After I decided to study the Health Sciences programme at DIFC, all that was left was to make the necessary preparations to successfully apply. I like to think of my application process to DIFC in stages, 5 stages to be exact:
- Getting the results needed in order to make me eligible for the programme: I ensured that I successfully completed my high school examinations and gained above average results. I wrote two separate high school-certifying exams (WAEC and IGCSE) both were international standard exams. I also made sure I had a result certifying my proficiency in English (a 5.0 IELTS result).
- Making sure I met the age requirement to join DIFC: DIFC only accepts students who are at least 17-years old or older. Unfortunately, I did not meet the age requirement at the time but DIFC’s partnership with Oxbridge Tutorial College (OTC) meant that I would spend 3 months at OTC and join the January intake rather than the September intake. The availability of alternatives like this makes DIFC a really smart choice.
- Getting an Irish Study Visa: Most of the information regarding obtaining an Irish visa was provided to me by DIFC. I was also provided a checklist to keep track of all the important documents needed for the visa, such as bank statements, birth certificates, passport, medical reports and so on. The visa process was relatively easy as DIFC communicated with the Irish Embassy directly and this enabled me to get my visa in under 4 weeks, which is less than the usual waiting period of at least 6 weeks.
- Getting the right accommodation: Due to the time at which I joined DIFC, I lost out on the on-campus accommodation and most other off campus accommodation, but the student services team ensured that I secured a host family accommodation prior to my arrival in Dublin and this was one of the best experiences of accommodation I had in Dublin. Since DIFC have an established network of trusting families that operate host family accommodation, the families that one stays with are experienced and are really good at taking care of foreign students.
- Payment of fees and accommodation: Finally, all that was left of me was to pay the fees for DIFC and my rent for the accommodation. I got into contact with the Finance department and immediately I was offered several methods of payment, which were secure and relatively easy to process. The student services also took my welfare into consideration both personally and financially, this made me feel like I was not alone and helped me a lot.