“Céad míle fáilte” – in Ireland visitors are “a hundred thousand times welcome”. A good chat in the pub counts more than strict adherence to appointments. More and more students enjoy this relaxed attitude towards life during a semester abroad in Ireland.
Ireland: Past and Modern
The breathtaking landscape alone allows visitors to the island to relax: More than 40 shades of green are said to be found on the “Emerald Island”. Green hills, clear lakes, peaceful rivers, secluded bays and imposing steep cliffs form the background for numerous sagas and legends.
No wonder that among the older population the belief in fairies, goblins and the “little folk” is still widespread. Countless old churches, megalithic tombs, places of worship, druid stones and castle ruins tell of the more than 8000 year old cultural history of Ireland. The official Celtic language, Irish, also testifies to the island’s long history. Today, however, they speak only three percent of the population, the majority of the Irish speak English.
But Ireland is not only rich in history: the big cities are young, energetic and cosmopolitan. Above all, the multicultural Dublin, which is one of the most exciting metropolises in Europe. The average age of the population is 27, making Dublin the youngest capital in Western Europe.
Here visitors will find magnificent old buildings and modern architecture, many museums, shopping opportunities, quiet parks, restaurants of all kinds and hip clubs. Of course there are also numerous pubs. Tradition and modernity are combined when you end the day in good company with a Guinness or let yourself be infected by the festive Irish and the rhythm of one of the many folk bands.
Reasons for studying abroad in Ireland
Most of the country’s universities are also located in Dublin. Like the city itself, they also exude an international flair: In addition to the Irish, there are also many students from Europe and the rest of the world to be found here. One of the reasons for this is that education at Irish universities is considered to be of very high quality. The professors follow an open door policy, the quality of teaching is top-class and the range of courses is huge.
Despite the relative geographical proximity to Germany, students can have an excellent international study experience during a semester in Ireland. You can improve your English in your semester abroad and get to know a completely different country.
Special semester programs in Ireland
The most popular study option for German students in Ireland is probably a semester abroad. Special semester programs, so-called Study Abroad programs, offer international students the opportunity to study for one or two semesters at an Irish university. In most cases, applicants are not placed in a specific semester or course of study. Instead, they are largely free to choose their courses from the courses offered by the respective university. The students attend the courses together with the local students and also take the same exams.
At the end of the semester abroad in Ireland there is a transcript on which the grades are listed. Thus, the services abroad semester in Ireland coursework can often at native university are recognized. However, students should always discuss this with the responsible examination office in advance.
In some semester programs, on the other hand, the courses are not freely selectable, but the students can take certain course packages such as International Business. In addition to the transcript, you will also receive a certificate, which is an independent additional qualification in Ireland.
Application requirements for a semester abroad in Ireland
The eligibility requirements for a semester program in Ireland are moderate. Because international students do not compete with local students for places for a complete Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Applicants usually only have to prove their (technical) high school diploma and sufficient knowledge of English. This proof of language proficiency usually takes the form of a certified test like the IELTS or TOEFL. Some universities such as Griffith College Dublin or Dublin Business School also accept other language certificates such as the DAAD language certificate for German applicants.
Costs and financing options
Many Irish universities are funded through tuition fees. These vary greatly depending on the university, course and stage of study.
- In the undergraduate area, students can expect costs from EUR 2,500.
- In the postgraduate area, the tuition fees are slightly higher at around EUR 3,000-4,000.
Cost of Living in Ireland
The cost of living in Ireland is slightly above the German average. For an apartment on campus or a place in a student residence hall, students pay between EUR 400 and EUR 600 per month. In a shared apartment you can possibly find a little cheaper accommodation. Overall, depending on the place of study, you should expect monthly living costs between EUR 650 and EUR 1000.
BAföG, scholarships and more
Nevertheless, a semester abroad in Ireland is not unaffordable. There are various financial aids and options:
- The BAföG abroad includes grants for tuition fees of up to EUR 4,600 as well as additional grants for travel and living expenses. In some cases, students who are not eligible for BAföG in Germany can also apply for it. Going to the responsible BAföG office in Hanover can pay off.
- Also education loans are an option.
- Particularly talented students can be supported by scholarships from the DAAD or other foundations.
- It is possible to work 20 hours per week during the semester in Ireland in order to top up the fund. You can even work indefinitely during the semester break. As an EU citizen, German students only need to apply for a social security number.
Visa and entry requirements in Ireland
All that is required to enter Ireland is a valid passport. If you study abroad for more than three months, students must also apply for a special purpose residence permit, the so-called Residence Permit, for the semester abroad in Ireland.
Health insurance for a semester abroad in Ireland
A health insurance is compulsory in order to enroll at the university during a semester abroad in Ireland. As a rule, the European health insurance card issued in Germany is valid within the EU. To learn more about the country of Ireland and continent of Europe, please follow thedresswizard. However, you should definitely clarify the exact conditions in advance with the German health insurance company. It may be advisable to take out an additional foreign policy.