Student life in Ireland
Ireland knows how to have a good time!
The small island showcases some of the world’s most beautiful natural sights, punches above its weight in the musical and literary fields and has a lively nightlife scene.
Ireland has nine universities which have a lot to offer - over 5000 programmes, to be precise!
- Trinity College Dublin
- University College Dublin
- Dublin City University
- Royal College of Surgeons Ireland
- Dublin Institute of Technology
- University College Cork
- University of Limerick
- Maynooth University
- Munster Technological University
These universities boast highly respected business schools, and centres of scientific and technology, alongside impressive language, humanities, and arts faculties. They offer Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate level degrees over a range of disciplines.
Ireland’s universities range from the ultra-traditional Trinity College Dublin, founded in 1592 and modeled on Oxford and Cambridge, to the ultra-modern, go-ahead Limerick University, founded in 1972 and based on American universities. Universities in Ireland are similar to UK universities in course structure and classification, allowing you to choose from a number of undergraduate subjects. You can use the Irish universities shortlisting tool on Unifrog here to check out individual universities.
Beyond education structure and degree classification, studying in Ireland presents a lot of excellent opportunities. Being able to join a vast network of over 35,000 international students from over 160 countries is a good reason why you should come to the country - it means there’s plenty of time and chances to enjoy a vibrant, diverse, international culture and grow your network.
There are a number of accommodation options available to you as an international student in Ireland. However, much like the United Kingdom, some of these options can be pretty pricey. The average cost for accommodation per month can be between 450 - 850 EUR. You can find out more about costs in our guide ‘The cost of studying in Ireland’ here.
On-campus student halls
Universities in Ireland typically offer on-campus housing in the form of student halls. These tend to be close to lecture halls and facilities, which makes them a great option. However, they can be pretty expensive and are in high demand, so if you are interested, you need to start searching for on-campus housing as soon as possible.
Off-campus student housing
Many universities have off-campus accommodation for undergraduates, with more and more housing being set aside for international students. This is slightly different to student halls, where you’re likely to live with a number of students in a much larger building. This option tends to be a great choice if you’d like the experience of living with around one to three other people, and a little bit further away from the campus to give you a chance to explore Ireland beyond your campus.
This tends to be the most expensive option for accommodation, as unlike off-campus student housing, you will need to complete the process of finding accommodation independently. This means that all negotiations for rent price must be made by you, and it is likely you will need to find a guarantor (someone else who lives in Ireland to co-sign your lease as an international student). This can be a great option if you’d like to be truly independent - however, it can be much more costly and a much longer process.
Ireland has a number of transport options available to both international and home students alike. With a comprehensive tram, train, and bus system, it’s quite straightforward to get around both the campus and the rest of the country.
More importantly, as a student you are eligible for the Student Travelcard, which is Ireland’s largest national student ID and discount card. The Student Travelcard offers exclusive discounts of up to 40% off on Irish Rail, Dublin Bus, DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit), and LUAS (Ireland’s public tram system). It also offers discounts in retail stores. The pass costs 12 EUR for postal applications and 15 EUR when purchasing the card from campus agents.
There are lots of student-organised activities on campus like sports, clubs and societies, theatre, and music. Many universities even host their own spring semester balls. Universities across the country also host Rag Week in February, during which students host morning discos, shave their heads, and get professors to dye their hair to raise money for charity! And of course, you’ll have the opportunity to join in the parades and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style!
Ireland is known across the world for its nightlife - and for good reason. In addition to the many pubs and the famous whiskey, larger cities are home to nightclubs with musical preferences ranging from Jazz to EDM. Ireland is also a great place to see live music - big-name acts often start their European tours in Dublin, and it’s easier to get tickets there than in other cities. Smaller venues all over Ireland showcase emerging musicians, and you can also listen to traditional Irish music in welcoming pubs.
The Irish love sport and Dublin boast the third-largest stadium in all of Europe. You’ll also have ample opportunity to play - or just cheer on your local team - as universities all host common sports like football, rugby, and cricket as well as traditional Irish sports like hurling and Gaelic football.
Good stuff from elsewhere
Transport for Ireland
Information on the Student Travel Card
Unifrog Insights monthly email
Progression-related teaching materials, and insight from the Unifrog platform, emailed to you once a month.