If your sponsor is involved in business, evidence of this must be provided, such as a Certificate of Registration from the authorities in your country.
        • Banks statements and letters must show and include full contact details of the bank – name, full address of branch where account is held, telephone number (landline, not mobile), e-mail and website addresses (where available). Where this information is not normally available on a bank statement, it should be accompanied by a letter from the bank, on official bank stationery, giving these details. Where a bank statement or a letter from the bank is submitted giving only a mobile phone number, post box number as address, or an email address of Yahoo, Hotmail etc, this will not be considered as evidence of finances, and may in fact raise an issue of credibility over the whole application.
      • Alternative Evidence of Finance – Degree Programe Students
        • A pilot programme has now been introduced that would allow degree programme students to provide an alternative to bank statements as a method of proof of finances. The alternative method is an “education bond” with a minimum value of €7,000. The bond must be lodged to an approved student fees payment service (e.g. the electronic fee payment service offered by EduStep [formerly International Student Payments Service, ISPS] )*
        • The bond must be held continuously from the initial visa application through to the time the student registers in Ireland with the immigration authorities. This is to ensure that the necessary funds exist and are reserved for the personal use of the student. The bond will be cashable when the student arrives in Ireland or if for any reason the visa is refused or the student decides not to take up their place in the college.
        • A receipt showing that a bond has been paid by the applicant will generally be accepted by INIS as evidence of finances. However, the applicant should be aware that they may also be asked to provide additional evidence of finances if that is considered necessary. Upon their arrival in the State the funds will be released to the student.
        • NOTE 1:Students who intend staying in Ireland for more than 90 days are required to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). In addition to course fees, the student must have access to €3,000 at first registration with GNIB or where Non-EEA Students are studying for a period of less than 6 months they must have access to €500 per month of stay or €3,000, whichever is the lesser.NOTE 2 :Students who participate in a bond payment scheme should note that this is a contractual arrangement between them and the bond service provider. INIS is not a party to any contract entered into between a student and a bond service provider. Students who are enrolled on the type of courses listed below are not obliged to participate in a bond payment system, and may prefer to provide the normal evidence of finances as set out above.

How would you rate Ireland as a study destination from student’s perspective?

Ireland has one of the highest education participation rates in the world today. The country’s long-standing tradition of providing exceptional education began in Europe during the Middle Ages and during the past two centuries many Irish schools were established in India and elsewhere. Ireland has one of the best education systems in the world according to the independent IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009 (ranks 8th).

The quality of the Irish education system is a major contributing factor to the rapid rate of economic growth this island nation has experienced over the last few decades. The country is recognised as an international location for high-quality scientific research too. No wonder, the number of international students visiting Ireland is increasing each year.

How easy or difficult is to get a student visa for Ireland? Don’t you think the country is being used as a corridor for entry to the UK or US?

The requirements for application for a student visa for Ireland are set out in detail on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS):

Each application is examined and determined on an individual basis. We are continually updating and tightening our visa regulations to protect the student who genuinely wants to study and enjoy the experience that studying in Ireland has to offer…

We are not aware that Indian students use Ireland as an easy way of gaining entry to the UK or US. An Irish student visa is issued for a specific period of study in Ireland. On completion of their studies in Ireland, students can, of course, apply for a student visa to the UK or the US authorities, to further their studies, if they so wish.

How safe is Ireland for Indian students?

Ireland has a reputation for being a safe and welcoming country to live in and is ranked 12th in the 2009 Global Peace Index. ‘Lonely Planet’ has voted it as the friendliest country in the world (2008 and 2010). Irish people are among the most enriching reasons to study in Ireland. We are renowned for our friendliness and hospitality which greatly contributes to the ease with which overseas students adapt to student life in Ireland. We are naturally curious and genuinely interested in others. A strong sense of community abounds everywhere in the country.

What about job opportunities for overseas students?

Indian students who have opted to do their higher studies in Ireland have invariably found their stay very academically rewarding and, on a personal level, a most congenial, interesting and worthwhile experience. Students from abroad are entitled to work part-time while in Ireland.

On completion of their higher studies, students from India may stay on in Ireland for six months to allow them time, should they so wish, to seek employment and apply for a work permit.

Traditionally, Ireland’s strong English language base has always attracted overseas students. What exactly is it?

Ireland has a well-founded reputation for the excellent quality of its English language services. The quality assurance body for the sector in Ireland is the Advisory Council for English Language Schools (ACELS) which administers an inspection scheme, leading to recognition by the Department of Education and Science.

A full list of the over 110 quality-assured and recognised schools and organisations (ELTOS) is available on the ACELS website. These offer a wide variety of courses and generally provide a full package of tuition, accommodation and extra-curricular activities.

English language training can also be combined with sporting activities such as angling, golf or tennis. The English language sector is supported in its promotional activities by Failte Ireland.

Can students go to Ireland without passing the IELTS?

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service sets minimum entry requirements for English. Most colleges and universities set higher standards for admission to a course. We recommend IELTS, but also accept TOEFL, Cambridge and ETAPP test results.

