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The basics
Ireland: Before you leave

Irish culture

An introduction to the sights and sounds of the culturally rich island that is Ireland.

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Ireland has a very unique identity and Ireland’s rich historical traditions give it a special appeal. It’s also a very popular tourist destination, so if you study in one of the big cities like Dublin you’ll be mixing with tourists and locals in equal measure. As an international student in Ireland, you’ll get the chance to sample the Irish music scene, rich storytelling tradition, hearty food, Gaelic culture and enjoy its wonderful lush and varied landscapes.


Irish music

Irish people are passionate about music and you should be prepared to have your ears opened to many forms of music during your time in Ireland. Don’t be surprised if you come across many impromptu sessions in pubs, where traditional music is kept alive and celebrated. You may even want to pick up a musical instrument for the first time, like the violin or fiddle!


Ireland has nurtured a wealth of musical and creative talent including U2, The Dubliners, Van Morrison, The Pogues, Damien Rice and The Chieftains. You’ll be able to sample a variety of Irish musical styles at gigs across the country. If you love music then Ireland is a great place to sample the student social scene too, of which music plays a big role.


Irish landscapes

The Republic of Ireland is called ‘the Emerald Isle’ for a reason. It is renowned for its dramatic scenery and rolling green hills, from the stunning Cliffs of Moher in County Clare to the Ring of Kerry in the Iveragh Peninsula. It provides ample escape from urban life and if you choose to study in one of Ireland’s cities, there will always be an opportunity to take a weekend tour or trip to the surrounding countryside. Ireland also boasts some of the finest unspoilt beaches in Europe.


Irish creativity

The influence of Celtic mythology, poetry and storytelling pervades Irish culture and the Irish contribution to world literature is significant. Ireland has produced some of the world’s finest literary masters including Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Beckett, James Joyce and the poet Seamus Heaney. Not only will your appreciation for these authors’ works be magnified, but they’ll also stir something in you to produce something of your own.


Ireland’s cities

The urban areas in Ireland each have a character of their own; from the busy charm of Dublin with its wealth of bars, restaurants and unusual boutique shops, to the delightful array of festivals and food on offer in Galway. Ireland’s larger cities are cosmopolitan and buzzing with nightlife options, with a friendliness that’s sometimes lacking in other world cities.


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