If you are looking for a new experience and great education, consider Ireland. Merette Kennedy delves into the reasons that make this country a great international study destination.

You’re thinking of studying abroad. You want to experience education in a different culture and challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. You will find many options to study in the US, UK, Canada, UAE, and now Ireland on SchoolApply. We encourage you to find the destination and school that is the right fit for you. I however found my perfect fit with Ireland and am here to tell you why this country is such an incredible international study destination.

Why Ireland?

International study in Ireland is a constantly growing franchise. Ireland’s Minister of Education, Richard Bruton, has embarked on a proactive mission to welcome even more international students by the year 2020. He believes in the quality of education in Ireland and has been overseeing the active increase in international enrollment in the past five years. He, along with many educational institutions around the country, believe things will only get better.

I have to agree.

I studied at the University of Limerick in Ireland for a semester in my undergraduate year of college. During this time, I fell so in love with the Irish culture, education system, people and rolling green hills, that I decided to later return for my postgraduate degree at the very same university.

My experience as an undergraduate was not the only reason I returned for a postgraduate degree. Tuition fees in Ireland, considering the level of education and the stature of the universities, are quite affordable. Even for a non-EU student, such as myself, the cost was still much lower than any university within my home country – the US. Add in the bonus of experiencing life abroad and my decision was made.

Low cost, quality education, a beautiful campus and a chance to experience a new culture and education in a different country; a no brainer in my book!

Finding the Right Fit for You

SchoolApply can introduce you to a plethora of top quality universities around Ireland. Some of these schools include National College of Ireland, Mary Immaculate College, Dublin International Foundation College, Cork Institute of Technology, IT Carlow and Trinity College.

Three of these colleges are located in Dublin. This endearing city offers an endless amount of historical tours, nightlife, sports, music and entertainment. A wonderful spot for those who like to be kept busy.

Trinity College is a campus I have personally seen many times. A beautiful adage of old buildings located close to the city centre, which ensures its global reputation will stay intact for a long time to come. Trinity proudly offers programs in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Engineering, Maths and Sciences, and boasts famous alumni such as author Oscar Wilde.

National College of Ireland and the Dublin International Foundation College are also located in the country’s capital city. Both offer programs in Business and Management and much more. If you see yourself wanting to study in the bustling and cultural city of Dublin, these colleges may be a perfect fit for you.

Colleges outside of Dublin offer a great new vantage point of the country, Mary Immaculate College being one of them. Located just outside the historic city of Limerick, Mary Immaculate offers wonderful programs in Education and Humanities and prides itself in being a top quality liberal arts college. The campus has grown significantly over the past ten years or so, offering state of the art amenities for their students. I have visited this campus many times as well, and the vibe is welcoming and relaxed. The location is prime as it is near an international airport as well as the lovely River Shannon. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience Ireland’s quaint and personal side.

IT Carlow is another great college that offers a thriving town scene and is only an hours drive from Dublin. This institute of technology offers many courses such as Engineering and Science, Business, and Computing. Carlow offers the perfect blend of a small town life while never being far from city life and adventure.

Cork Institute of Technology also offers a wide range of programs with a strong emphasis on Engineering and Sciences. It offers programs in Music, Art and Design. This historic school located in Ireland’s second largest city, Cork, has over 12,000 students and offers an authentic west coast vibe. Public transportation is incredibly convenient and makes it easy for students to explore the beauty of the west coast and all it has to offer.

Education in Ireland

Ireland has an umbrella group called ‘Education in Ireland’ that promotes Ireland as a study destination and supports all of its international students. They do this by attending fairs around the world, with the objective of connecting with international students. Representatives from colleges across Ireland promote their universities and attract an array of students with their broad spectrum of programs.

‘Education in Ireland’ also has an extremely convenient website for students about to embark on their first excursion to the country. This site gives details about obtaining health insurance, registering with police, opening your bank account and details on working while studying. All of these extremely helpful tips make the relationship between Ireland and its international counterparts easy and manageable, leaving room for the exciting prospect of study abroad.

Working While Studying in Ireland

A lot of students need financial guidance throughout their academic terms. ‘Education in Ireland’ tries to make the process of working and studying as easy as possible for international students. Registered students, EU and Non-EU, can work up to 20 hours per week and 40 hours during holiday periods.

I was one of those students. I took up part time work at a shop called O’Brien’s Fine Wines, where I worked for a maximum of 20 hours per week. This was a massive help in keeping myself afloat, and not having to write home every week in a panic. I also really enjoyed supporting myself, forming relationships with my coworkers and getting a break from studying!

Shops, grocery stores and pubs are well suited for students as they offer flexible hours allowing you to balance your student life. If you are worried about having lower funds than you intended when setting off on your international adventure, worry not! Working part time is a viable and easy option. Most universities guide students in their job hunting which is extremely helpful. From my experience, I felt like I had guidance and support whenever I needed it.

To sum it up, lower college tuition, quality education and facilities, easy and accessible public transportation, gorgeous scenery, cities, culture, music and great people; these are all the elements that intertwine in making Ireland an amazing choice for studying abroad.

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