How do you see Ireland as a study destination five years down the line?

Ireland will continue to be a centre of excellence for education and over the next few years we hope to see more Indians experiencing and enjoying what Ireland has to offer. There will be a far greater number of educational exchanges between Indian and Irish universities and a greatly enhanced level of cooperation in the area of science and technology.

If you do require a student visa for Ireland, you will need to make your application at least a few months before travelling. In most cases, you can do so online.

If you wish to study in Ireland for less than three months you should apply for the ‘C Study Visa’, if the course lasts longer than three months you will require the ‘D Study Visa’ type of student visa for Ireland. It is unlikely you will be able to extend a ‘C Study Visa’ to cover a longer period, so make sure it will cover your entire length of stay before applying.

To gain your Irish student visa you will need to provide the following documentation:

  • Letter of acceptance to study a full-time program at an accredited institution.
  • Evidence of English-language proficiency (often in the form of a TOEFL or IELTS test score)
  • Proof of full payment for tuition fees (or student loan declaration)
  • Proof of available living funds (at least €7,000/US$9,400) for the initial part of your study. If you are planning to study in Ireland for longer than a year you will also need to provide evidence of a sponsor or a further €7,000 for each subsequent year of study.
  • Evidence of private medical insurance
  • An agreement stating that you intend to return to your home country upon finishing your course in Ireland.

Although fees vary depending on your country of origin, standard visa application processing fees are €60 (US$80) for a single-entry visa and €100 (US$135) for multiple entries.

Part-time work in Ireland with a student visa

If you plan to study in Ireland on a program recognized by the Internationalization Register, you will receive a ‘stamp number 2’ from your meeting with the local immigration officer. This stamp allows you to take on part-time work in Ireland of up to 20 hours per week during term time and up to 40 hours per week during scheduled holiday periods. Your right to work in Ireland ends when you finish your course of study.

If your course isn’t listed on the Internationalization Register, you will receive a ‘stamp number 2A’ on your passport. If this is the case, you are not entitled to work in Ireland during your studies.

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.

What is the cost of living?

Living expenses will differ depending upon the location of the institution, the type of accommodation preferred and on the personal expenditure of the student. On average, we estimate that a student will spend between €6,000 and €11,000 per year depending on location and lifestyle.

Do I need to register with the police?

All non-Irish nationals, who are not citizens of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, must register in person with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) after arrival and after completion of registration at your third level institution. The GNIB will issue you with a residence permit/GNIB card.

How do I get a visa?

If you are an EU citizen, there are no visa requirements when entering Ireland. If you are not an EU citizen, please contact your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate to find out whether or not you require an entry visa or you may enquire from the Department of Foreign Affairs. Those who do not have an Irish diplomatic mission in their home country should download a visa application form well in advance of their departure.   Please note that it is possible for international students who require a visa and are residing in certain countries to apply directly to the Department of Foreign Affairs online. Click here for a full list of these countries and the link to the online application form.

Note: You will be required to have accepted an offer of a recognised programme of study in Ireland and to have a receipt of payment letter from a college in Ireland before you can begin the process of applying for your visa overseas to study in Ireland.

Do I have to pay for medical insurance?

Students from EU member states who are in possession of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are entitled to public health services in Ireland.  This card is available from health authorities in your home country.  Further information to your rights on healthcare while here can be obtained on the European Health Insurance Card website.

For students from non-EU countries, you will be required to have medical insurance in place in order to be granted a visa.

Can I study part time?

If you are from a non-EU country, you must complete a minimum of 15 hours scheduled contact time per week in order to be eligible to be eligible for a visa to study in Ireland. Please see the following Department of Justice web site for more information. If you are an English language study wishing to study for less than 90 days in Ireland and combine learning with other tourist pursuits, you will be classed as an educational tourist and subject to visit/holiday visa rules.

What will the weather be like?

Ireland’s climate can be summed up as being mild, moist and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. Because the island is hugged all year round by the warm influence of the Gulf Stream, Ireland is much warmer than other countries that share its latitude. The Gulf Stream also ensures that the Irish coastline remains ice-free throughout winter. Extreme winters are rare but they do happen on the odd occasion when Ireland’s temperatures plummet.

How do I open a bank account?

In order to open a bank account, you will need two forms of identification. Irish banks are obliged to establish your identity and verify your address. You cannot use the same document as proof of both your identity and your address. These are minimum requirements and it is at the discretion of the bank to look for further information.

Can I work during or after my studies?

Since April 2001, non-EU students who are approved to study in Ireland with higher education institutions listed on the Internationalisation Register, can avail of casual workto help support themselves while in Ireland. Students are allowed to work part-time (up to 20 hours a week) or full-time (up to 40 hours a week) during holiday periods.

Are there scholarships?

Yes. A small number of scholarships for overseas students are available from the universities and colleges. These are awarded solely at the discretion of the individual institutions who set down their own criteria for eligibility. Students are advised to contact the institution of their choice directly, to obtain information.

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