Ranked as one of the world’s ‘friendliest countries’ by Lonely Planet, the Republic of Ireland makes an excellent choice for international students. Not only is Ireland famously hospitable, but it is also home to 1,000 multinational corporations, including Google, Apple, IBM and GSK, making it an attractive prospect for graduates. Renowned for its lively culture, spectacular landscapes and vibrant cities, it is easy to see why 35,000 international students are already studying in Ireland.


The Republic of Ireland is a famously green country located just to the west of England, and is independent from the UK. According to the 'Good Country Index', it is the best country in the world in terms of its combined contributions to science and research, culture, international peace and security, and the environment.


When thinking of Ireland, Guinness, shamrocks and leprechauns might spring to mind – but there is a whole lot more to the country’s culture than that.

Dublin, the capital city of the Republic of Ireland, is one of four UNESCO cities of literature. Ireland has been the birthplace of famous literary names like W.B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde, making it a fascinating place to be for bookworms. Ireland is also famous for its music, from the traditional Irish folk music you can hear in Dublin’s bars to contemporary world-class acts, like U2 and The Script. You’re unlikely to be bored in such a dynamic city – especially when St. Patrick’s Day comes around.

Alternatively, if it is peace and quiet you want, Ireland is also home to six stunning national parks with ancient, rugged landscapes, including the world famous Giant’s Causeway. History enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the numerous monasteries, castles, ruins and iron-age archaeological sites dotted all over the country, and linguists the ‘Gaeltacht’ regions of Ireland, where Irish is the predominant spoken language.

Cost of living:

The cost of accommodation in Ireland will vary depending on your location and type of accommodation you choose - rent can be anywhere between 300-700 Euros per month. Locations outside of Dublin are usually cheaper. Consumer goods are around 7% cheaper than in the UK. A Student Leap Card can provide you with discounts on everything from food, to entertainment, to travel.

Getting around:

For local transport, many students in Dublin cycle or use the bus, which costs around 2.50 Euros on average. The rest of the UK can be visited via plane, with one hour flights to England, Scotland or Wales from any if Ireland's four major airports, or by ferry crossing. France, Spain and Portugal can all be reached by plane within three hours.

Universities in Ireland

Some of Europe's top universities are located in Ireland, offering international students numerous choices depending on their interests, aspirations and budget. Here is a brief guide to 3 of the best.

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin has been Ireland's highest ranking university since its inception in 1592, and looking at its list of Alumni, it's easy to see why. Trinity has produced some of the world's greatest thinkers, from philosopher Edmund Burke to physicist and Nobel Laureate Ernest Walton, and continues to do so today. The university's research institutes are renowned for their work in technology, sustainability and health, tackling some of the world's most challenging problems.

Thanks to its prestigious reputation, Trinity College Dublin also attracts 2,400 international students from across the world, most notably from the US, India, China and Brazil. Its location in the centre of Dublin places students at the heart of Irish innovation - though, in its gated 47 acre campus, you may not necessarily know it. The university's enclosed grounds create a relaxed atmosphere amidst the bustle of the city, making it an ideal, safe choice for international students leaving home for the first time.

When it comes to looking after international students, the staff at Trinity are experts. Their 'Understanding Ireland' programmes are designed to help international students settle in, allowing them to learn about Dublin's culture and heritage, explore the surrounding area on day trips, and to make friends. Trinity students also have access to the Global Room, a social space staffed by trained student ambassadors and equipped with all the information you could need - along with 300 international TV channels.

For those looking for some extra help with their studies, Trinity College Dublin also offer numerous scholarships. The famous Foundation Scholarship, to name just one, is a highly-prized honour that offers a whole 5 years of university tuition to exceptional students.

National University of Ireland, Galway

The National University of Ireland, Galway (or as Gaeilge, Ollscoill na hÉireann, Gaillimh), is situated a ten minute walk from the medieval heart of Galway City, Ireland’s artistic centre. Established in 1845 as Queen’s College, Galway, it was a Catholic response to the Protestant powerhouse that was Trinity College Dublin, and has still maintained its reputation as one of the top universities in Ireland. The artistic undercurrent that permeates Galway infiltrates the campus, which frequently hosts events and performances from the wide range of arts festivals that occur throughout the year, and located as it is at the edge of the Connemara Gaeltacht, the presence of the Irish language on campus is unavoidable. However, this only seems to further the appeal of NUI Galway to international students - 12% of the student population are from overseas.

For those who are less interested in the arts and humanities, the university boasts excellent research facilities. The campus is currently undergoing a 400 million Euro construction programme, expanding rapidly to include leading research centres in the medical and biosciences, engineering, nursing and midwifery. The university also delivers cutting-edge marine science and regenerative medicine courses, with a focus on innovative fields like gene therapy research, and is committed to promoting gender equality in these areas. In fact, their Athena SWAN initiative actively encourages advancement for women in STEM subjects.

Dublin City University

Located a short bus ride away from Dublin city centre, Dublin City University (DCU) is a young, dynamic and ambitious university. DCU’s 85-acre campus is one of the safest in Ireland, featuring bright modern architecture, world-class facilities and labs. DCU is also multicultural - around 18% of the total student body is international. That’s over 2,300 students from 109 different countries, all of whom can join international student societies, a choice of over 120+ clubs, and make use of DCU’s purpose-built Inter Faith Centre while studying.

DCU has excellent graduate employment rates, and is renowned for its engineering and computing degrees. However, DCU is also known as Ireland’s ‘University of Enterprise’ and UStart, DCU’s student entrepreneur start-up competition, helps students to refine their ideas, develop sales and marketing strategies, launch products and services, and even to apply for funding to turn their project into a business. 1 in 11 adults in Ireland are entrepreneurial, so if you aspire to be self-employed, Dublin City University could be the place for you.

"Ireland is emerging the best place to study nowadays.Many students are selecting Ireland because the country offers many good reasons which no other country till now offers", says Mr. Deepak, Education Manager, Career XL Services...


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