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When considering studying in Ireland, you may have the idea of venturing to a land of green meadows and ancient cities. Beyond all the tourist sites that you can visit, the Republic of Ireland is among the preferred destinations for students from all over the world.
The major Irish cities are the scene of an unprecedented economic and industrial boom. For this reason, they are also in the sights of young professionals and companies of international stature.
We present you a guide to study and work in Ireland with what you need to know to spend a study season on the so-called emerald island. Take a look and you will surely decide to make this wonderful island your next destination!
5 reasons to study in Ireland
Why is Ireland one of the most popular destinations for international students ? In large part, due to the high academic level of its Irish institutions and the affordable costs for students to take courses there, compared to the UK and continental Europe. Also consider that it gives you the following advantages to study and work.
Quality education and life at an affordable cost
Irish educational institutions offer internationally acclaimed university programs, courses and diplomas. Above all, they excel in the areas of English, health, technology, business and humanities.
With the exception of Dublin, the bustling capital of Ireland, the cities where the best schools in the country are located, such as Galway and Cork, do not reach a million inhabitants. That means they are generally quiet, clean and safe.
However, all of them have a cosmopolitan atmosphere, with intense nightlife. Added to this, they offer quality public services (transportation and security) and private services (cell phone and internet) of first class, comparable to the most famous European cities, but at a lower cost.
Learning English is easy, fast and fun
One of the biggest difficulties that non-native English speakers face is finding the ideal circumstances to practice. Who wouldn’t want to exercise their speaking skills beyond the boring classroom?
Well, English is the official language throughout the island of Ireland, so by residing in this country you can put your knowledge to the test in your day-to-day life. This is a unique opportunity to achieve a high level of expression and understanding of the language. When you finish your studies, in addition to improving in your profession or trade, you will surely speak the clear and fluent English that you have always wanted.
Studying in Ireland allows you to obtain a certificate with international validity
Whatever you decide to study in Ireland, it will boost your CV and the certificate you get will be internationally valid. Taking an English course, be it intensive or general, for example, will surely open the doors to better job options when you return to your country of origin.
If you complete a vocational or university program, you will have the option of staying in the country to work as a postgraduate. In the future, you can even apply for permanent residence in Ireland.
Get to know a welcoming society and millenary culture
Worldwide, the Irish people have a reputation for being fond of partying and joking. Therefore, it will not be difficult for you to meet new people and make friends. You will see that, after a couple of pints in the pub, the locals will show you their welcoming, friendly and open side to conviviality.
In addition, it is the proud custodian of an ancient language and culture. These are manifested especially in its literature and architecture, which has endured for centuries in the face of diseases, wars and invasions.
Finding multiple future job options
For a decade, the main Irish cities have been growing as economic and business centers. Dublin, for example, has been nicknamed “European Silicon Valley,” due to the arrival of tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Intel.
This situation increases the flow of money and the creation of jobs. You will be able to access them both during your studies and after finishing them, fulfilling the conditions that we will explain below.
Do you want information about studying and working in Ireland?
Requirements to study in Ireland
The requirements that you must meet to study on the Emerald Isle depend on the course or program you choose. It will also be decisive if you have a passport or not from a member country of the European Union (EU). Here are five conditions that you must meet to study in Ireland.
Apply for a visa or residence permit
Do you have a passport or identity card from the European Union ? !! Congratulations!! This is the only requirement you need to study in Ireland for as long as you want.
On the other hand, if you come from a country that does not belong to the EU, but is visa-free, you can enter the country only with your passport. If you stay to study in Ireland for three months or less, you will not have to complete any formalities. But if you opt for a longer course, you will have to apply for the Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
Finally, if Ireland has established that people with a passport from your country require a visa, you must process it before traveling. Otherwise, they will deny you access at the border. Do you want to know the status of your nation? Check it out on this page of the Irish Immigration Department.
Enroll in an accredited school course
As in any foreign country, before arriving in Ireland you will meet an immigration officer at the airport. This authority will ask you for a valid reason for your visit to the Emerald Isle. You must show him a “Letter of Acceptance” issued by the school where you are going to study in Ireland.
To obtain this document, you have to enroll in an academic program and pay the fees indicated by the institution. Eye! You should make sure that the course you choose is on the Provisional List of Eligible Programs (ILEP). These are the only ones that the Irish government accepts to allow you to live in the country as a foreign student.
Show your level of English
If your idea is to enter a vocational program or one at the university, the obvious requirement is to demonstrate that you have a sufficient level of English to follow the classes and express yourself without problems.
