With around 20,000 non-EU residents now choosing to study full time in Ireland, ‘The Emerald Isle’ is rapidly growing as a location to study abroad.
In fact, this figure is expected to keep on growing as the nation itself becomes more multicultural, education-focused, and globally minded. What was once seen as a quaint little country on England’s doorstep is now becoming more and more recognised an important international economic hub. It’s home to a wealth of major multinational corporations, and boasts a proud academic reputation, as well as a warm, welcoming, and laughter-loving society.
In truth, the list of reasons to study abroad in Ireland could be a seriously long one, but we’ve tried to narrow it down to just 6 major things to help you consider studying in Ireland.
Why study in Ireland?
Top class education system
With one of Europe’s top ranked education systems, you can study just about any degree in Ireland and your credentials will be recognised all over the world. But special mention goes to Ireland’s universities for their advancement in fields such as chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and technology. In fact, Ireland has become a well known international hotspot for scientific research — in 2019, 28 Irish based scientists were ranked in the top 1% in the world for their work!
But Ireland isn’t all facts and logic and reason — this is the land of saints and scholars after all! Here’s a quick bit of trivia: What do the following literary giants all have in common? W.B Yeats, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Maeve Binchy, Sally Rooney, Emma Donohue and Bram Stoker. Well, while they’re all notable names in English literature, they all hail from Ireland!
Given its rich bookish history, Ireland’s universities offer fantastic English Literature degrees. Indeed, Trinity College’s library in Dublin is home to one of the most famous and significant books of all time, the 1000+ year old, medieval-era Book of Kells.
We mentioned above how a degree from an Irish university is accepted all over the world. This means that if you study in Ireland, you’re setting yourself up well for employment. This rings true especially for employment in Ireland itself, where the booming economy has resulted in a demand for skilled graduates, as well as undergrads who wish to work part-time alongside their studies. In the Republic of Ireland, students may apply for work permits, while lots of universities facilitate internships for international students.
Once you’ve graduated, you might want to stay longer in Ireland, where some of the world’s largest corporations base themselves. Think Google, Facebook, Apple, IBM, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline. All of these companies' main European offices are located in Ireland, which of course leads to great opportunities for Irish-based graduates.
Ireland is a small, beautiful island with a fascinating story
Despite its small size, where you can travel just about anywhere within seven or eight hours, Ireland is actually two countries in one. When we say Ireland, we usually imply the Republic of Ireland. But there’s also Northern Ireland, a tiny state in the northeast. You see, until about 100 years ago, the entire island was one country under UK rule. Then there was a bit of a disagreement (to put it very mildly), and so an independent Republic of Ireland was created. In Northern Ireland however, there was much more support for UK rule, so it has remained a part of the UK.
But the fascinating thing is that you might not even notice this difference today. There’s no border between the two countries, and citizens are free to come, go, live and work as they please. The only noticeable differences are that the North still uses the British Pound whereas the Republic uses the Euro, the North uses miles and the Republic uses kilometers, and road signs in the Republic are in both English and Irish Gaelic!
No matter where you go, The Emerald Isle is a beauty spot. The major cities of Dublin, Galway, Cork and Belfast (in Northern Ireland) are rich in visible history and charm. Meanwhile, the wide open countryside is sparsely populated and offers up stunning views of oceans and mountains.
Diversity of cultures
Traditionally, Ireland was a fairly homogenous country, with its people mostly Caucasian and Christian. But this has changed tremendously in the last 20 years or so. Nowadays, especially in the bigger cities, it’s a wonderful melting pot of culture and ethnicity. This same diversity can be seen on college campuses, which are bastions of inclusion and tolerance. This is thanks in part to the booming economy, as well as an accessible immigration policy. Walking through the streets of modern day Dublin in particular is an eye-opening experience, with a fantastic medley of accents, languages, races and faiths.
Level up your English
While Ireland’s native language is Irish (or Gaelic), the primary language is English. In fact, everyone from Ireland can speak English, but it's the native language that’s encountering challenges to survive.
But just as accents differ from place to place in the UK and the USA, Ireland has its own idiosyncrasies and mysteries to master. We’d say it’s a little bit easier to understand than the Scottish accent, but a little more difficult than the more widely heard southern-English one. In fact, within the tiny island of Ireland itself, the accents vary wildly from region to region. Cork, Galway, Belfast and Derry each have distinctive accents, while Dublin itself has two different accents of its own!
Look at it this way, if you can master English in Ireland (which you definitely can), you can master English anywhere!
Close proximity to Europe
Ireland’s location makes it a phenomenal base for further exploring Europe if you fancy a little bit of travel on your weekends and holidays. London in an hour? Amsterdam in 90 minutes? Berlin, Barcelona or Rome in 3 hours or under? One of the best things about living in Europe is the fact that there are just so many different countries and cultures within mere hours of each other. And it’s all pretty affordable too, with budget airlines flying regularly to and from mainland Europe.
So, even if you don’t like Ireland that much, the rest of Europe is just the length of a Marvel movie away...
...But that won’t happen. Trust us, you’ll love studying in Ireland.