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Study in Ireland

Would you like to study in a European country whose culture is recognized worldwide? Do you want to improve your English together with other foreign students? Ireland offers you all that and much more. The so-called "Emerald Island" for its characteristic green meadows is one of the best destinations to study if you live in Latin America, because you may not need a visa to do so. Discover everything that the land of the Celts can offer you and live the most unforgettable experience of your life.

When we talk about studying abroad, evaluating the environment and growth opportunities is an essential task. In this sense, Ireland has become a very popular destination in recent decades, because they understand the ambition of young people to want to build a better future. This small island country located in Western Europe had to manage to boost its economy in the 1990s.

Thanks to the implementation of various programs and strategies, Ireland went from being a poor country to one of the nations with the highest GDP per capita in the world. There is no doubt that the focus of the Irish education system plays a fundamental role in the economic stability of the country . For the Irish, being self-sufficient and having a critical and creative attitude is vital to success in the world of work. That is why, today, more and more people want to study in Ireland and invest in a comprehensive education. The Emerald Isle offers foreign students all kinds of programs, from undergraduate to postgraduate and English courses.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 82% of adults between the ages of 25 and 64 have completed upper secondary education . This figure, which is higher than the average for the organization, is an indication that the country seeks to train useful, prepared and capable students. If you want to become one of these competent, agile and resourceful graduates, you should know that there are 2 types of visas to study in Ireland :

  • Student Visa (D). Visa valid for foreigners of some nationalities who wish to study a full-time degree in Ireland for more than 3 months.
  • Short-term Tourist Visa (C) . Visa valid for foreigners of some nationalities who wish to study in Ireland for a maximum period of 90 days.

In both cases, these are simple procedures where you will receive a response in a maximum of 8 weeks. Now, if having to apply for a visa in any way diminishes your interest in traveling to this country, we have excellent news for you, and that is that countries like Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile do not need a visa to study in Ireland . Yes, you read right. There are many countries that are exempt from a visa for Ireland, but upon arrival on the island they must apply for a permit and register with immigration. And if your plans are to study English in Ireland? Do you need a visa for it? Not necessarily. If you are from a visa-exempt country you will not need this document to study English in the Republic of Ireland. This country receives thousands of foreign students who want to master this language every year, because there are hundreds of academies and schools in Dublin and other cities. English, together with Irish, are the 2 official languages of Ireland, but the former predominates in academic institutions and programs. If you want to know more about what it is like to live and study in Ireland, we invite you to read this guide that contains everything you should consider before traveling.

How much does it cost to live in Ireland?

Shared room
in the capital


Shared room
in another city


2 bedroom apartment
in the capital


2 bedroom apartment
in another city


Bus or Metro ticket

$2 / $4

Movie Ticket


A beer in a bar


A beer in the supermarket


Typical Street Food


Meal in a Restaurant


Medical consultation

$61 / $74

Phone plans


Average Cost of Living per Month

USD $3,338

To start studying in Ireland on the right foot, the first thing you should do before traveling is to evaluate your finances and prepare an approximate budget for your expenses. To give you an idea of the cost of living in this country, we have left you a table where some basic expenses are mentioned. On average, it takes about $3,338 per month to live and study in Ireland . Of course, the exact amount of money you will need depends on several factors, such as the university, the type of accommodation you choose, the city and your personal lifestyle.

According to the Education in Ireland website, an average foreign student spends between $8,510 and $14,587 per year. As you can see, these are estimated figures that change in relation to the expenses of each person. Regarding tuition fees, tuition fees in Ireland vary considerably depending on the institution and the chosen program . In the 2020/2021 academic year, tuition prices for non-EU students range from $11,974 to $66,856, with studies in medicine and health sciences being the most expensive. For more information on license plates in Ireland, click here .

Can you study in Ireland for free?

Although Irish higher education for international students is not free, there are multiple scholarship programs to study for free in Ireland.

These scholarships are awarded by different sources, such as the Government of Ireland, the educational institutions themselves and other organizations. Each organization and institute establishes its own criteria for choosing and awarding scholarships to foreign students who apply.

