If You’re Considering Studying in Ireland: University System, Required Formalities, Academic Requirements, Budget, Student Accommodation, Health Insurance – Here’s Everything You Need to Know Before You Go.
Land of Legends, Verdant Landscapes… Ireland is attracting an increasing number of international students. With a high-quality university system that is more affordable than the United Kingdom’s, Ireland is a prime destination for your studies.
How can one study in Ireland after completing high school?
The Irish university system follows the Anglo-Saxon model. Similar to the United Kingdom, it consists of two main cycles: the Undergraduate level (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in our system) and the Postgraduate level (comprising master’s and doctoral degrees).
Despite the differences in nomenclature, the degrees awarded adhere to the European LMD system. Ireland is home to seven universities, including four in Dublin, along with several teacher training colleges, independent colleges, and institutes of technology.
The procedures for studying in Ireland
Before embarking on your studies in Ireland, it’s essential to inquire in advance about the necessary formalities.
There are two ways to study in Ireland: through Erasmus+ or independently.
Opting for an Erasmus exchange in Ireland is a popular choice among students. Gather information from your university’s international exchange office. You’ll need to prepare an Erasmus+ application dossier.
If you choose to study in Ireland independently, the procedures may be slightly more complex. You’ll need to go through the CAO (Central Admission Office), which is equivalent to the French platform Parcoursup. Additionally, the tuition fees will be at your expense. The advantage compared to Erasmus+ is that you can pursue a full academic program in Ireland rather than being limited to one or two semesters.
Language and Academic Requirements for Studying in Ireland
Whether you’re studying in Ireland through Erasmus+ or independently, you’ll need to prepare for an English language exam beforehand. You have the option of taking either the TOEFL or the IELTS. It’s important to note that the TOEIC is not widely recognized by Irish universities, as they consider it insufficient to demonstrate a student’s ability to attend classes in English.
Each university in Ireland has its own policy regarding English language tests, and the minimum required score depends on the institution and level of study.
How to Apply for Admission to a University in Ireland?
In addition to passing an English language exam, enrolling in an Irish university requires obtaining a diploma equivalence. This process is free of charge. Simply translating your diploma is not sufficient. The NARIC Ireland Foreign Qualifications, a partner of QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland), enables you to obtain the Irish equivalence of your diploma, whether it’s a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree. You can select your diploma from the list provided by the integrated search engine. If your diploma is not listed, you’ll need to submit an application dossier to QQI.
Studying in Ireland: Scholarships, Costs, and Budget Considerations
Studying in Ireland comes with a cost, and it’s essential to plan for a budget averaging around €1,200 per month. Your budget will depend on various factors such as the city of your destination (Dublin tends to be more expensive than other parts of the country), your spending habits (especially regarding extras and leisure activities), and your level of study. Registration fees (applicable if you’re not participating in Erasmus+) are minimal for Undergraduate programs but more substantial for Postgraduate programs.
Fortunately, financial aid options are available. If you’re going through the Erasmus+ program, you’ll benefit from the Erasmus+ scholarship. Additionally, many local authorities (regions, departments, municipalities) offer scholarships and assistance to students participating in university exchanges. Don’t hesitate to check the websites of different local authorities and reach out to them for more information! Finally, the Irish government and Irish associations offer various forms of financial aid, which are listed on the Education in Ireland website.
Student Accommodation in Ireland
There are several options available for student accommodation in Ireland during your studies.
Irish universities offer on-campus housing, which can be an ideal solution in terms of proximity to your classes. However, spaces are limited, so it’s important to plan ahead!
Many students in Ireland opt for shared housing, known as flat-sharing or “colocation.” This option has significant advantages: it’s cost-effective, offers opportunities to make friends, and provides an environment for practicing English at home (unless your flatmates speak the same language as you).
If you prefer more privacy and tranquility, renting a studio or apartment is the ideal solution when your budget allows for it.
Finally, some students in Ireland choose to stay with a host family for a more immersive cultural experience.
Health Insurance for Studying in Ireland
As Ireland is a member of the European Union, you can (and should!) apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before your departure.
However, it’s important to note that the EHIC does not cover all healthcare costs in Ireland. For instance, a deductible may be required in case of hospitalization (estimated at €80 per day with an overnight stay). Therefore, it’s advisable to also purchase supplementary health insurance.
Now, armed with this information, you’re well-prepared to study in Ireland! This country is a prime destination for continuing your studies in English while enjoying beautiful landscapes.