Most institutions require a certificate of proficiency in English with minimum scores equivalent to 6.5 on the IELTS exam, or 90 on the TOEFL IBT. In terms of the Common European Framework, you must have a B2 or advanced intermediate level to secure your admission.
Do you think you need to perfect your English? Perhaps the best option for you is to take an English course before looking for a place at an Irish university. In the section on what to study in Ireland, we will give you excellent options to increase your command of the language.
Prove that you can afford your stay
The customs officer will also ask for proof that you have sufficient funds to pay for your studies and stay in Ireland. If your country of origin is visa-free, but is not part of the EU, the amount to be shown is 3,000 euros if you are going to stay for more than six months and 500 euros a week, if you stay for less time. On the other hand, if you require a visa to enter Irish territory, the amount will be 7,000 euros.
Although it is not an obligation, opening an account in an Irish bank with these amounts will make it easier for you, among other things, to prove to the immigration authority that you can pay for your stay. We recommend trying Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.
Take out insurance for medical expenses
Foreign students with non-EU passports cannot access public health services in Ireland. Therefore, you must take out medical insurance that covers your entire stay in the event of any health emergency. In addition, it will be essential for you to remain in Ireland as a student.
Visas to study in Ireland
Without a visa there is no paradise, surely you have heard it before. It is the most important document among the requirements to study in Ireland. Here you have to pay special attention, as there are certain peculiarities when applying for your visa for Ireland. You should know that you do not need one if your country of origin belongs to the European Union, your identity document or valid passport is enough.
Otherwise, you have to check if your country requires one and follow the steps indicated on the official website. The most popular types of visa that allow you to study in Ireland are the following:
Tourist Visa for Ireland (Short Stay C)
The Tourist Visa to travel to Ireland allows you to stay a short period in Irish territory. The so-called Short Stay (C) also allows you to study for a maximum of 90 days, for example an intensive English course.
The disadvantage is that this type of visa for Ireland does not allow you to do any type of work (paid or not), or use public services (hospitals, taxes, etc.). It must be processed at least three months in advance.
Remember that you can verify if, according to your nationality, you need a visa and, if applicable, follow these steps:
- Make your application online.
- Pay the cost of the visa. (60 euros single entry, 100 euros multi entry)
- Scan and send your valid passport and other necessary documents.
Single entry, or single entry, refers to absolute permanence within Irish territory. Multi entry, on the other hand, allows you to leave and travel through other countries without having to re- apply for the visa for Ireland to re-enter the country.
Study and work visa (Stamp 2)
This is the ideal visa for those students who study and work in Ireland, for example a vacation course or any training class for at least 25 weeks, the Stamp 2 Visa allows you to work up to 20 hours per week during the school period and 40 hours weekly during the holidays. It is very similar to the Australian student visa, for example.
The main requirement to apply for this visa is to be enrolled in a program offered by educational institutions approved by the Irish government. Learn about the other requirements below:
- Letter of admission to a study program and proof of payment.
- Valid passport
- OSHC ( International Health Insurance )
- Have € 3000 in your bank account (or € 7000 as the case may be)
- Proof of address (letter from rental owner, contract, etc.)
- Pay the € 300 fee for the Irish Residence Permit (IRP)
Working Holiday Visa
The Working Holiday Visa is a special visa that allows you to stay in Ireland for one year, studying for 6 months and working the remaining time. Unfortunately, there is no possibility of extension of stay with this visa and there are 200 places per year. This type of visa can only be requested by nationals of Chile and Argentina (no other country in Latin America is included).
However, if you happen to be Chilean or Argentine, you must meet the following requirements to apply for your Working Holiday Visa:
- Have a valid and current Chilean or Argentine passport, in the case of Latin America.
- Be between 18 and 35 years old (18 to 30 for Chile)
- Do not travel accompanied by dependent family members, unless they have their own visa
- Not having previously participated in the Program
- Be free of criminal records
- Support your financial funds with at least € 3,000
- Have international health insurance
- Pay the visa fee.
Study in Ireland and work
On the Emerald Isle you have the possibility of working full time from June to September, which is the holiday period. However, during the school period, you can work a maximum of 20 hours a week the rest of the year. This is possible with the study and work visa (stamp 2) for example, the most requested visa for Ireland for those who want to spend a season enjoying the Gaelic wonders.
As we saw above, there are also other types of permits to study in Ireland and work to recover the investment, save to continue traveling or simply live the experience of working abroad. So now we are going to tell you what you need for that, which is nothing to write home about.