That is why students are always advised to contact the scholarship provider of their choice directly to obtain more information about the requirements and conditions. If you are interested in signing up for one of these programs, keep reading because later on we will present the most popular scholarships and financial support in Ireland for foreign students.

Study at University in Ireland

Ireland’s higher education system is made up of various institutions, universities and colleges. Universities in this country are considered important training and research centers , which promote thousands of professionals each year. Some of the most important are the University of Dublin, the oldest in Ireland founded in 1592 and approved by Queen Elizabeth I. Dublin City University is also highly recognized, one of the most relevant in the public sector with more than 10,000 enrolled students. . Studying at a university in Ireland opens the doors to a wide catalog of university degrees, master’s degrees and doctorates . The study areas available to foreigners are very varied; from engineering, science and technology, to business, arts and humanities. There are 6 specialization degrees that you can earn by studying at a University in Ireland. These titles are defined according to the levels of the National Qualifications Framework (NFQ) , which are:

  1. Ordinary bachelor’s degree (duration 3 years – NFQ 7)
  2. Bachelor’s Degree with Honors (duration 3-4 years – NFQ 8)
  3. Higher Diploma (duration 1 year – NFQ 8)
  4. Postgraduate Diploma (duration 1 year – NFQ 9)
  5. Master’s degree (duration from 1 to 2 years – NFQ 9)
  6. Doctorate (duration of approximately 4 years – NFQ 10)

Requirement sot Study at an Irish University as a foreigner

Generally, to be admitted to an Irish university you must pass an entrance exam and demonstrate your command of English . However, it must be taken into account that admission requirements may vary from year to year, depending on the university and the number of applicants and places available. In short, you cannot determine exactly what Irish universities are going to ask you for, because each one manages its own admission process. To give you an idea of the conditions that you must meet, we have reviewed the requirements of two universities in Ireland. In summary, the general requirements that you must meet are:

  • A second level international qualification, such as the International Baccalaureate. The International Baccalaureate is a diploma that has international validity, accepted by hundreds of universities around the world. For more information about the IB, visit this link .
  • Recognized certificate of English proficiency. All international students who are not from an English-speaking country must demonstrate their proficiency in English. To do so, Irish universities generally accept one of these certificates: TOEFL, University of Cambridge, IELTS, International Baccalaureate, etc.
  • Academic references. They are letters where a teacher or tutor talks about your performance as a student, your aptitudes and the reasons why you should be chosen in the program to which you are applying.
  • High school final exams result.
  • A statement of purpose or motivational letter of at least 500 words. This letter is your opportunity to stand out among the other applicants. You must explain to the university why they should grant you the academic place, what your aspirations are, what you intend to achieve by studying at their institution, among other details.
  • Student visa.

Important. Each university program to study in Ireland has specific requirements that you should check. All the documents you present in the admission process must be translated into English by a certified translator. In case you do not meet the minimum English requirements, you can enroll in a preparatory course before the start of classes. To find out more about university admissions in Ireland, click here .

Requirements to Apply for a college in Ireland

In Ireland, the line between universities and colleges can sometimes be confusing. For example, Trinity College Dublin is commonly used as a synonym for the University of Dublin. Something similar happens with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland , as it is often placed in the category of universities. Some Irish colleges are linked to a university, such as Mary Immaculate College linked to the University of Limerick. Others are entirely independent, such as the National College of Arts & Design , Ireland’s oldest and largest art institution.

Those in the first group have very similar admission requirements to those of the parent institution, although, again, there are several factors that influence the conditions. On the other hand, independent colleges (such as the aforementioned NCAD), have their own admission system and specific requirements. If you are interested in a program from a private independent college in Ireland, it is best to consult the admission requirements directly with the institution.

