English schools in Ireland are known for friendliness, making Ireland a popular choice for English study. Ireland is situated in North West Europe and is Europe's third largest island. It's closest neighbour is the United Kingdom. The island of Ireland is divided into the Republic of Ireland, which is independent and Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom.
The population of the island is slightly under six million with over 4 million in the Republic of Ireland, the capital of which is Dublin with a population just under two million.
Legitimate English schools in Ireland are listed by the Department of Education's Register of Approved Programmes. Students must apply to schools on the list to receive a visa.
Cork is a picturesque county in the south west of Ireland
Cork City is a beautiful city in the South of Ireland and Ireland's third city after Dublin and Belfast. With unique 19th Century narrow lanes, the city is built on an island between two arms of the River Lee. This provides the city with lovely quays and waterways and lots of pedestrian walkways.
Galway is a vibrant city in Irelands rugged West. It is Ireland's forth largest city with a managable city centre, home to a large student population. One of the most popular locations for tourism in Ireland.
Ireland has been known as the land of saints and scholars since the dark ages.
Also known as 'The Emerald Isle' because of its lush green landscape, it is an island of outstanding beauty. Wide green pastures, lakes, rolling hills, impressive cliffs and rugged coastline form Ireland's breathtaking landscape.
Ireland's literary tradition is of great importance and was the home of the famous writers George Bernard Shaw, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wild, James Joyce, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett.
Ireland holds a multitude of cultural riches from ancient tombs and Viking remains to the elegance of Anglo-Irish architecture. Ireland is also known for its social life and has a vibrant "pub culture" where a pint of Guinness is often accompanied by live music.
Culture Ireland has a large photo gallery.
Ireland has a variable but moderate maritime climate. There are few extremes of weather. The temperature seldom drops below zero or higher than 25°C. You should be prepared for most types of weather in Ireland. The weather can be quite damp and it's not unusual to have rain every day for a week, so it's a good idea to carry some rain gear or umbrella.
If you are looking for a sunshine or want to spend days on the beach, it's probably better to consider a location other than Ireland or the United Kingdom.
The warmest and driest time of the year is May to mid September, when temperatures usually stay between 15º to 20 ºC, sometimes reaching as higher than 25 ºC. Winters are drizzly and dark with sun sets around 17:00. Due to the Gulf Stream influence the temperature averages 7 ºC during winter. Low pressure Atlantic air systems bring wind in Autumn and winter. Snow is rare, though occasionally visible in mountainous regions in winter.
More information on Ireland's climate can be found at Met Eireann.
The Euro (€) is the legal currency of the Republic of Ireland. Ireland uses a euros and cents system of decimal currency with 100 cents in a euro. In Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., the legal currency is Pound Sterling.
Ireland is a cheaper alternative than the U.K. for studying English where the overall cost can be aproximately 30% less. For accommodation, food and entertainment you should budget around €200 per week.
Banks are usually open Monday to Friday from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. In cities they stay open all day. In small towns and more rural areas banks tend to close for lunch from 12.30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m. Most banks in Dublin stay open until 17.00 on Thursdays. Automatic Teller machines (ATMs) accept cards with the 'Plus' and 'Cirrus' symbols, meaning you can withdraw from your home country account.
Opening a bank account in Ireland can be difficult, though it is easier than in the U.K.
In order to open a bank account, the student must have a PPS number (with the official statement showing the number), their passport and evidence of address in Ireland
In many cases a bank will open an account if you have a letter from your school of employer confirming your address. Most schools will have this information on their homepage.
Traveltowork.co.uk is a banking service that enables you to open a bank account from most countries before you leave home.
In restaurants and cafés a 10% tip is normal, unless the service is included. Outside of restaurants tipping in Ireland is not expected in many cases and is always at the customers' discretion. In some bars and cafés a tip jar is left on the counter or change is returned on a tipping tray. if you would like to leave a tip it will be appreciated but is not obligatory as it is in the US. In some cases people tip taxis or hairdressers (a pound or two), though if you do not it will not be acknowledge.
Ireland has a low rate of unemployment compared with the rest of Europe and has had very high economic growth rates in the previous two decades. While it is not as simple to find a job as in previous years most students can find work.
Foreign students are permitted to work 20 hours per week and full time on holidays. Those on working holidays visas are not permitted to work more than three months in one job. Jobs in retail, restaurants, cafés and bars have a wage of €7 – 15 per hour. There are a number of options for students with limited English such as bar work, events catering, cleaning and shop work.
