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Why Ireland
Living in Ireland
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Ireland Living
Ireland is a country steeped in tradition and history with a long established reputation for its education excellence. It has a unique and interesting culture, which retains many features of its ancient Celtic origins while also reflecting the influence of other traditions and trends.
Irish people have a great love of conversation and have a genuine interest in other people. This friendliness and hospitality for which the Irish people are renowned contributes to the ease with which overseas students adapt to the way of life and in particular, student life in Ireland.
Although they do have their own distinctive Celtic language and culture, English is the predominant language spoken in Ireland today. The Irish use it so effectively that it has been said that better English is spoken in Ireland than anywhere else in the world! Every year almost 200,000 students of all ages and from all over the world come to study in Ireland to benefit from the highest quality English Language training in schools throughout the country.
Ireland enjoys a temperate climate influenced by the relatively warm waters of the Gulf Stream in whose path the island lies. During the winter months temperatures rarely drop below freezing and snow is uncommon. The coldest and wettest months are December, January and February, which have mean temperatures of between 4°C and 7°C. July and August are the warmest months with mean temperatures of between 14°C and 16°C, rarely rising above 20°C.
Food & Shopping
There is a wide choice of food shops and restaurants in Ireland catering to all tastes and pockets. As the number and variety of overseas nationals has grown in recent years, so too has the diversity of foods and ingredients. Students should therefore have no difficulty satisfying special religious or dietary requirements, particularly in the larger cities. Restaurants and cafes at the colleges and universities sell nutritious, reasonably priced meals. Snack food outlets are widely available and fast food restaurants are generally open till midnight.
Shopping hours vary but generally big department stores are open from 9.00 am until 5.30 pm Monday to Saturday with late night shopping on Thursday and Friday until 9.00pm. Increasing numbers of supermarkets and smaller shops are open seven days a week (often for 24 hours - particularly in the larger cities) and the local "corner shop" is always on hand for those essential items.
Money & Banking
The Euro is made up of 100 cents. coins come in denominations of 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c and €1. Paper notes come in denominations of €5, €10, €20,€50,€100,€200 and €500. Euro can be bought at all banks, major bus and train stations, ferry ports and airports. In addition, currency can also be exchanged in independent Bureaux de Change in cities and major towns.
Ireland was one of the first countries to qualify to join the "Euro-Zone" and on 1 January 2002, the EURO (£IR;1= 0.787564) went into circulation.
Ireland has a thoroughly modern financial system and banking is simple and convenient. ATM machines are located in the towns and cities and international credit cards and other financial instruments are widely accepted. Banking costs vary. However, many banks offer special student rates or even 'free banking' so it is well worth shopping around before opening an account.
Whilst Ireland is considered to be a relatively safe place to live, students are advised to exercise caution when walking home alone in the evenings, particularly in the more urbanized areas. From November through to February it can get dark as early as 4.30pm. The colleges themselves will be able to brief students on the personal safety issues relative to their particular area.
Despite increasing urbanization and the difficulties historically associated with the conflict in Northern Ireland, personal safety is generally very high and there is a low level of violent crime.
The Police force is called the Garda Siochana (meaning Guardians of the Peace), usually called the Gardai. The force is a unarmed and is headed by a Government appointed Commissioner. A Garda Siochana is operationally independent but answerable to the people, Parliament and Government through the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The Courts are completely independent. A Garda Siochana exercises all police functions in the country. It is responsible for all criminal investigations; the enforcement of road traffic law, the maintenance of public order, immigration control and it enforces drug laws and provides the state security service. In so doing it seeks to uphold and protect the human rights of all individuals within the state.
For a small country, Ireland offers an enormous diversity of landscapes: from long sandy beaches to rugged coastline; from bogland plains to the dramatic cliffs of the West coast, with much more in between! The environment provides endless opportunities for outdoor leisure pursuits including water sports, hill walking and rock climbing. Many colleges also have their own on-campus sports complex with facilities such as swimming pools, running tracks, squash courts and gyms.
Cities, towns and villages in Ireland also afford boundless opportunities for relaxation and recreation including pubs, clubs, restaurants, museums, art galleries, craft exhibitions, indoors sports facilities and music and arts festivals. Festivals are held throughout the year all over the country - a wonderful opportunity to sample some Irish culture whilst getting to know different parts of the island.
Because of its size, travel within Ireland is relatively easy. CIE (Coras Iompair Eireann) - the national transport service- operates trains, buses and coaches throughout the country. Irish Rail (Ianrod Eireann) operates the nationwide rail services, the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) and other suburban rail services. Private coach and bus services are also available.
The United Kingdom and other parts of Europe are also easily accessible by both air and sea. The main airports in the country are in Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Belfast, but there are also a number of regional airports. All of these offer regular services to and from London (one hour's-flying time) and many offer direct flights to other main European capitals and to the United States. Ferry services operate from several ports on the East and South coasts to England, Scotland, Wales and France.
Students holding an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) can generally avail of discounts on public transport
19-21 Aston Quay
Dublin 2
Tel: +353-1-6778117
Fax: +353-1-6778908
Living Expenses
Living expenses will differ depending upon the location of the institution, the type of accommodation preferred and on the personal expenditure of the student. To give some idea of the total cost involved, the following approximate figures - at 2005 rates - are given as a guide to overall expenses for one month. On average we estimate that a student will spend between €900 and €1,200 per month, for an 8 to 9 month academic year.
Accommodation (Including Heat and Light)
Self Catering Accommodation
€400- +++
On Campus Accommodation
Family-based Accommodation
Food and Household
Approximately €200-€300 Euro per month
Other Living Expenses
Travel, Health,Insurance, Social life, Communications Miscellaneous expenses
€150- €450 per month (depending on location and lifestyle)
All third level institutions will have an accommodation officer or advisor who can provide information for you about accommodation on, or close to your campus. The following options are generally available:
Self-catering accommodation includes a large number of options from a room in a shared house to a large private apartment. While self catering accommodation can offer full independence, the prospective student should be aware that there can be significant set-up costs associated with self catering accommodation such as: deposits, connection charges for utilities, bedding and the purchase of household items.
Most universities and a number of other colleges offer on-campus accommodation. This can range from a single, or shared room in a large apartment to a one-bed roomed apartment. Your institution of choice will be able to provide you with full details of the options on offer.
Many international students, particularly in the first year, opt to choose family based accommodation. This means a private room in a family home where two meals (generally breakfast and evening meal), utility costs and laundry services are provided. Again the institution you are applying to will have lists of experienced families in the area who provide approved accommodation for international students.
Other Costs
There are a number of other costs associated with studying in any country and these include food, laundry, household expenses, clothes, textbooks, transport & travel, communication, health care, and of course socializing! These costs vary form area to area and from person to person.
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