Steps to Apply for a University in Ireland as a foreign Student

  1. Find the course of your interest. The first thing you should do to start the admission process is to find a course that interests you. You can do this search directly on the website of each university or college. If you prefer, enter this link and learn about all the programs available to study in Ireland as a foreigner.
  2. Start your application online. If you already know what you want to study, then the ideal is to enter the website of the institution that teaches the course in question. Most international students should apply online after reading the specific program requirements. You may also have to pay a fee when you start the application.
  3. Receive an offer. After paying the application fee, you will receive a study offer within approximately 5 weeks. This study offer may be conditional or unconditional, depending on the circumstances.
  4. Prepare and submit your documents. If you received an offer from an Irish higher education institution, now is the time to submit your documents. Remember that the requirements vary according to the program. As a general rule, you must attach the documents mentioned above, translated into English.
  5. Accept the offer. To confirm that you want to study the selected program in Ireland, you must accept the study offer. At this step, you may be required to make an initial deposit. If the offer you received is conditional, you may need to provide some additional documents.
  6. Request your Student Visa. Finally, you should process your student visa as soon as you can. Do not worry if you do not know how to do it, because we will explain it to you step by step below.

In which universities can I study in Ireland?

The Universities in Ireland are prestigious institutions that ensure academic excellence and the preparation of the professionals of the future. A leading country in exports of software-related goods and services, with an active agricultural and industrial sector, it is undoubtedly driven by a powerful university sector. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings , the University of Dublin, University College Dublin (UCD) and the National University of Ireland were among the top 300 in the world. Other important universities, colleges and institutions in the country are:

  • Dublin City University (DCU)
  • Maynooth University
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Dublin University of Technology
  • University College Cork (UCC)
  • university of limerick
  • American College Dublin
  • Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)
  • Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT)
  • Dublin Business School
  • CCT College Dublin
  • ICD Business School

The Most Popular Public Universities in Ireland

Private universities with the best international agreements

Visas to Study in Ireland

Have you decided that you do want to go study in this magical country? So continue reading, we will talk to you in depth about the types of visas that you can apply for, the requirements that you will be asked for and the process that you will have to go through in order to meet your academic objectives.

Student Visa (D)

Do you want to study in Ireland for more than 3 months? Are you from a country that is not visa exempt? Then this is the visa that corresponds to you. International students of some nationalities need a Student (D) Visa to enter Ireland and begin their academic training. To find out if your country is visa-exempt or not, click here . If you live in a nation that does not require a visa, such as Mexico, Argentina or Bolivia… the process is even easier! In this case, all you have to do is apply for a permit and report to immigration when you arrive in Ireland. Foreigners from visa-exempt countries must obtain their permission and register by the agreed date, otherwise they may be deported from Ireland. Now, if you must process a Student Visa (D) to enter the Republic of Ireland, pay attention to what you have to do.

What you need to apply for a Student visa

  • Application form, signed and dated.
  • $73 dollars to pay the fee , or $122 dollars in case you want a multiple-entry student visa.
  • Two color passport photographs. Photos must not be more than 6 months old.
  • Current passport and a complete copy of previous passports. Your current passport must be valid for at least 12 months after your intended arrival in Ireland.
  • A signed application letter that includes your contact details. It is a document where you must describe the main reason why you want to go to Ireland. You must mention if you have a relative in Ireland or in another member country of the European Union and agree to respect the visa conditions.
  • Proof that you have been accepted to an Irish higher education programme. You must present an acceptance letter issued by a university, college or educational institution. This document must explain the details of the course you are going to study, as well as medical insurance in your name in case the university has contracted it. If the price of the course is less than $7,310, you must pay all the fees before applying for your visa. If the price is higher, you must pay at least $7,310 dollars to be able to apply for your visa and prove that you have made the payment.
  • Evidence of any “gaps” in your educational history. You will need to give information about the periods of time you have not studied, from your last study period to the application to study in Ireland. You must also provide details about your employment history, if you worked during any educational gap.
  • Evidence that you have paid the fees to the university. Like the capture of an electronic transfer where you can see the name of the beneficiary, address and bank details. If you are a scholarship student, then you must prove that the organization that is financing your studies has made the payment.
  • Proof that you are qualified to study the chosen course. For example, your high school grades or entrance exam results (if applicable).
  • Demonstrate your command of English. Once again, you must demonstrate that your command of English is adequate to study the chosen program. To learn more about the English requirements to apply for a Student Visa, visit this link .
  • Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Ireland. You must prove that you have immediate access to a minimum of $8,528 (without recourse to public funds or wages from odd jobs) for each year of study in Ireland. If the course lasts less than 6 months, you must have a minimum of $610 for each month you are in Ireland. For more information, click here .
  • Have private health insurance. You can process this insurance on your own or let the university take care of it. In either case, you must prove that you have one when you apply for your visa.
  • Inform if you have been rejected visa applications for any country in the past .

