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Are you from the Middle East and really want to study Medicine, Engineering, Science or Business abroad?

DIFC offers these International Foundation Year programmes leading to over 4,000 university courses. The International Foundation Year (IFY) is a qualification designed specifically for international students to prepare you for first year entry to undergraduate degree courses. The programme is run over 7-9 months and combines academic study, intensive English language preparation, study skills and cultural orientation.

Studying in Ireland is a great opportunity for you, not to just broaden your horizons but to explore a new culture and experience a highly respected education system and qualifications that are recognised internationally.

So, here’s how Middle Eastern students can apply to study with DIFC and find out more from students who have studied with DIFC before.

How to apply to do International Foundation Programmes with DIFC?

To apply, here’s a few questions you need to answer first:

  • Have you completed high school?
  • Is moving away from home for a year to study in Ireland something that excites you?
  • Can you afford the fees to study and live in Ireland?

If all the answers are yes, great! We can move onto the application form!

To complete your form, you need to include all the basic information, like your name, date of birth phone number, address and email. We also need to know your education details; how will you fund your studies and where you hope to study after your IFY with DIFC. You’ll need to attach the following documents with your application form:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of your academic certificates/results/transcripts
  • Copy of your English Language level certification (IELTS)
  • CV/Resume, if applicable

Once we have received your completed application form, we will assess your application and come back to you if your application is successful.

Please note that we aim to respond to applications within 24 hours but it sometimes can be longer, depending on weekends, holidays and busy times of the year. If you’re waiting on a response, you can always send us an email or message us using the online chat on our website.


Do I need a Visa to study International Foundation Programmes at DIFC?

If your application is successful and you secure your place at DIFC with a deposit, you will receive your final offer letter and we can start your Study Visa application process.

In order for you to enter Ireland you will require a Study Visa; some countries don’t require a Visa but you can check if you require one on the INIS website. One of the requirements for your Visa application is the required score on a recognised English test. This is overall 5.0 on an IELTS test, which are organised by the British Council.

As Irish Study Visas for Middle Eastern students are processed in Irish embassies in Abu Dhabi or Riyadh, the process is quite quick, usually taking no more than 4 weeks, which makes your Application Process much quicker.

And don’t let the thoughts of a Visa Application scare you, our team at DIFC will help you along the way, step by step, if needed.


Meet some DIFC students from the Middle East

Meet Ali from Jordan


Ali studied International Foundation Year (Health & Science) with DIFC in 2015 and is now studying Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Ali is a DIFC ambassador and is happy to speak to any students who want to find out more about studying with DIFC in Ireland. Check out his page here.

Meet Huseyin, from Turkey

Huseyin studied IFY Engineering & Technology in 2013 with DIFC and continued his studies in Civil Engineering in NUI Galway. Huseyin was struggling with Chemistry and had never studied Physics before but with his lecturers and his own hard work, he earned a A in Chemistry and A* in Physics in his final exams and continued his studies in NUI Galway, ranked among the top 1% of universities worldwide based on data from QS.

Parent Testimonials

Don’t just take the students’ word for it, we’ve even got some feedback from parents of our students, like this one:

“As a parent of a former student at your foundation college, I am so grateful and thankful for the program you provided for the students. My daughter has enjoyed it so much and had a great experience. She is more determined to pursue in the medical field. Your foundation program provided her a great opportunity to enter one of the best university’s in the field of medicine. I will surely recommend your program to many aspiring students who want to pursue the same field as my daughter. A big thank you to all the mentors.” – Manal, Egypt


Some useful information

  • Ireland is a native English speaking country and its education system is highly respected and qualifications are recognised internationally
  • DIFC have an Arabic speaking representative based in Riyadh who is employed by DIFC to help students with applications and visa processing
  • DIFC is respectful of the diversity of cultures of the students within our college, we recognise festivities of different cultures and are accommodating to students religious beliefs and customs
  • DIFC is located in Dublin city centre and is within walking distance of many amenities including the city mosque, shops, restaurants etc.
  • The cost of living in Ireland is approximately 30% cheaper than the UK.
  • There are a wide variety of different nationalities studying in Ireland and DIFC give students the opportunity to experience new cultures
  • DIFC guarantee a place on a Degree program at one of our Partner Universities provided the student achieves the required grades on the NCUK IFY program at DIFC. Please note that there is no guarantee for Medicine.
  • Ireland is a welcoming society which embraces different cultures and nationalities


To apply for an undergraduate or pre-masters pathway Foundation Programme, just click here, complete the application form and we will be in touch shortly.

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