With one of the best education systems in the world, beautiful surroundings and diverse culture, the Republic of Ireland makes a unique and rewarding study abroad destination. Located on the west coast of the UK and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland is home to some of the best universities in the world. You can prepare to study an undergraduate degree at University College Dublin (UCD), a top 200 university (QS World University Rankings 2020), by studying the International Foundation Year with UCD International Study Centre.
Why study abroad in Ireland?
There are a variety of reasons to head abroad to a foreign country to study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. It is a highly advantageous experience that will boost your employability, develop you as a person and help you gain a high standard of education. Here are just some of the many reasons you should study abroad in Ireland:
Ireland is ranked in the top 10 for education (IMB World Competitiveness Ranking 2019) and provides students with one of the best education systems in the world; offering world-class universities, a diverse range of degree options and globally-recognised qualifications.
There are many great career opportunities in Ireland for international graduates due to its appeal to multinational businesses, including well-known companies such as eBay, Skype and Microsoft. Most universities, including UCD, offer internship opportunities that are a great way to gain real experience in the workplace that can prove invaluable when job-hunting.
Post-study work visa opportunities
When it comes to post-study work, Ireland is the only English-speaking country in Europe that offers post-study work visas to international graduates, making it an attractive destination to kick-start your career. Once you find full time employment after studying in Ireland, you will be eligible to apply for residency - over 13,500 first residence permits were issued to higher education students in 2017 (European Migration Network).
Discover Irish culture
You will be welcomed into Ireland by some of the most hospitable people you will ever meet and you will soon discover that the Irish are proud of their country, culture and traditions. Experience the feast day of Ireland’s Patron Saint with Saint Patrick’s Day, listen to traditional Irish music, watch Irish dancing, take part in Irish sports such as Gaelic football or get lost in Irish myths and legends.
You will gain a wealth of career-enhancing skills and experiences that will help you become more employable from studying abroad. You'll be able to develop some key transferable skills that you can take to any job such as communication, project management and language, as well as make global connections and become more confident - things valued by employers around the world.
A mix of city life and nature
Ireland offers a great balance of city life and country life. Major cities in Ireland are smaller than other European capitals but offer everything you need (from shops and restaurants to entertainment and transport) and are vibrant and full of unique history. You won’t need to travel far out of any of Ireland’s cities to discover its famous natural beauty. From the Cliffs of Moher (which you might recognise from Harry Potter) and the Ring of Kerry to Brow Head and Dingle, the natural landscapes around Ireland are breathtaking and perfect for exploring whilst you study for your degree.
Perfect travel location
Not only will you be able to take advantage of everything Ireland has to offer, but you will also have Europe on your doorstep. With the UK within easy reach and the west coast of Europe just a few hours away by plane, travel opportunities are vast (in between your studies of course). It’s also worth mentioning that North and South America sit just across the Atlantic.
The number of international students in Ireland from non-EEA (European Economic Area) countries has increased by 45% since 2013 (European Migration Network). You will be surrounded by over 35,000 like-minded students from over 150 different countries that have also made the rewarding choice to study in Ireland.
Find new interests and make new friends
Studying in a different country means you can try out new activities and make new friends. You will have the opportunity to make lifelong friends with people from different backgrounds - who are all in the same situation as you. You will also have the chance to experience new activities you might have not had access to before, such as surfing and mountain biking.
Ireland is consistently listed as one of the safest countries in the world, ranking in the top 15 in the Global Peace Index 2019, as well as ranked as being the 12th most peaceful country.
Studying abroad will help you grow as a person. You will learn to become more independent, adapting to new situations and challenges and gaining experiences in life that you'll only get from moving and studying abroad. Learning to manage your finances, cook your own meals and being self-reliant are just some of the skills you will develop.
You can learn more than one language
Alongside improving and developing your English language skills, you could also challenge yourself to learn another new language. Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to learn a new language since you will be surrounded by international students from a range of destinations. You will be fully immersed in a new language, using it in your day to day life, from grabbing a coffee with friends to writing exam papers and taking notes in lectures. While the primary language in Ireland is English, the distinct Irish Gaelic language is still spoken by over 130,000 people as a first language and by about 1,000,000 as a second.
Why study at UCD?
As one of the world’s top-ranked universities, University College Dublin is the most popular choice for international students who want to study in Ireland. Founded in 1854, it is one of Ireland’s oldest universities and one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities.
UCD emphasises the global impact of the Irish student experience - ensuring that all students that graduate are prepared for their future careers, whether in Ireland or anywhere in the world. In fact, UCD is ranked number one in Ireland and in the top 100 in the world (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020).
The university is the largest provider of education in Ireland and hosts over 8,000 international students (25% of its overall student base). With 133 hectares of land, UCD is also one of Europe’s largest campuses and has over 85 active student societies. Discover more about studying at UCD and how you can study abroad in Ireland.