To learn more about the Visa to study in Ireland, open the following link .

Process to Apply for a Student visa

  1. Apply for your Student Visa (D) online. The first thing you should do is start with the application by filling out the form that you will find here . The platform will indicate step by step what you should place and the information you must provide. The earliest you can apply for this visa is 3 months before the planned date of your trip to Ireland.
  2. Wait for the answer. Long-stay visa applications are processed in order of date and may vary according to the country where the applicant resides. The estimated time to receive a response is 8 weeks.
  3. Approved visa? The adventure begins! Now you can buy your plane ticket, pack your things and start the incredible experience of studying in Ireland.

Can you study and work with a Student visa?

Yes, a Student (D) Visa allows you to study and work in Ireland , but some conditions apply. For example, in the months of June, July, August and September (and from December 15 to January 15 inclusive), you can work up to 40 hours a week. The rest of the time, you can only work 20 hours per week.

Short-term Tourist Visa (C)

If you plan to study in Ireland for a maximum of 90 days and your nationality requires it , you must apply for a short-term Tourist Visa (C). This visa allows you, in addition to visiting the country as a tourist, to study short cultural or language courses. To make sure you need to apply for a “C” visa for short-term study in Ireland, click here .

Requirements to Apply for a Short Term Tourist visa

  • Application summary sheets. You must print, fill in, sign and date your application form and submit it together with the other documents.
  • Application letter. It is a letter that you can write by hand or on a computer, where you explain the reason for your visit to Ireland. The letter must include your full name, postal address and the date you plan to arrive and leave Ireland. You must also expose your commitment to obey the visa conditions, not depend on public services or become a burden to the State.
  • Curriculum. Since the main purpose of your visit to Ireland in this case is supposed to be to study, you must present supporting documents. You will need to prove that you have been accepted to a short course at an Irish institution and that you have paid the fee. In addition, you will have to provide details about the course, such as its name, duration, type of study and where it is taught.
  • Confirmation of fee payment (when applicable) . In some cases, you may need to include proof that you have paid the visa fee. At the moment, this procedure has a cost of $73 dollars or $122 dollars, depending on whether it is for one or multiple entries.
  • Your current passport and a copy of all the pages of your previous passports. The passport you use when applying for the visa must be valid for at least 6 months by the date you plan to leave Ireland. This means that if you are staying in Ireland for 90 days, your passport must be valid for 9 months from your arrival.
  • 2 Recent color passport size photographs. On the back of each photo you must include your name written in your native language and the visa application number.
  • Evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Ireland. The documents you must present in this case depend on whether you are financing your trip, a friend or relative is going to receive you in Ireland or if a third party is going to pay for your “C” visa. To find out precisely what type of evidence you must present, open the following link and look for section VII “Finance Plan”.
  • Proof that you will return to your country of residence. You will have to show evidence that you have work or academic commitments in your country of residence and that, therefore, you have an obligation to return. If you have a family, it is valid to present documents that support your marital status or that you have children in your care.
  • Travel insurance. You are not allowed to enter Ireland without travel insurance. In some cases, proof of insurance may be required before your visa application is approved.
  • Notify if in the past you have been rejected a visa application for any country.

Steps to Apply for a Tourist visa

  1. Request your short-term Tourist Visa on the AVATS platform. The first thing you should do is enter the AVATS platform and start the process of applying for your visa. The system will tell you step by step what to do. Keep in mind that you can start this process 3 months before the scheduled date of your trip. To fill out the form, click here .
  2. Wait for the decision. After filling out the form and submitting all the relevant documents, you must be patient and wait for the response. Generally, short-stay tourist visa applications are processed within a maximum period of 8 weeks.
  3. Travel to Ireland! Now that your visa has been approved, you can buy your plane ticket and study for a maximum of 90 days in Ireland. Remember that this visa does not guarantee you entry into the country if an immigration officer denies you access for any reason.

