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Living in Ireland

Deciding to study abroad is not an easy decision. But the friendliness and hospitality for which the Irish are distinguished contributes to the ease with which overseas students adapt to the way of life in Ireland.

Ireland is a dynamic, lively, modern country with a young population and a successful, technologically orientated economy, but it also remains a country where music, conversation, culture and traditions are important. Find out more about life in Ireland:

  • Ireland, in common with much of the EU, is not a cheap country to live in. Dublin City is considered to be more expensive than other parts of Ireland to live.
  • The cost of studying in the Ireland is determined by the tuition fees of your course and whether you wish to study in the capital city of Dublin or elsewhere outside.
  • While Irish is the first official language of the Republic, English is the first language of the majority of the population outside the Gaeltachtaí.
  • Ireland has a mild, temperate climate with summer temperatures ranging from 16-20 degrees Celsius. In winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing point.
  • Ireland observes Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in the winter. However, Irish summer time is GMT plus 1 hour.
  • There are 9 public holidays (called Bank Holidays) in the year.
  • Ireland has five international airports (Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Belfast and Knock). It also has a low-cost network of bus and train routes linking cities and towns across the island.
  • Shops are generally open Monday-Saturday from 9am/10am until 5.30/6pm. Some also open for more limited hours on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
  • Internet cafes are now common throughout Ireland. These are places where you can use a computer (connected to the internet, with e-mail and web access) for a specified time period for a fee.
  • Mobile phones are widely used in Ireland and phone companies offer both pay-as-you go and monthly contract plans. Mobile phones can be expensive for international calls so phone cards and call centres(phone booths at Internet cafes) may offer alternatives.
  • Banks are open between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday, (some smaller branches may close for lunch, check locally). On Thursdays banks stay open until 5pm (Dublin area - other late opening days apply to other parts of the country).
  • Cinemas in Ireland are very popular and large multi-screen complexes have opened all over the country. It is cheaper to go to the afternoon shows. There is a student discount available on production of a valid student identity card for certain shows.
  • The pub is the social meeting place for many Irish people. They serve alcohol, soft drinks, tea and coffee. Pubs are licensed to open between 10.30am and 11.30pm Sunday to Wednesday. From Thursday to Saturday the closing hours are extended to 12.30am.
  • Smoking is forbidden in enclosed places of work and on public transport in Ireland.
  • In case of an emergency dial 999 or 112 from any phone for police, ambulance, fire, sea and mountain rescue services.
  • The police in Ireland are called Garda Síochána. Full details of national and local garda stations can be found at the beginning of telephone directories.
  • In a medical emergency, one should go to the Accident & Emergency department at the hospital closest to his/her home.