Want to combine further study with tradition, culture, scenery and socialising? Ireland could be the perfect place for you to carry on learning
There are numerous types of higher education institutions in Ireland:
The entry requirements for postgraduate study differ from university to university, course to course. However, most courses require an undergraduate degree, usually a minimum of a 2:2, in a related discipline.
Make sure you understand the requirements for the specific course that interests you before applying and contact the institution to clarify if necessary.
Citizens of the European Union (EU) are entitled to attend university in Ireland or any EU country (this means the 27 member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The same conditions apply to all EU citizens whether a national of the country or not. This means that you are not required to pay higher course fees than Irish students and you are entitled to apply for any grants available to help with tuition fees.
Average course fees in Ireland for EU students are approximately €5,000 and considerably higher for non-EU students.
Ireland also operates a free fees scheme for undergraduate study, which is available to EU nationals who meet a range of other criteria. For more information, see Citizens Information - Third-Level Student Fees and Charges .
The Irish Student Grant Scheme is split into two parts: maintenance grants; and fee grants.
Maintenance grants go towards students' general living costs and are usually means tested. They also have a number of conditions based on nationality, residence and immigration status.
Eligibility of postgraduates for this kind of funding is prone to change and you may not be eligible if you are an EU student who hasn't lived in Ireland before. To check whether you can receive a maintenance grant, visit Citizens Information - Grants for Students in Further and Higher Education or Student Finance Ireland .
Fee grants are designed to cover students' tuition fees, cost of field trips or student contribution. Eligibility of EU students is also subject to stringent requirements.
Other institutions may offer separate grants or bursaries.
Non-EU/European Economic Area (EEA) students are ineligible for Student Grant Scheme funding.
Students attending UK universities can take part in the EU's flagship educational exchange programme Erasmus . The scheme offers work placements, study opportunities and language assistantships, which last from three months to one academic year in EU countries.
Financial support is also available to selected Masters and Doctoral students through the Erasmus Mundus initiative.
Your university must have a formal agreement with a partner university in Ireland. Check that your university is involved in the programme and offers the Erasmus scheme in your subject.
Speak to the Erasmus coordinator at your university about available opportunities.
As an EU citizen, you are permitted to live in any EU country while studying as long as you:
Some countries require you to register with the local authority after three months. Find out how to register at Europa - Rights, Conditions and Formalities .
If you are a non-EU student, find out your visa requirements for studying in Ireland at Citizens Information - Student Visas to Study in Ireland .
If you're thinking of working in Ireland, do some background research and find out more about the country before packing up your belongings and booking your travel to the Emerald Isle
The key sectors of the Irish economy are services, industry and exportation.
Within industry, chemicals, computer equipment and textiles are all big contributors to gross domestic product (GDP).
Trade and exportation have grown hugely in recent years. The country is one of the world's largest software exporters thanks to low taxation, its geographical location and the fact that English is an official language of the country.
As a result, there is a range of large multinational companies with offices in Ireland, including Microsoft, IBM and Intel.
Ireland was hit significantly by the global economic downturn, which caused firms to cut back on recruitment. The outlook now appears to be improving.
Sectors that are in need of skilled workers include IT, accounting, insurance, healthcare and engineering. Candidates without work experience or third-level qualifications may, however, be overlooked.
Search for jobs in Ireland at:
Because of the competitive job market in Ireland, candidates are more likely to secure a role in the country if they have relevant work experience.
Depending on the industry in which you want to work, you could contact firms individually to see if they have a scheme in place.
You may also be able to gain work experience with the National Training and Employment Authority (FAS) - Work Placement Programme .
Alternatively, there are numerous services for helping people secure work experience, including:
Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by:
Voluntary work is a great way of boosting your CV and showing prospective employers that you are dedicated to learning and improving your skills.
Volunteer Ireland , the country's single national volunteering organisation, assists people who want to help out across the country.
The European Commission (EC) funds a scheme called The European Voluntary Service (EVS) , which is aimed at people aged 18 to 30 wishing to volunteer abroad. It offers young people the chance to volunteer for up to 12 months in a number of European and non-European countries.
Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to others focused on social care and the environment. For successful applicants, accommodation, travel, food and insurance are all covered by a European grant and you even receive a personal allowance each month.
Make sure you thoroughly research all volunteering opportunities and always check the terms and conditions before committing yourself to a scheme.
English and Irish (also known as Gaelic or Gaeilge) are the two official languages of Ireland, although English is the first language of the majority of the country.
Despite Irish not being spoken on a daily basis, it is an important part of the country's heritage and identity.
Good English skills will be sufficient for most jobs, although some knowledge of Irish might help.
According to the EC, European Union (EU) citizens have the right to:
For more information and to check what conditions and restrictions apply, see:
A Personal Public Service (PPS) number is a unique reference number offering access to public services and social welfare benefits. It is automatically issued to all Irish citizens. Non-Irish nationals can apply for a PPS number on arrival in the country. For more information, visit Citizens Information - Personal Public Service Number .
EU nationals may also be able to transfer certain types of health and social security coverage to their host country. For country-specific information on social security entitlements, see European Commission - Your Rights Country by Country .