According to a report by the European Migration Network, Ireland is a popular study abroad destination and the number of international students coming here increased by 45 per cent between 2013 and 2017. The report also notified that around 9,300 residence permits were issued to international students coming to study in Ireland in 2013 which increased to 13,500 by 2017.
This article explores why Ireland could be an option for students wishing to study abroad.
What does Ireland offer as a study abroad destination?
Ireland is considered among the safest destinations for foreign students as it ranked 12th in the ‘Most Peaceful Countries’ list published by the Global Peace Index. Crime rates are low and cities are generally safe at night for students to explore. Even though Gaelic is the official language of Ireland, English is the most spoken language, which removes a lot of the language barriers faced by international students when moving to a new country.
Ireland also has a long-standing academic culture that is renowned for producing the likes of CS Lewis, Bram Stoker, Colm McCarthy and Robert Boyle.
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According to the IMD World Competitiveness Year book, the Irish Education System is ranked among the top 20 in Europe. Overcoming its small size and relatively isolated location, Ireland has emerged as one of the most popular study abroad destinations in Europe with seven public universities and one technology institute ranking within the top 700 in the QS World University Rankings for 2019. Their reputation is well-deserved and is built upon the principles of commitment to excellence in all aspects of academia.
Irish universities offer 5000+ courses to prospective applicants at the Bachelors’, Master’s and Doctorate levels, along with a host of undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas. Irish qualifications are globally recognised and students can choose from a wide variety of subjects, which include but are not limited to business, science and technology, humanities and technical courses too.
The classroom structure is based on a blend of lectures, seminars, coursework, active simulation, group discussions with a higher focus on the practical application of the information gained inside the classroom. Other than academia, Ireland is also known for providing opportunities to international students to work while they are studying in the country. This allows them to secure a source of auxiliary income which in turn eases the financial pressure faced by them and also lets them experience the culture of the country first-hand as a contributing member of the Irish society. International students can apply for a Stamp 2 visa which gives them the right to work for 20 hours per week during their academic session and 40 hours per week during the vacation period.
Since it’s a fairly small country, the further away you move from the large urban centres, the cost of living goes down considerably as well. Ireland is a laidback country where you can enjoy a relaxed and balanced lifestyle with the average cost of living being around EUR 1,800 per month in big cities like Dublin and around EUR 1,100 per month in smaller towns like Galway.
Top Ranked Colleges in Ireland
1. Trinity College, Dublin – Secured 108 spot in the QS World University Rankings for 2019-20, Trinity College Dublin was founded in 1592. It has maintained its position as the premier Irish university and is a world leader in research too. It is the oldest university in Ireland and is situated in Dublin.
They offer students the chance to join over 170 clubs and societies including many international groups as involvement in student organisations is seen as an integral part of education and not just a hobby. According to QS 2020, Trinity College Dublin is Ireland’s leading university and first in Ireland for employer reputation and alumni outcomes. Trinity ranks in the top 100 in 20 subjects, as per the QS subject rankings 2019.
These subjects are History, Modern Languages, Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies, Computer Science and Information Systems, Biological Sciences, Medicine, Chemistry, Geography, Materials Science, Education, Law, Politics and International Studies, Social Policy and Administration and Sports-related subjects.
2. University College, Dublin – Originally known as the Catholic University of Ireland and the Royal University for a time after that, UCD as it is now known came into existence in 1908. Ranked 185 in the QS World University Rankings for 2019-20, it is one of the most cosmopolitan universities in Ireland with students from 136 countries being a part of their roster.
The best-known alumni of UCD is the author James Joyce who completed his Bachelor of Arts from the university and went on to become the author of classics such as ‘Finnegans Wake’ and ‘Ulysses’.
3. National University of Ireland, Galway – Founded in 1845, the university was originally called the ‘Queen’s College Galway’. Ranked 259 in the QS World University Rankings for 2019-20, the National University of Ireland Galway offers strong programs in subjects like arts, science, commerce, engineering, medicine and law.
The university also plays host to 3000 international students from 115 different countries. The university draws on its 170 years of experience to provide programs that are research-based and ensure that students are prepared for the practical application of knowledge outside the confines of the classroom.
– With inputs from Buddy4Study
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