The Education System
Ireland’s education system is regarded as one of the best in Europe. As per the 2018 Universitas 21 Ranking, Ireland’s higher education system gained the 19th spot from among 50 countries. Hence, it does not come as a surprise that education has played a crucial role in Ireland’s rapid economic growth in the past decade.
If you are looking for study and research opportunities in your chosen field, then Ireland, ranked 1% globally in 18 research domains, might be perfect for you. Pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer science and information technology are the most popular among the plethora of courses on offer. What also makes Ireland appealing is the transferability of credits to other globally-placed universities, even in your home country. So, just in case personal conditions nudge you to return to India, your studies will not suffer.
Work opportunities while studying
While studying in a foreign country, students typically work part-time. Not only does this help you earn extra cash, but also gives you the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience that will help you build your CV. To be eligible for employment while studying, you will have to apply for Visa Stamp 2. Under this visa, students can work 20 hours per week during the academic session. This increases to 40 hours per week for four months—May, June, July, August, and during Christmas holidays. Wondering why? It is because this period are considered as university vacations in Ireland.
It is also imperative that students have adequate knowledge of rules regarding conditions associated with part-time work in Ireland. For instance, a Personal Public Services Number is essential to receive payment from employers. Associating with an Irish bank is equally important for ease of receiving payments. As for monetary compensation, the minimum wage in Ireland is 7.84 euros for freshers above 18 years of age.
In case a student is overwhelmed while searching for internships, university websites offer guidance and often serve as your one-stop destination for such matters. For example, University College Dublin’s Lochlann Quinn School of Business offers an eight-week long Business Internship Programme for full-time undergraduate students. Moreover, an exhaustive list of internships in sectors such as banking, marketing, sales, supply chain, and law can be found at University College Cork’s website. Therefore, part-time work experience serves a twin purpose: it offers you practical experience in your field of study and boosts your future employability.
The stay back period offered by Ireland is another major contributing factor that draws international students towards it. A one-year job search visa is awarded to students upon completion of their undergraduate education. If you are a postgraduate student then this period extends to 24 months.
If you secure a job that pays you 30,000 euros and above per annum, you will be issued a green card, valid for two years. Try and maintain this professional record for these two years, and your green card will be extended for an indefinite period, clearing the path for you to earn an Irish passport after five years. Thus, leaving your home country to pursue advanced studies in Ireland could a revolutionary decision as there is a significant possibility that you might work and stay in the country for several years to come, as a duly crowned citizen.
English is the Medium of Instruction
At times, students are a bit hesitant to apply to countries other than the UK and the US since they are unsure about the dominant language. An equally common doubt is regarding the facilitation of everyday conversations and the medium of instruction within the class. In Ireland, which proudly boasts of a distinct cultural identity and historical ties, the majority of the population speaks English, which makes it easier for international students to settle in. The medium of instruction in universities, too, is English. Moreover, Ireland has close cultural, economic, and educational links with the English-speaking world, especially with the UK and the USA which means that your university degree will be recognized and stay valid should you decide to move to these countries.
If you are looking for a degree in Computer Science, then you will find only a few places as excellent as Ireland. Carrying the merit of being the second-largest computer exporter in the world, it has been continually regarded as the hub of the computer software and hardware industry. Most IT majors have a significant presence in Ireland. If you are inclined towards the pharmaceutical industry, then you will be excited to know that six out of eight premier biotech companies have headquarters based there, and 60 per cent of the world’s medical devices are manufactured in Ireland. Engineering is as popular in Ireland, as in other parts of the world. One can unearth extensive knowledge in courses such as telecommunication, mobile networks, electronics, etc.
Scholarships to Study in Ireland
Irish universities, like most others, have two significant intakes—major intake in September and minor intake in January/February. The earlier you apply, the higher will be the possibility for you to apply for and secure a scholarship. Irish universities are particularly eager to attract students from non-European countries and to attain this goal, the Government of Ireland and the Irish Universities Association provide a scholarship scheme covering Indian students’ full living expenses and tuition fee.
If you are aiming to earn a bachelor’s degree, then some available scholarship options for you include India Undergraduate Scholarship (5,000 euros) offered by Trinity College Dublin, Undergraduate Merit Scholarships (2,000 euros) extended by the National University of Ireland, Galway and International (non-EU) Scholarships (2,000 pounds) provided by Ulster University. On the Master’s level, this catalogue of scholarships alters to make space for the Global Excellence Postgraduate Scholarships (between 3,000 euros to 5,000 euros each) offered by Trinity College Dublin, GOI India Scholarship (10,000 euros) provided by University College Cork, and Postgraduate Merit Scholarship (2,000 euros) granted by National University of Ireland, Galway.
Lower Cost of Study
As an international student, if you are looking to earn an undergraduate degree in Ireland, you will have to pay between 9,000-45,000 euros per year. On the Master’s and PhD level, you can expect to spend between 9,150-37,000 euros per year. University websites have detailed information about the course and the study cost, and it is always advisable to thoroughly dig them before making a decision. The following list can help you develop a better idea about the annual average tuition fees of top-ranked Irish universities:
- Trinity College Dublin– undergraduate courses: 18,860 euros, postgraduate courses: 34,500 euros
- University College Dublin– undergraduate courses: 19,200 euros, postgraduate courses: 13,000 euros
- National University of Ireland, Galway– undergraduate courses: 14,750 euros, postgraduate courses: 15,550 euros
- Dublin Business School– undergraduate courses: 9,850 euros, postgraduate courses: 12,000 euros
Overall Living Conditions and Economy
The country is widely recognized as a safe place to study and live in. So, you need not fret about how well you will fare in a distant land. Of course, surviving in a foreign country can seem like a daunting task at first, but perhaps official statistics can ease your worries. In 2019, the Global Peace Index announced Ireland as the 12th most peaceful country in the world. FDI has been the driving force behind Ireland’s economic wellness, and a conducive investment environment has made it seamless for numerous leading brands to establish business there. This has positively impacted the employment rate of the country, and in May 2017, Ireland’s Central Statistics Office’s reports demonstrated an increase in employment of 3.5% or 68,600 in the year to 2017’s first quarter, which brings the total employment to 2,045,100.
Therefore, as an international student, the favourable economic atmosphere will aid you in securing a job after your education’s conclusion. Industry stalwarts such as Google, Apple, HP, Linkedin, Twitter, GSK, and Genzyme also have their regional headquarters situated in Ireland. Interestingly, Eric Schmidt, ex-CEO of Google once said that their decision to locate to Ireland has “everything to do with the workforce of geographically diverse, speaking multiple languages, creative young people coming out of [Ireland’s] top universities.”
Ireland has its roots steeped in a rich, vibrant cultural past and the remains of the grandiosity of the royal families which once lived, can be found in abundance. Easy going, fun-loving people who certainly believe in the carpe diem philosophy, the Irish are incredibly passionate about their food and drink, and most towns have restaurants that cater to every budget and taste. In addition to that, they also love sports, and the country is crazy about rugby and football. The natural landscape will fill you with a sense of gratitude and wonderment. If you are seeking some time for rejuvenation, you can visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh and Dublin, Dublin Castle, the Rock of Cashel, and the National Gallery of Ireland – a museum preserving Irish and European art collections.
Studying in Ireland thus, can be a culturally and academically rewarding experience. Want to know more about Irish universities? Check out top 4 universities in Ireland that you can apply to in 2019- 2020.