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Top Tips for International Students Coming to Ireland

The Emerald Isle of Ireland is becoming a hub for international students. Ireland is very attractive to international students due to its quality education system, amazing scenery, welcoming people and the opportunities it presents to them.

That is why there is over 35,000 international students from over 160 countries who have chosen to study in Ireland.

So you have the packing almost finished and are ready to say your last goodbyes and get on that plane to Ireland. If you are still in the process check out our pre-arrival booklet and guide on what to pack.  You might be feeling a bit nervous or anxious about starting out on your adventure in Ireland, that is why we have put together our top tips for international students coming to Ireland that will help you settle in straight away.

The Irish Slang

You will notice straight away that the Irish love to use slang. They speak English but it’s easy to get lost in conversations if you are not fully familiar with the local slang. There is no need to worry, check out our slang guide to living in Ireland and you will be speaking like one of the natives in no time.

Open a Bank Account

One of the first things you’ll need to do is to open a student bank account. As a student in Ireland you are entitled to open a student bank account, if you provide the appropriate supporting documents.

During your induction week at DIFC, we will help you prepare for opening an bank account in Ireland and we’ll even have our banking partner available one day so you can open your bank account at our campus. This takes the hassle out of choosing the right bank and waiting in queues in the bank branch. We’ve sorted that all for you, so the process will be done in a matter of minutes.

Plan Your Budget

Budgeting is a key skill that you develop during your time in Ireland. Managing your money correctly will enable you to enjoy your experience to the fullest. One of the biggest things that will cut into your budget is grocery shopping, so try to plan your expenses as best you can. Our advice here is to shop around and keep an eye out for deals and special offers. Popular supermarkets in Ireland include:

  • SuperValu
  • Dunnes Stores
  • Tesco
  • Lidl
  • Aldi

Lidl and Aldi would be the budget supermarkets and by shopping there you can save a substantial amount on your shopping bill. Also, little things like bringing your lunch with you will help save you a lot – as buying lunch out can be expensive. There’s also a microwave in the Student Union kitchen, so you can heat up your lunch if you want to.

Manage Your Time

Your time in Ireland will fly by, so it is vital to make the most of your time here. The best advice I could give any international student coming to Ireland is to make a list of things you want to do and visit and then tick them off as you complete them. Check out some of the top attractions in Dublin and Cork that you can add to your list. Don’t waste your weekends, get up early head to the train station and spend the day exploring a random town of Ireland.

The Irish Weather

Ireland is a place where you can get four seasons in the space of a couple of hours. So when packing your bags make sure to pack for cold days, warm days and wet days as you will be guaranteed all three during your time in Ireland. Ireland has a mild, temperate climate with summer temperatures ranging from 16-22 degrees Celsius. In winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing point, but it can feel quite cold.  While the weather in Ireland is changeable, one thing that will never change is the Irish love to talk about the weather, it is instilled in the Irish culture. The weather is always a good topic to open a conversation in Ireland.

Student Travel Card

One of the best investments you will make when you come to Ireland is a student travel card. If you plan to travel and explore Ireland, the student travel card will get you discounts on your travel throughout Ireland. The student leap card also gets you great savings on things such as mobile plans, travel and shopping, including 10% off at Boots, free €5 meals at McDonald’s.

We’ve give you application forms and the registration letter you need to apply for your Student Leap Card.

The Irish People

The Irish are well known around the world for their friendliness and love to converse with strangers. If you ever need something during your time in Ireland don’t be afraid to ask as the Irish will go above and beyond to help you out. The one thing you will be guaranteed from studying in Ireland is a few new Irish friends! So don’t be shy and get out of your comfort zone and mixing with new people.

Make the Most of DIFC’S Support Services

Moving to a new country can be difficult and challenging on your own. DIFC have measures in place to ensure you settle in as quickly as possible. We provide support services that help you from the day you arrive. Check out how our Support Services Team can help you.

Above is just some of our top tips for international students coming to Ireland but don’t just take our word for it, our class of 2019 student ambassadors are happy to chat directly with students via Unibuddy at

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