Ireland, often known as the Land of Saints and Scholars, is home to numerous universities that offer cutting-edge resources and a global education. Aside from the extensive range of courses offered, international students attending Irish universities are assured of top-notch instructors who will push their students’ study to new limits.
Ireland has universities that are prepared to advance your education, whether you’re in the city or the countryside.
There are campuses on our list of colleges in Ireland for international students that are centrally located in cities or tucked away in the countryside, so there’s something to fit every kind of lifestyle. A variety of student groups at several Irish universities will complement your academic experience and help you feel like you’re at home away from home.
Additionally, you’ll discover that the residents of Emerald Isle are amiable and welcoming. That means you’ll be enjoying thick stews and foamy Guinness beverages with friends and family! Even better, you’ll only be a short flight from a number of nearby nations as an international student living in Ireland, including the UK, France, Switzerland, and Germany.
Best Colleges in Ireland for International Students
Discover Trinity College Dublin, the top global institution in Ireland, where traditional classrooms and cutting-edge instruction collide. Trinity is a leader in cutting-edge science and technology, having five research institutions. More than 100 programs ranging from acting to zoology are available, in addition to 170 organizations and societies to keep your leisure time interesting.
Since our 47-acre campus is located in the center of Dublin, you will also have easy access to eateries, pubs, stores, theaters, museums, parks, and more. Remember that admissions are extremely tough and mostly determined by academic performance because this is one of the most prominent colleges in Europe.
- Highlights: Located in the heart of the city, #1 university in Ireland focused on research
- Number of international students: 4,800 (24%)
One of the greatest universities in Ireland for overseas students is University College Dublin, popularly referred to as Ireland’s Global University. Savor a large campus with amenities, lakes, and hikes in the woods, all while being close to the city core, beaches, and adventurous mountain paths. In addition, this university offers the greatest variety of degree programs in Ireland when compared to others.
Additionally, UCD is among the top 1% of universities globally, and its student body is diverse, coming from more than 140 nations. You can also get involved in a variety of clubs and organizations, which is a terrific opportunity to meet new people, in fields like sports, the arts, politics, and economics.
- Highlights: Top 1% of colleges, a wide choice of degree programs
- Population of international students: 9,593 (25%)
On the west coast, Galway is referred to as “Ireland’s Cultural Heart.” With its vibrant city center and small town atmosphere, it embodies a bohemian and artistic attitude. The University of Galway is a great choice for overseas students seeking one of Ireland’s most walkable universities. Many international students claim to feel completely at home in this place, which was once rated the most welcoming location in the world.
The famous Cliffs of Moher would also be only a short hop, skip, and jump away from you! In addition to being a center for art studies, the city is home to eight of the top ten medical technology businesses in the world, with its campus setting the standard for research. International students can apply for scholarships, and the university claims that 96% of its graduates go on to find jobs.
- Highlights include the friendliest destination, 96% employment rate, and med-tech research.
- Population of international students: 4,000 (21%).
Students at University College Cork have access to more than a hundred bachelor’s degrees, ensuring a promising academic future. International students will experience a vibrant, multicultural campus with lots of clubs and activities for them to get involved with.
The Foundation for Environmental Education awarded UCC its first-ever “Green Flag” as the world’s first campus in recognition of its commitment to sustainability in a wide range of academic fields. Cork’s quaint, relaxed vibe will draw you away, whether you’re meandering around the Blarney Castle and Gardens or salivating over delectable food at the English Market.
- Highlights: Multicultural atmosphere, a range of degree options, and a green campus
- Population of international students: 3,000 (15%)
Dublin City University is yet another excellent option to consider when looking at Irish universities for overseas students. DCU alumni have the highest median wage of any Irish university, and the university ranks #1 in terms of graduate employability. This accomplishment is a result of DCU’s INTRA (Integrated Training) job placement program, which is offered for 80% of courses.
Despite being one of the newest institutions in Ireland, it boasts some of the best facilities and libraries. There are hundreds of student societies, numerous assistance services, and a large range of degree options. Even overseas merit scholarships are available from DCU. The best part is that you can get to the airport or the city center in a short bus trip; more European adventures are waiting for you!
- Highlights: #1 in Ireland for work placement program and graduate employability
- Number of international students: 2,318 (17%)
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, offers visitors the chance to explore old pubs, marvel at the Titanic museum, and take in the breathtaking “Game of Thrones” scenery that lies nearby. One of the top ten most exquisite historic universities in the UK is Queen’s University. You can easily access Belfast’s downtown in ten minutes on foot, and you’ll be close to the city’s many shops, festivals, and other events.
It’s also a research-focused university and a part of the prestigious Russell Group, which is the UK’s equivalent of the Ivy League. Additionally, this university offers scholarships to foreign students from almost anywhere in the world, which might save you up to 50% on tuition!