Can you study and work with a Tourist visa?

No, unfortunately a short-stay (C) tourist visa does not allow you to work or participate in any paid (or voluntary) activity in Ireland.

Where can I study English in Ireland?

International students who have chosen Ireland as their destination to learn English can choose from a wide range of language academies and schools . Some of the most recognized are:

  • isi dublin
  • IBAT College Dublin
  • Everest Language School
  • Atlas Language School
  • Delfin English School
  • Center of English Studies (CES)
  • Atlantic Language Dublin
  • Central School of English

Each academy offers multiple courses for foreign students, which adapt to the needs of each one. For example, at the Central School of English in Dublin, there are face-to-face and online courses focused on exam preparation (such as the Cambridge B1 and A2), business, medicine, general English, and private tuition. Most of the English schools in Ireland offer courses with flexible hours that you can change whenever you want, and the number of students per class generally does not exceed 9 people.

General requirements to study enroll in an English course

To find out the specific requirements you will need to be admitted to an English course in Ireland, it is best to contact the academy, institute or language school . In general, the admission requirements that you may have to meet are:

  1. Student or Tourist Visa, as applicable according to your country of residence and the duration of the course.
  2. Travel insurance that covers all expenses related to medical care and emergencies during your stay in Ireland.
  3. Take an assessment or test to determine your level of English.
  4. Pay the full course fee or part of it, as required by the institution.
  5. Valid passport that is valid throughout the English course.

How to apply for language school

The process to be admitted to an English course in Ireland varies depending on the academy. Most likely, you will have to apply through the institute’s website, send the relevant documents, take a test to find out your level of English and pay the corresponding fee. You should receive an answer within a few weeks, although this factor of course also depends on the number of applicants and the start season of the course.

There is no specific Visa to study English in Ireland

At the moment, there is no special visa to study English in Ireland . Certainly the official language of Ireland is Irish ( Gaeilge ), but English is the predominant language in higher education institutions, and also the most widely spoken. If you are interested in learning English in Ireland, you only have to know the duration of the course to know what type of visa corresponds to you . Of course, this is if your nationality requires it, because, otherwise, you would not need a visa to study English in the land of clovers.

Scholarships and grants to study in Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, as in many European countries, there are hundreds of scholarships that seek to provide international students with a helping hand . There are financial support programs from the Government, but most universities also offer scholarships for specific courses. Some of the most prominent are:

If you want to know more about financing and financial aid to study in Ireland, click here .

Study and work in Ireland

As you know, the Student Visa (D) allows you to study and work in Ireland, but for a limited number of hours per week. The number of hours you can work weekly will be indicated to you when you acquire your visa. If you are from a visa-exempt country, you should request information about it when you register with the immigration service and have your permission. Also, all international students who want to work in Ireland must have a Personal Public Service Number ( PPS Number ). It is essential that you have a PPS because employers can only pay a salary to employees who have this number. Also, the salary is usually deposited in an Irish bank account, so you will need to open one. It is normal that you must pass a trial period before being officially hired in a job. You can also do an internship, as long as it’s part of the program you’re studying and it’s not self-employment. To learn more about it, we suggest you visit the following page .

Have you finished your studies and want to stay and work in Ireland?

Living in Ireland is a dream come true for those who know how to take advantage of all the opportunities that this small but progressive country offers. If you want to work in the Republic of Ireland after graduation, you can enroll in the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme . The plan basically consists of facilitating the job search for graduates who do not legally reside in the EU and must apply for a Green Card (or work permit). In theory, by being part of this plan, you will be able to work full time, that is, 40 hours a week. To find out what are the requirements you must meet to work in Ireland at the end of your studies, read the information that appears at this link . Go-Study-In is a website dedicated to providing information on international studies to people in Latin America. If you want to study in Ireland or in another country abroad , contact one of our expert advisors to receive the guidance you need throughout the process.

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