Only students enrolled in courses listed on the Department of Education Register of Approved Programmes are legally allowed to work. English schools are listed on the third tab of the Excel worksheet.
Personal Public Service (PPS) Number
In order to work in Ireland a PPS number number is required for tax purposes. Applications for PPS numbers are made from your local Social Security Office. To apply for a PPS number you will need your passport and proof of address in Ireland. If you do not have a bank statement or utility bill a signed letter from your school or the person you are renting from is acceptable. Before traveling to the office it is a good idea to phone ahead to make sure it is the correct office. Non-EU students are required to bring;
Some websites for job seekers;
The easiest way to find work in bars or restaurants is to visit with a copy of your C.V. and ask to see the manager.
Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to enter Ireland, provided that the stay does not exceed 3 months.
For citizens of some countries a student visa is required before coming to Ireland. According to the application procedure it is necessary to pay for your course fees before applying for a visa. If you have decided to study in Ireland the first step is to apply for a course, then apply for a visa and finally purchase a ticket to travel to Ireland.
In order for your application to be processed you must apply to a school on the Department of Education's Register of Approved Programmes. Only acceptance letters from these schools will be considered.
Visa Application Procedure
The documents required for an entry visa depend on the country. Check with your local embassy to make sure which are necessary. Usually these include;
All documents should be original.
Further Information on Visa Process
The granting of an Irish visa is, in effect, a form of pre-entrance clearance. It does not grant permission to enter Ireland. Immigration Officers at the airport have authority to grant or deny admission. On arrival the originals or copies of the documents submitted with the visa applications and appropriate letters from the school may be required for possible presentation to Immigration Officers. If your level of English is low, it is a good idea to contact the school to see if someone can arrange to meet you. If not be sure to have a contact number of someone who can explain your situation and verify you are a student.
A visa does not grant permission to stay in Ireland. The date of validity shown on the visa indicates only the date before which it must be presented to an Immigration Officer.
The length of stay is decided by an Immigration Officer at the port of entry. This will usually be based on the date of your return flight.
A student visa holder proposing to remain in Ireland for longer than three months is required to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) in the area in which he/she resides. Registration establishes permission to reside. In Dublin the Immigration registration Office is in Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 (Tel: 353 1 475 5555)
Department of Foreign Affairs
All student visa applications are referred for decision to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in Dublin. This process normally takes at least 4-6 weeks. Apply for your visa as early as possible and have all your documentation in order as applications without all the required attachments will not be entertained. Applications are made through the Irish Embassy in your home country.
Any decision to refuse a visa can be appealed by writing to:
Only written appeals will de dealt with.
The visa reference number, decision number and nationality will facilitate processing. The success of an appeal will be enhanced if the appellant is in a position to forward additional supporting documentation in favour of the application or to submit a document previously omitted.
Permission to work Part time
Non-EU nationals who have permission to remain in Ireland as students are entitled to take up casual employment (defined as 20 hours part time work per week or full time during vacation periods) for the duration of their permission to remain. The entitlement to take up employment ceases upon the expiry of their permission to remain and their being in casual employment will not, in itself, entitle to further permission to remain. It will continue to be a breach of their student conditions to be in full time employment, other then during vacation periods.
For more information on visa application, education in Ireland and part-time employment refer to:
Department of Foreign Affairs, Visa Services
List of counrtries who do not require a visa for up to three months
On-line visa application (in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Turkish, Urdu)
Homestays in Ireland are known for their friendliness and hospitality. In many cases you will be treated like a member of the family, but it is important to have your own friends and independence.
Cost: €100 - €200 per week (depending on school and area)
Cost: €80 - €1,000
Renting a single room in Ireland will cost around €200 - 300 per week.
Hotels, Hostels and B&B
Most schools will be able to provide you with a list of near-by recommended establishments, that offer discounted rates.
Some websites for finding accommodation are;
If you have problems with your land lord there are a number of agencies who can help your resolve the issues or explain your legal options.
Mobile telephones can be brought into Ireland. Customers with subscriptions to GSM services, providing they have a roaming agreement with the Irish network operator(s) may use their subscription. Pay-as-you-go mobile phones or SIM cards can also be purchased in the Arrival Hall in Dublin Airport.
There are four main providers of mobile phone services in Ireland. For students the cheapest and most popular is Meteor.
Calls cost around 25c but this depends on which network you choose and which plan you are on.