Requirements to Study in Ireland and work as a foreigner
Remember that those who have a passport from a European Union country can go to work in Ireland in the same way they come to study. That is, they only require your passport. They do not have the same luck, those who come from other nations outside the EU, who do need to obtain a visa. Once this is clarified, let’s go to the requirements to study and work in Ireland :
Visa that allows you to study in Ireland and work.
We have been telling you throughout the article, but we want you not to forget. We know that the procedures are usually cumbersome and little entertaining. The visas that allow you to study in Ireland and get a job are:
- Study and work visa (Stamp2)
- Working Holiday Visa
There are also other types of visas especially focused on the work side, but that at some point could be useful to you.
- General Employment Permit. Aimed at candidates with experience or skills in all areas, except those described in the Ineligible Lists of Occupations.
- Critical Skills Employment Permit. Its aim is to attract highly qualified people in a professional area and encourage them to establish permanent residence in Ireland.
If you want to know more details about these visas, do not forget to take a look at our Visa for Ireland article.
Irish Residence Permit (IRP)
This is the certificate that allows you to settle and live in Ireland during the season that your studies last. It also allows you to renew your visa to continue staying and enjoying the attractions of Ireland. It costs € 300 and the requirements are as follows.
- Valid passport
- Student card with the data of your educational center
- Letter from the school where you inform the start date, the time load and the price of the course
- Have 3,000 euros in your Irish bank account
- Medical insurance in Ireland that covers a minimum of 30 thousand euros.
- € 300 to pay the fee.
Personal Public Service (PPS)
This is a personal code that allows you to work in Ireland. It consists of one or two letters and seven digits. What else is it for? To access social welfare, public services, process your driver’s license, etc.
To apply for the PPS, you must go to the Social Service Center with your passport, proof of your residence in Ireland (rental contract, letter from property owner, etc.), a valid job offer and support why you want to get it.
Irish bank account and phone number
They are not exactly mandatory requirements, but they are very useful to manage your money and to be contacted for potential job offers respectively.
The main banks in Ireland are Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. While the best known phone companies are Eir Mobile, Three and Vodafone.
Steps to study in Ireland and work
You already know the requirements to study in Ireland and work during your stay, but, in case it is still not clear where to start, here we summarize the steps to follow:
- Choose one of the cities in Ireland that you like the most to spend a season.
- Request the letter of admission from the study center or invitation for a job. Check the Ineligible list of ocuppations, since the permissions are given taking into account this list.
- Process the visa for Ireland that suits your objectives and possibilities. Remember that the tourist visa does not allow you to work.
- Buy your tickets and pack your bags. Ireland awaits you to start a great experience.
- When you set foot on Irish soil, manage your IRP and PPS so you can start looking for work in Ireland.
Courses that allow you to study in Ireland and work at the same time
The educational and employment offer in Ireland is extremely varied and open to people from anywhere. Of course, the land of Guinness beer is one of the favorite places to learn English, but also to pursue higher education and vocational courses. The main courses to study in Ireland and find employment are:
- General English
- Business English
- VET courses
- Bachelor Degrees
But if you want to know what they are, do not despair, we will tell you in more detail in our next section.
What to study in Ireland
Now you know how to study in Ireland and what you need to do to do it. But a new question arises: what to study in Ireland. The first thing that may come to mind is studying English and, of course, it is one of the most requested courses by people around the world. But even here a new range of options opens up, depending on what best suits your needs and interests.
Perhaps you are on an intensive English course, preparing to obtain your official certificate or perfecting your conversation for business. To this add the vocational and higher courses that you can study in Ireland. But we better go by parts and we will explain them better below.
English courses in Ireland
At this point we stop to emphasize that education in the country of Saint Patrick is one of the most prestigious in Europe. For this and for many reasons, it is also one of the favorite places to learn English. Not only because of what we just told you, but because the conditions here are more than ideal to perfect it.
The immersion, the rich culture, the multiculturalism and the famous friendliness of the Irish are just some of the factors that make this magical country the favorite destination to perfect your English. Now, let’s see what types of English courses in Ireland there are to enjoy learning.
What can you study in Ireland for 3 months? A great option is to take an intensive English course. These types of programs can span from two to twelve weeks. They are ideal for enjoying tourism to the fullest while improving your language skills.
If you are looking to take your English proficiency to the next level, a general course lasting three months or more is convenient for you. You will be able to dedicate more time to the study of this exciting language and practice in your day-to-day life, while still making friends and finding opportunities to have fun.
Plus, at a great price! In the capital of the Emerald Isle, we offer you very accessible and high-quality courses that allow you to work part-time. Thus, you earn money to pay for your travel and work experience, and you practice daily with native speakers. One way or another, you win!
