Is It Hard to Study Abroad in Ireland?
Ireland is a great place to study abroad. There are many universities and colleges in Ireland. In this article, we will show some of the common challenges you may experience while studying in Ireland.
It is not hard to study in Ireland depending on the school or course of study. Some programs are straightforward while others can be difficult and some schools can be more expensive than others. However, studying in Ireland can be done without unbearable challenges. This means that with the right resource and information, you can make your study in Ireland easy and possible.
Finding ease in your study in Ireland depends on different factors which include the type of university you choose and the city or region in which you study or live. Different people have their programs and school easy while others don’t. You want to choose a straightforward program to find ease in your studies.
However, if you are interested in difficult programs, you should prepare for them and bring your best so that things don’t take you by surprise.
How easy you find your studies in Ireland also depends on the level of degree you want and how well you can balance your academic workload and social life. Some students find it hard to achieve this balance so one aspect affects the other. You should be able to find this balance while studying at any level.
Let’s take a look at some information about studying in Ireland such as the educational standard, cultural differences, and how you can overcome these challenges regardless of where you are coming from.
Ireland is a country with a standard educational system like most countries in Europe. The Irish academic year is similar to that of the UK due to its history with the UK. To study in Ireland, you need to have certain qualities and educational background which I will point out in this section.
There are many English-taught programs in Irish schools so you need to prove your proficiency in English. While applying to school in Ireland, most programs will require that you meet their English proficiency requirement by submitting your English proficiency results especially if they are English courses.
You can take IELTS or TOEFL to prove this and you can also take other proficiency exams depending on the requirement of your school or the program
To enroll for Master’s studies in Ireland, you should have an internationally recognized bachelor’s degree that has lasted for at least 3 years. The degree should be officially recognized by your state and can either be public or private.
You should also have graduated with at least 60% in your bachelor’s degree to qualify for a master’s degree in Ireland. Other programs may require that you show proof of graduation from high school so they can sure you have passed all necessary stages of education to qualify for a master’s degree.
For doctorate programs in Ireland, you must have completed an undergraduate degree and master’s degree or your previous degree needs to be recognized and accepted by the German academic authorities. A doctorate in Ireland usually takes about three to four years to complete.
When you arrive in Ireland for your studies as an international student, you will meet and experience a different culture from what you are used to in your home country especially if you are coming from a country outside Europe.
This new culture and way of life is usually the western culture so you may need to keep an open mind when leaving your home country.
Irish people are warm and friendly. They have the habit of being quick to show courtesy, especially in public. If you are not used to a community that is welcoming and friendly, you may be surprised by what you see and experience in Ireland.
Irish people are also always willing to help especially if you are new. Due to the low entry requirement in Ireland, the country welcomes a good number of international students yearly so they are used to receiving new people. They understand that you are in a new environment and are happy to help you get around.
The official language in Ireland is English and Irish so you will find a handful of people that speak English. This means that you won’t find it hard to communicate with people in English. However, if you can speak Irish, it can be a plus for you.
If you live in the popular and big cities, you can survive with English unlike if you live in the smaller cities where people communicate in local languages. This doesn’t mean that you can’t survive in Ireland without being able to converse in Irish.
There are lots of international students who have settled in Ireland so you will find a good number of people speaking English.
However, you may find that Irish people speak with a different English accent. If you find it difficult to hear them, you can always politely ask them to talk a little bit slower so you can hear and understand them. Don’t worry, they’ll be kind to listen to you. Remember that Irish people are warm and friendly.
Irish people don’t dress too seriously as you can find them with casual outfits to non-casual events. Their fashion sense is unique and not the regular type you see in most countries.
Cost of living/Financial barrier
After taking care of your tuition fee, you want to ensure that you make proper plans for your living costs in Ireland. Your living costs include basic things such as your accommodation, feeding, clothing, transport, and other things that get you by in Ireland.
According to the United Nations, Ireland has ranked second in the world for quality of life. The standard of living in Ireland can be a bit high when compared to other European countries. However, you can cut costs on your expenses if you manage your money well by making proper and realistic plans.
Accommodation is often the highest expense that you have to take care of as an international student in a new country especially if you don’t have friends or relatives that you can stay with. You may want to start cutting expenses down from your rent so it can positively affect the rest of your living costs.
You can get accommodation in school residence halls for about 300 EUR – 450 EUR per month and prices start from 450 EUR to 900 EUR per room to rent an apartment alone outside school. It is advisable to avoid expensive cities or accommodation plans.
You can decide to go for on-campus lodging where you get to share with two or more other students. Residents share bathrooms, kitchens, and other common areas. Shared apart can cost about 450 EUR per month. This can be another affordable option for you when it comes to finding low-cost accommodations.
It is quite affordable to get food in Ireland. You can get a decent meal of 15 EUR if you decide to eat out. On the other hand, making your food at home is much more affordable than eating out so you can get groceries for about 100 EUR per month. You can budget an average of 150 EUR to 160 EUR per month for your feeding as a student in Ireland.
It is more affordable to use public transportation to get around in Ireland compared to other means of transportation. You can get a monthly pass that usually costs about 50 EUR – 60 EUR with a student discount. Cycling is also a good means of cutting costs on transportation in Ireland. Most students use bicycles to get themselves around.
Getting accommodation in the school residence hall is a good way to cut costs on transportation. This way, you don’t have to budget for transportation to the school since the residence is on the school premises.
An alternative will be to rent apartments that are not far from the school. However, you will need transportation to go to other places that are not close to the school.
Best Practices While Studying in Ireland
Now that you have enough information about studying in Ireland, let’s take a look at some of the best practices that can help you get the best from living in Ireland.
- You should keep an open mind while studying and living in Ireland. To make the best out of your stay in Ireland, stay open-minded and expect things to be done differently than you were used to. When you keep an open mind, you will not experience too much culture shock and you will be able to embrace the Irish culture with ease.
- Another way to make things easy for you while living and studying in Ireland is to make Irish friends or friends from your country who are now used to the Irish culture so they can hint you on the best ways to behave. You can also stay observant by watching them and from continuous interaction with them, you will be able to catch up fast.
- You can also try to live in your school’s hall of residence as there will be many students like yourself in there and you’ll be able to relate freely with time.
- Seeking counseling from the school is also a good way to get by. The school understands that you are new and are always welcoming to new or international students who need help.
- Watching more Irish shows or movies before coming to Germany can help. You get to see how things are done and how people behave and react to certain things.
- Ask questions and be polite. When you are not sure about what to do or say, you are free to ask people and they’ll be happy to help.
Many international students studying in Ireland have been able to blend in the society and culture so you can do so too by following these guidelines and staying positive.