- Highlights: prestigious, research-focused university with financial aid available, near the city
- International Students Population: 4,200 (17%)
Approximately 15 miles outside of Dublin (yes, there is a rail), Maynooth is a university town home to Carlton House and a magnificent castle. At Maynooth University, you can practically have the best of both worlds by connecting an older campus (known as “the South”—St. Patrick’s College) with a modern campus (known as “the North”).
MU is a rapidly expanding campus that prioritizes research and offers hundreds of courses. In addition, it was named Ireland’s Best Young University by Times Higher Education in 2022, placing it at the top. MU has also been awarded the Outstanding International Student Satisfaction Award in recognition of its vibrant campus, supportive services, and strong sense of community.
- Highlights: serene Irish countryside atmosphere, #1 Best Young University
- Population of international students: 1,335 (11%)
After graduating from one of Ireland’s best universities, take study breaks to enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
Limerick, the walkable city with many museums and its crown treasure, King John’s Castle, is located in the center of Ireland. With a stellar reputation for research, the University of Limerick, which stretches along both banks of the Shannon River, has drawn students from all over the world.
You may be confident that your academic career will be in good hands with our highly skilled and experienced professors. Better yet, it’s not surprising that the University of Limerick has been named #2 in the world for happiness among international students given its first-rate housing, friendly atmosphere, gorgeous campus, top-notch career services, and encouraging study facilities.
- Highlights: #2 happiness ranking, excellent research, and supportive services
- Population of international students: 1,955 (13%)
Ireland’s leading independent institution, Griffith College, has campuses in Dublin, Limerick, and Cork, all of which are near to the metropolitan centers of their respective regions. International students are welcomed from more than 90 countries.
The institution has academics in business, law, design, computer science, journalism and media communications, creative arts and screen media, and science. All of their academic programs have been approved by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), an internationally renowned Irish government degree-awarding organization. Griffith College takes great satisfaction in its celebration-based learning environment.
- Highlights: Campuses that prioritize students and the city
- Population of international students: 1,400 (20%)
With satellite campuses in London and Birmingham, Ulster University has four main campuses: two in Belfast, one in Derry/Londonderry, and one in Coleraine. You can choose from more than 200 courses to get a degree that fits you. In addition, Ulster University boasts a 94% employment record for graduates and provides thousands of work placements annually.
Additionally, students can participate in and join one or more of the 90 societies and 70 sports groups on campus. Additionally, their student wellness programs are second to none. Along with being one of the most reasonably priced colleges in the UK and Ireland, Utah offers more than a dozen scholarships to students from other countries.
- Highlights: Multi-campus, student wellness services, and affordability
- Population of international students: 2,000 (7%)
Why Study in Ireland for your Degree?
Ireland is home to some of the best universities in the world. Universities in Ireland provide international students with a wide range of degree options, whether their interests lie in business, humanities, technology, law, engineering, or pretty much any other subject. In addition, Ireland ranks among the world’s happiest and safest nations.
Because of their helpful career assistance, several Irish colleges have good employment rates for their alumni. Additionally, there are plenty of options for you to launch your career with some of the brightest minds on the planet because this verdant, lush nation serves as a hub for numerous multinational organizations and offers international students post-study work visas.
Also Read: Top Law Schools In Australia
Does Ireland Offer Free College?
Is higher education in Ireland free? may be on your mind. Not quite, though. With a few exceptions, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) pays for bachelor’s degrees awarded to students from Switzerland, the EU/EEA, and Ireland.
Depending on the course and location, the average annual tuition for inhabitants of non-member nations is from 9,850 to 55,000 euros ($10,686 to $59,672). Remain optimistic: numerous Irish colleges, the Irish government, and private groups provide overseas students with financial aid in the form of scholarships and other sources.
Ireland has reasonably priced transportation as well. If you live with roommates or an Irish family and enroll directly in the institution, you can cut spending on living expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is studying in Ireland or Canada a better option?
One of the most important factors to take into account when studying overseas is the cost of living. Canada is generally thought to be more expensive than Ireland, particularly in large cities like Toronto and Vancouver. However, both countries provide reasonably priced options for student housing, including apartments and on-campus living.
In Ireland, which city offers more career opportunities?
In general, larger towns and cities like Cork, Dublin, and Galway will have a better time finding work. Dublin's cost of living is lower than that of other major European cities like Copenhagen, London, Paris, and Zurich, despite the fact that the capital city is recognized for being somewhat pricey.
Is it challenging to find employment in Ireland?
Ireland's job market is generally robust, and many businesses are actively seeking seasoned individuals to fill positions in a variety of areas. But there can be fierce rivalry for jobs, especially in some industries like finance and IT.
You now know which Irish universities are the finest for students from outside! Any of these Irish universities will undoubtedly open your eyes to fresh viewpoints that will extend your horizons. Furthermore, your overseas educational pursuits will transcend the confines of a classroom.
Enjoy breathtaking scenery, immerse yourself in the fabled environs of historic sites, and groove to the beat of river dance. Thus, why do you delay? A remarkable phase of your existence is about to begin!