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Ireland - The Basics of Studying in Ireland

Updated: Jan 7

As an Irishman who has been living and working around the world for a number of years, I have come to find that quite a few people are unfamiliar with my homeland. In this post I will explain the basics and provide some insights.

Cliffs of Moher

Ireland is an island nation on the Western-most tip of Europe. A long time member of the European Union (EU), Ireland's economy and social fabric have benefitted from its EU membership due to the free movement of people and goods throughout the EU member states. With a well-educated population of native English speakers and easy access to Europe, Ireland has long attracted many of the world's leading international businesses to set up their European headquarters there - Apple, Meta (Facebook / WhatsApp / Instagram), and Alphabet (Google) are prime examples.

Dublin at night

The island of Ireland is divided in two, which is the result of an agreement when independence from Great Britain was achieved. The majority of the island is the Republic of Ireland, which is what most people are usually referring to when they simply say 'Ireland'. The Republic of Ireland is an independent nation and part of the EU. The rest of the island is called Northern Ireland, which is a separate state and part of the United Kingdom (UK) - the UK's full name is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland share the island of Ireland.

Studying in Ireland refers to the Republic of Ireland only. There are many excellent universities all around Ireland in places like Dublin, Cork, and Galway, which although being small by international standards are Ireland's largest cities. Dublin is the capital and home to two of the best universities in Europe. Trinity College Dublin is ranked #1 in Ireland and #81 in the world by QS for 2024; University College Dublin is ranked #2 in Ireland and #171 in the world. There are many other excellent universities which will be discussed in future posts.

Ireland is an exciting study destination which can offer high quality education in English, a vibrant and international economy, and safe, welcoming society.

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