Wait a bit… have we already told you about one of our top experiences?
Official exam preparation programs
As we mentioned a while ago, to study at a university in Ireland or take vocational courses, you must certify your level of English. If you don’t have this requirement, don’t worry! Taking our exam preparation programs is the solution. Go ahead and get a degree in English with the highest qualification and get opportunities
The business English courses are mainly focused on dealing with current economic issues, finances, analyzing news, writing emails and everything related to the work environment. The goal is to expand and master a specialized business vocabulary to engage in conversations with customers, employees, etc.
Degrees and vocational courses to study in Ireland
In Ireland there are also VET (vocational) courses that, due to their duration, it is recommended to apply with the student visa (Stamp 2) instead of the Working Holiday. Thus, you will have the right to work part time 20 hours a week. To obtain the work permit it is always necessary that the course is part of the ILEP.
Ireland’s education system is top-notch. This quality is reflected in its university institutions, so if you want to do a specialization, you will love these experiences. Take flight and take a master’s degree in Ireland to gain more knowledge about Computing Science and Business. We assure you that, with these degrees, you will get the job of your dreams and earn a lot of money.
How much does it cost to study in Ir landa
Talking about an exact amount of the cost of studying in Ireland is difficult, as the final amount will depend on several factors. Among the latter, we can mention the city you choose to live in, the area where you rent, the school, the type of course and your way of life. However, we can make an estimate considering essential expenses. And don’t forget that you can make a personalized quote by choosing one of our experiences and completing the form!
Suppose you choose to live in Dublin. In this capital of the country, one of the most important in Europe due to its economic growth, the cost of accommodation, basic services and leisure are reaching 7,000 to 12,000 euros per school year (9 months). This amount includes the following expenses:
- Rent – 350 to 450 euros per room in shared flat
- Food – 150 – 300 euros per month
- Transportation – 160 euros for the monthly pass
- Basic services – 140 euros per month
- Internet – 50 euros per month
- Movie ticket – 11 euros
- Lunch in restaurant – 55 euros
This amount does not include the cost of tuition. Although academic institutions in Ireland charge cheaper fees compared to other European ones, you should be aware that the cost of studying here is within Western European levels. We present you an estimate.
- English courses – 3,000 to 6,000 per student
- Undergraduate – 6,500 to 35,000
- Postgraduate – 9,000 to 45,000
Steps to study in Ireland
1. Choose a city and an institution
This first step will allow you to plan your arrival in detail, as well as start calculating your expenses to make a budget. Your first idea, for sure, is to go to reside in Dublin, which is the center of social, cultural and economic life in Ireland. However, it is also the most expensive city in the country. So be sure to consider cheaper options like Galway and Cork.
2. Enter a course or program and pay for it
Choose the program or course that best suits your aspirations, contact the institution, meet all the admission requirements and they will surely accept you. Once this is done, pay the fees indicated and you will have completed one of the essential documents for the visa.
3. Prepare and get your visa
Prepare the clinical studies, the documents, the level of English and the attitude necessary in order to obtain your visa to enter Northern Ireland, or so that, without problems, the border control will grant you the permission to stay in the Republic of Ireland.
4. Pack up and leave your fears behind
They already admitted you. Now you have to start living the international student experience. Pack conscientiously, but without excessive provisions. Leave behind the fear of the unexpected and doubts about your decisions. Trust in what you know and in your ability to solve the difficulties that come your way.
5. Get set up and organize to start
Once you are in the Emerald Isle, make yourself comfortable, as much as you can, and organize your activities to meet everything required in a timely manner. The first day of school your only concern should be to learn and start building good relationships with the people around you. Don’t forget to manage your IRP and your PPS.
6. Set your goals and extend your stay
Remember that your goal is to complete a study period and, although you can work and make money in parallel, these activities cannot distract you from the main thing. Finish what you started and, if you want, extend your stay to take advantage of it and put what you have learned into practice.
Study in Ireland with Experience
Studying in Ireland is a transformative experience and the process to live it does not have to be overwhelming if you have the right support and advice.
All you have to do is choose and complete one of our experiences for one of our Student Advisors to resolve all your concerns and doubts; in addition to helping you prepare a budget for your trip.
Also, we will offer you welcome sessions, where you will learn how to choose the best accommodation, how to carry out banking procedures, how to move around the city and how to prepare for the opportunities that will arise.
There is no better way to plan and carry out a study trip to Ireland, as our priority is that travelers like you have an unforgettable experience.